King Bart Pt2

King Bart Pt2

Tracy&James | Thursday, 25 October 2018

The last competitive BFCC meeting of the year was held on Saturday in Brentwood, Essex. It was great to see so many people attending, especially as many of them had made a special effort by travelling large distances to get there.

There were a number of great winning performances, not least from Paul, who picked up wins in the T38 and T120 (also the #7 and the accuracy). I assume Paul hasn’t cast these super-heavy outfits since he was last at a BFCC event over two years ago, so to win without any practice shows an inherent ability that I wish I possessed. That said, my vote for ‘cast of the day’, in fact ‘cast of the year’ went to Bart de Zwaan for his record breaking cast in the #5.

Having arrived to confirmation that the weather forecast for the day was exactly as predicted; warm, high pressure and very light winds, I knew from experience that achieving even a respectable distance with the #5 would be very difficult.  I like to have a guess at what the winning cast will be at the start of the day and 130ft plus numbers did not figure in my thoughts at all, actually I thought 120ft would be a struggle.  So when I was marking and Bart put his warm-up cast to 126ft I turned to the person judging the lane next to me and made a comment along the lines of ‘he might regret that one’.  In the past I’ve seen so many people make their best cast whilst warming-up that I’ve lost count, and I assumed I’d just witnessed another.  For this reason I personally never make any full practice casts; I might get to my carry point but I never shoot it down the tape.

I have to admit that I was astounded when, after the timer called for casting to commence, Bart’s first officially marked cast sailed out to 138ft 2in, breaking Paul’s previous BFCC record by 4ft.  

Sometimes at these casting competitions I can’t resist having a cast after the event has finished.  Often this is because I’ve felt I could have done better, and quite often I’m right – once the pressure is off my distances often improve.  I’ve even beaten the winning cast and the old record on occasions, but obviously this doesn’t count.  However, on Saturday I knew I could have stood casting on that pitch all day and I wouldn’t have got anywhere near to Bart’s distance, it was a truly outstanding cast in conditions that were far from ideal.  So well done again Bart, it will be interesting to see what you can do in ‘good’ weather.

Hopefully the interest in the competition side of things will keep going through to next year when the BFCC kicks off again.  In the meantime there are a number of events planned at Port Haverigg in Cumbria, so if you need a fix of competitive casting there are opportunities to cast at this year’s world championship venue.

All the best, James.