The Long Range World Championships for the Palma Trophy are held every four years.
The Great Britain Palma Team preparing for the matches in New Zealand in January 2019
Today was our first full day of shooting, with the team having been given instructions to be heading for the range by 07.30. After a team warm up conducted by Zoe, there followed two hours of practice at each of 300, 900 & 1000 yds with a ‘lunch’ break after the first range (10.30am). The morning started much cooler than yesterday (waterproof trousers donned over shorts, for some, to keep warm). Later in the morning it had warmed considerably and the wind gradually built through the day. This provided an excellent chance to practice team drills in challenging, changeable conditions.
Thursday concluded with a delicious fish barbecue and much pushing of ammo by team members until late at night. For one there was even a job interview conducted via Skype from the bathroom floor... don't ask! Friday saw the team’s arrival in force on the range, for some it being their first ever visit. These first two days have been allocated to team practice, ahead of the New Zealand Match, which is to be shot on Monday. Some post-travel settling in was expected; in two cases this included fixing the wrong sights to their respective guns. One was among this
Today was the last day spent in separate groups before gathering at Trentham. The roadies (minus the Adj but plus Jumbo Lewis) went fishing off Porirua. A frenzied 1.5 hrs of action saw them catch around 100kgs (65ish fish, some of them huge snappers) - probably enough to feed the team for 3 nights! The Main Coach had slightly mixed feelings about this as half the catch was being kept chilled in his shower when he arrived - about $1000 worth at supermarket prices! There was an earlier start today for the scenic viewers, particularly for Jane who took a drive
The ‘scenic viewings’ group, whose Tuesday activities went unreported before now, woke to breakfast overlooking Mercury Bay. This set them up for a two hour coastal walk to Cathedral Cove, with plenty of pauses to admire and photograph the stunning views. Nigel and Matt B couldn’t resist a swim and their shorts soon dried out on the return leg. Nigel & Jackie returned via water taxi allowing them to find the fabulous ‘Pour House’ for lunch. The green lipped mussels were the best any of the group had seen. The morning’s experience left them starting a 4 hour drive to Taupo
Lorry loading for the rifle shifters started at 4am for a planned 5am departure for the 8-9hr haul down to Trentham by the British Isles Roadies (the 4 from GBRT have been augmented by the Channel Islands’ Dan Richardson and Colin Mallett). In the makeshift armoury, the oldest and youngest roadies were roused by a phone (alarm set for 3:45am). The resulting washing/dressing activity was a triumph of speed and synchronisation that even a Formula 1 pit crew would have admired. After commenting that they felt reasonably good but didn’t feel like they’d been asleep for very long, both parties
After exiting customs, the van (and truck) drivers went to fetch the vehicles while everyone else got all the luggage into a position outdoors to be picked up. The vans shuttled luggage and people to the Holiday Inn, where showers were available and team members reorganised themselves into R&R groups. First to leave was the group who were heading for Rotorua, who stopped for a delicious tapas lunch in Hamilton en route. They continued down to Mourea, where their accommodation was a lovely lakeside lodge. They investigated the area, made plans for the next day and enjoyed an excellent meal
Saturday 19th January The GB Palma team had been instructed not to be late for the 09:00 gathering this morning to weigh and pack all the luggage for our departure. But we had also been told by baggage master Matt Millar not to be early, so everyone was bang on time. Some good delegation had gone on, so the process ran as smoothly as this diarist has ever seen it. There was plenty of opportunity for most team members to get out of the way as the baggage team ensured everything was ship-shape. At 11:30 the coach was in place
As the team gathered for the final formal training weekend before the tour with 85 days to go, it was only the hardy and (some would say) foolish who braved the range on the Friday. A very wet and cold day for the team; however, there was still important training to be done at long range and short, and the final few tweaks and tests for the ammunition. The late afternoon and evening saw productive coaching discussion, lots of ammo pushing and three different takeaway meals shared by team members. Saturday morning saw the rest of the team assemble. The wet
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