September Training Weekend
Friday 7th September
About half the team convened bright and early on Friday morning for a full day of training. As well as allowing some different shooter/coach combinations to gain range time together, there was also some ammo testing done, with analysis feeding into the rest of the weekend.
Saturday 8th September
On Saturday, the team gathered at 800 yards on a chilly morning ready for a warm up led by Zoe which caused a few creaks and groans from stiff and aching muscles. The F-Class European Championships were being held on the same range and the competitors were very interested in our warm up so there were photos and videos being taken. Hopefully they learnt something!
The captain reminded the team about timekeeping and it hit home, as all firers and coaches were on the point ready to go well ahead of time.
The morning was spent at 800 and 900 yards and the afternoon at 1000. As you might expect, firers and coaches worked on speed, accuracy and dealing with interruption; results, by and large, were good.
The team was very lucky with the weather, it had been threatening to rain all day but the precipitation managed to miss us. If the rain had come it would have been great training for the varying weather conditions at Trentham.
After shooting it was back to Canada House for a debrief and some general admin about the tour – we will all need to pick our R&R options, etc. There was lots of excitement among some members of the team when samples of the team stash came out to be tried on! Dinner in the evening was a pleasant affair, once prizes had been given out to the day’s top scorer (Tom Drysdale) and his coach (Matt Charlton). Despite dropping two-thirds of his points in the last 7 shots, Tom had scored 294 to finish one point ahead of three others.
After dinner, team members retired but watched the Spanish F-Class team burning their grape-derived 50% alcohol ‘drink’ in a pan on the verandah. Nobody seemed to be drinking it though; apparently they had a big team match the next morning.
Sunday 9th September
On a bright, crisp morning the team met after a lovely breakfast at 300 yards for a quick brief and a well needed warm-up. The morning was spent working on short range group sizes. The 300 and 600 yard ICFRA targets are the most unforgiving as the bull and V-bull are so small. Firers and coaches had to concentrate hard to make sure everything went well.
The sun finally came out at lunchtime, much to everyone’s delight and there was a strong smell of sun cream when we all assembled back at 900 yards. The afternoon’s training involved firers and coaches putting together all they had practised over the weekend, with the coaches also trying a tweak to their collective modus operandi. There were some challenging wind conditions back at 1000 yards, which led to a variety of results, but overall the ‘tweak’ seemed successful.
The day ended with some of the team honing their football skills behind the firing point (some need a lot more practice than others!), and with announcement of the day’s top scorer – James Watson (coached by Jon Underwood) on 296.28, by one v-bull from David Armstrong.
Overall it had been an enjoyable, instructive and very worthwhile training weekend, for which thank you to the management team and others who have put in so much effort on our behalf. And tiring. Expect some yawning back at work…