05/10 Range Day 1

At the range after an early drive
At last shooting the team all did thrive
But the happiest of all
Was our dear Nigel Ball
For surviving to 50 with 5!

The team head to the range to train at short range before heading back to the hotel for a free afternoon, and later out for dinner.

Those of the team who were keen to head to the range finally got their first chance to have a shoot and verify the exceptional quality of the ammunition we had been provided. After a fairly early start and a quick breakfast, the vans headed from the Colmslie down to the range in rush hour traffic. The final turn off the freeway into Belmont range complex looks like it could back up very easily with over 400 competitors attending the NRAA nationals and the WLRC. After a team warm up and briefing session, the team headed towards the 300 yards firing point from the Natives RC. In warm sunshine and moderate wind the target teams fired through a 2+10 course of fire at short range, before heading back to 600 yards to repeat the exercise twice more. Even with the required faffing to get zeroes with different rifles in various sight configurations, it was evident that our ammo team had done a superb job.

Heading back to the Natives RC, the team had lunch before Webbie gave a general address about the conduct of shooting, the revised daily order for the WLRC and the plan of attack for tomorrow’s long range practice. In a brief, but emotional ceremony he also handed out the team badges. With the day’s practice successfully concluded, the vans headed back to the hotel and team members pushed ammo ready for tomorrow.

At 18:00 the team met in the hotel’s bar for a quick drink prior to heading out to another seafood restaurant in Manly. Before leaving for dinner, all of the team were delighted to congratulate GBRT stalwart Nigel Ball on his birthday, sing for him and present him with a cake.

Despite planning to travel in target team convoy, at least one of the vans headed off on its own route to the restaurant by “backnav” (the inevitable consequence of people being able to access Google Maps via smartphone) which proved quicker than the main route; although there was some debate as to whether this was the result of Paul’s excellent navigation or Jane’s brisk driving. After a protein-replete dinner, during which Ant Ringer entertained us with a dyslexic fairytale, the team headed home for bed.