19.08.10 DCRA Day 7

The morning after the reception hosted jointly by the GB and USA TR Teams, the team assembled at 6.45 a.m. to travel back to the range under a clear sky, but with thunder storms forecast for late afternoon.

The day started in the team ‘hut’, (aka a Portakabin) where the anxiety level of the main coach, as always first to the breakfast table, was raised to fever pitch by delays caused by circuit breaker failures at the sockets due to simultaneous use of kettle, coffee machine and toaster. Amid recriminations a number of enthusiastic amateur electricians were galvanised to trace the faults and power was soon restored but not before the aforesaid main coach had flooded the breakfast area after inserting a pint of tea into a half pint mug.

At this point, tempers were defused by the arrival of Dom Harvey with his iPod dock rendition of the Morecambe and Wise signature tune: “Bring Me Sunshine”, with the team joining in the chorus.

It should also be reported that, after the catastrophic structural failure of Dave Rose’s fashionable cut-off pants yesterday, and after the split had appeared to lengthen by 3 inches at each range, Dave reported back today in good order, wearing his reserve pair.

On to the range and the morning was taken up with completion of the Gibson, of which the 800m was shot yesterday, and 300m and 600m today. Conditions were warm and sticky with a light wind, initially only indicated by a readable mirage, as the flags hid behind their telegraph poles. The wind became fresher later but many 50s were recorded, including 50.10s by Davids Luckman and Armstrong, and by Steph Ward. The competition was won by David Luckman with 150.25, with David Armstrong third with 150.21. Interestingly one or two young tigers had taken to cutting “5” sighters at 300m in a desperate bid to catch “Lucky” but without success.

By lunchtime a number of aggregate competitions had been completed and the All Comers was won by Kent Reeve (USA) from David Armstrong and David Luckman, the Maple Leaf being won by Kent Reeve from David Armstrong and Steven Thomas, with David Luckman fourth and Henry Day fifth. Our captain showed everyone else the way in the Short Range Aggregate, with 185.33, dropping only 4 Vs throughout the 300m shoots, with David Luckman second and David Armstrong third.

Meanwhile the Grand Aggregate continues with only the Gatineau competition to be shot (15 rounds at 900m) on Friday morning. Current leader is Kent Reeve (USA) having dropped 2 points with David Luckman second (4 points dropped), David Armstrong third (6 points dropped), Steven Thomas sixth and John Deane seventh (both 8 points dropped), Paul Sykes ninth and Henry Day tenth (both 9 points dropped).

The Senior/U25 Pairs event was completed, being won by Steven Thomas (Athelings 1969) with Alex Bryson, who celebrated his 19th birthday this week. Next up amongst the concurrent teams matches was the Gillespie, won by L&MRA Red, with NLRC second and L&MRA Blue third, and the Mayor of Bagshot’s Vase won by L&MRA Red, with NLRC second and Tuna’s Terriers (Athelings) third.

On to the afternoon and the Outlander Match. GB entered two teams, designed to be of roughly equal standard, and the opposition, apart from each other, was the USA team. Jane Messer’s Captain’s team of eight shooters and two coaches (Jane and Dom Harvey) surged into the lead after 2ss and 15 at 600 yards, with the USA 3 points behind and the Vice-Captain’s team (coached by Martin and David Luckman) a further 5 behind. All retreated into shelter as the sky, as forecast, became blacker and thunder became louder. After a two hour break for torrential rain the match resumed with the evening 900m shoot reduced to 2ss and 10 to count.

During the break, to the team’s general amusement, Kitty Jack asked Alex Bryson, recent alumnus of Wellington College, whether he could read something she had written. His reply? “Your writing is very eligible”

At 900m the Vice-Captain’s team reduced the deficit by four but the Captain’s team were worthy winners with 978.88, whilst the USA scored 976.80 and the Vice-captain’s team 974.90. It should be noted that, on every occasion to date that Jane has led a Captain’s Team on this tour - and there have been several, her team has won. The day finished late with the announcement of the team for Friday’s Commonwealth Match and it is hoped that the Captain’s winning form will continue into the main matches towards which we have been working over the last three weeks in Canada.