Had a nice out judging the stickmakers section at the Emly Show in Yorkshire on Saturday 5th Aug.
Something like 203 sticks were entered in 16 classes. I don't know how many stickmakers entered on the day but it was quite a suprise to eventually see the small number of makers who had picked up most of the prizes of 1st 2nd or 3rd.
On looking back I should not have been surprised as I now realise that the sticks I had chosen had a very similar high quality of finish, and these reflected the winning stickmakers approach to producing competition sticks.
Those stickmakers that were unsuccsessful in winning a ticket should be aware that a lot of the shanks used were not at all straight , which is a major fault in competition and while a stick head may have been rather nice it was knocked back due to a inconsistancy in the quality of the overall stick.
At this show there were a large entry of novice sticks, and it was noticable that most still had to aquire the feel of what makes a winning stick. To these I would say note the shapes the winning stickmakers use, the dimensions of the shanks, the fine final finish of heads and shanks. The balance or feel of the stick in the hand. Not too heavy nor too light. Always make the effort to fit ferrules to the shank tip. Without a ferrule I feel a stick is unfinished. These are just a few things that can make a difference to winning a ticket or not.
Anyway the day was a lovely sunny day if a little windy, and we were very luckly to have had a rain free day.