31.07.10 BCRA Open Day 2

Day 2 of the BCRA Championship meeting dawned bright and sunny but somewhat cooler than previous days, with the first clouds we had seen since arrival in Canada. The vans rolled as usual at 0715 to get to the range in good time, to be greeted by reports that one of the local bears had been sighted on the edge of the range. While everyone on the team is keen to see a bear while we are here, most are not so sure that they want to have too close an encounter. Having rifles close to hand might have made for a greater sense of comfort, but there were questions as to what size foresight one should use, what elevation was appropriate and whether we would get the essential 5 minute preparation period before we had to shoot. And would the bear remain stationary and conveniently adjacent to a wind flag ? Those who remembered the Scottish team’s brochure of a few years ago knew that there were many pages of advice therein on what to do when confronted by a bear, but could not remember the essential elements (Stand still or run? Be quiet or shout?) So would we survive a close encounter with a hungry bear? The conclusion was . . . probably not!

Trigger weighing preceded the day’s shooting for everyone – BCRA has adopted the ICFRA rules which only require a 0.5 kg trigger weight, so this proved not to be a problem given that everyone still had triggers set at 1.5 kg to meet NRA rules.

While the rest of the team prepared to settle into the first competition the Duff Stewart (2 +10 at 300m) of the day, this correspondent, who was on the second detail, decided that it would have been prudent to bring some wet weather gear to the range, given that the forecast was for 60% chance of thunder showers later in the day. With 50 minutes before his detail he set off to the hotel, returning to the range at the required 15 minutes before the appointed start time for his detail, only to find that the detail time had been brought forward and that he was now very late! The range staff and his target partner were very accommodating, and he slotted in and managed to complete his shoot before the last target finished. Phew! Unsurprisingly, his score was not nearly as good as the Adjutant, who won the competition, , with a 50.9.

The day continued with the Vancouver (2+10 at 500m) and the Past President (2+10 at 600m) prior to lunch. After an early lunch, with threatening clouds gathering all around, the MacDonald Stewart 2nd Stage (2+10 at 600m), rounded off the day’s individual competitions. There were plenty of ‘possibles’ from the Brits, but equally many from the home range Canadians and visiting Americans. (See the results page for details).

The final shoot of the day was the first range of an International Match. The match is shot over a Kolapore course of fire, but with just one range shot per day. As teams settled onto the firing point, the first spots of rain were felt. Fortunately they proved also to be the only spots of rain, stopping as soon as they started, with the threatened thunder showers never materialising.

As well as GB and Canada, a goodwill team from the USA is also competing in the match, with a second GB team shooting alongside. Despite almost flat calm, with the flags hardly stirring and no visible mirage, all teams struggled a little on the tight ICFRA targets. After 300m, the top team is 6 off, with all the other teams close behind, although the placings and scores will not be announced until the match concludes on Monday.

The early finish to the day allowed bullets to be pushed and showers taken prior to the BCRA hosted International Team Dinner at the Chilliwack Golf and Country Club. After an excellent meal in good company, the President of the BCRA presented the GB Team Captain with a memento. Jane responded with thanks and presentations to the BCRA and the many organisers and officials involved in planning and running the meeting. And so to bed, in preparation for another busy day on the range tomorrow. Will we see a bear?? Watch this space . . .