13.08.10 DCRA Day 1

Imagine, if you will, a collection of people washed up on a desert island. The crew consists of a consultant surgeon, an HR consultant, a quantum mechanic, a gap year student, a defence procurement systems engineer, an ophthalmic optician and a business manager; what project would they be best qualified to complete efficiently?

No, you are right, erecting a gazebo would probably not feature on your list and it took much of the morning for the group to complete the task (described by the Captain as ‘an opportunity for team building’). On our first day at Connaught, the morning was spent creating our home on the range for the coming DCRA meeting.

Whilst Kitty and her helpers shopped for water, breakfast and sandwich ingredients, others were busy cleaning the allocated Portakabins and erecting the gazebo. Meanwhile team management were visiting the DCRA, returning with altered plans and calling team meetings to revise the briefings given at previous team meetings. A hive of activity capped off, at midday, with those activities essential to the rhythm of a GB tour, making sandwiches and pushing bullets.

Amid all this housekeeping, it was revealed that we were to shoot on the range and, at 1.30 p.m. the team divided into three targets for a coached practice at 800m. On a hot afternoon with a pleasant breeze, some took a while to make contact with the target, while others had a few shots and quickly pronounced themselves satisfied, making way for the next person down.

At 6.30 in the evening, as the sun was sinking and the wind was dying down, the first detail of the “Ottawa Regiment” at 800m, the first of the DCRA warm-up competitions, got under way, with three GB team members participating. The majority were squadded in the second detail, starting some time after 7.00 p.m. The captain out-scored the rest of her team, scoring 75.14 after converting a “5” sighter, a conversion she may regret, with no less than 17 team members achieving scores of 75.

One team member fired an inadvertent dry shot mid shoot, when a round that he thought was in the chamber was found to have fallen out and lodged itself between shooter and mat. This minor distraction did not prevent a score of 75.12 from being achieved and the captain pronounced herself satisfied with the collective day’s work.

For some it was their first visit to the range on this tour and it was good to meet again with friends amongst the Canadian and American shooters.

Back to the hotel for a late shower and meal, all look forward to 6.00 a.m. alarm calls and more warm-up matches tomorrow.