Wednesday – Presidents
After the rain stoppage yesterday, the team decamped back to the hotel for a couple of hours down time (and drying off) before heading to the Corn Boil, a fund raiser for the Canadian U25 team to the world long range championships in New Zealand in 2019. The whole team enjoyed the evening, especially Oli Russell who won the raffle for a Tom Rylands stand – very timely on the basis his current stand has just given up the ghost.
Overnight saw some torrential rain but it had largely worked its way through before shooting started today (the odd shower aside). However in its wake, it left a very testing strong, gusty wind which was coming in from the left at about 10-11 o’clock with swift changes. This was further exacerbated by changing light conditions (on the odd occasion the sun did make an appearance) and buffet on the rifles. All in all, a challenging day with no-one clean on the whole day across the entire range.
The main event today was the Presidents, equivalent to a Queens II course of fire, with ten shots to count at 300m, 500 and 600 yards. This score (out of 150) is aggregated with yesterday’s Letson score (a Queens 1 – out of 105), with the top 50 then moving forwards to contest the Governor General’s Final on Saturday. The final consists of 15 shots to count at both 800m and 900m, with the Presidents’ score carrying forward. Still with me? Essentially the winner will be the person with the highest score over all the distances we shoot – 10 shots at 300m, 500 and 600 yards and 15 shots at 800m and 900m (ie out of 300 with 60 V bulls).
No-one on the range managed to score the maximum 150, although there were four 149s, including the other diarist, Derek Lowe, who was third with 15 V-bulls. He is joined in the Governor General’s Final by ten other GBRT members: Watson, Ball, Calvert, Crowson, Underwood, Captain, Adj, Crispin, Young (Stu) and Russell. Special mention to David Rose, who filled the unluckiest position – 51st, one solitary V-bull off the cut.
After the Presidents (or in the middle for four of the team, including today’s diarist) was the first third of the Gibson competition, a ten shot shoot at 800m which will be joined tomorrow by similar shoots at 300m and 600 yards. There were an impressive six 50s, including David Crispin (2nd) and Jon Underwood (4th), given your diarist’s plot showed the wind changing rapidly between 3 minutes and 8 minutes left (bear in mind it is one minute from the centre to the edge of the bull). For many, keeping in the black (ie scoring 4 or higher) was tricky enough, with magpies and outers not uncommon. All the scores are in the usual places.
With the news that the Alexander of Tunis, which was cancelled yesterday, will not be resquadded, that means that David Crispin, despite a shortage of Dairy Queen stops, has won the Klondike Aggregate (for the leader of the Grand Aggregate on Tuesday night (roughly halfway through). In the Gil Boa, today’s day aggregate, Jon Underwood was third with 198 and 16 V bulls, one point behind the winner.
It is all change at the top of the Grand Aggregate this evening, after the tough conditions today, with Jim Paton now heading the pack on “3 off” (ie 602 out of 605), with three on “4 off” including Jon Underwood (4th). GBRT is well represented in the chasing pack with Crispin (6th) and Lowe (7th) on “5 off”, Calvert (11th) on “6 off” and Crowson (17th) on “8 off”.
Tonight saw GBRT, the West Indies, the USA team and Wandsworth rifle club host a reception for their fellow competitors. Pimms, G&T, rum punch and pink fizz accompanied various snacks, nibbles and sandwiches as we caught up with old friends and made new ones in the traditional manner. The NRA-commissioned painting of Canada House (plus cannon) was presented by John Webster to celebrate this, the 150th anniversary of the DCRA.
Tomorrow brings the remaining Gibson shoots and the Outlander competition in the afternoon, for teams of 8 with two coaches shooting 15 shots to count at 600m and 900m (akin to half an America Match). GBRT have two teams entered, Red and Blue so all will be involved. The weather looks to be more gentle tomorrow although hopefully some wind to give the coaches something to ponder.