06/10 Range Day 2

All the shoots were bedevilled by rain
So to shoot or coach five was a pain
But despite being wet
A great meal by our vet
Made us all radiators not drains!

A relaxed start in the morning furthered the team’s adaption to Brisbane time, allowed a leisurely breakfast and gave the team plenty of time to prepare for departure to the range at 11:30 in the morning. Jane and her small team of caterers used the time in the morning to shop for lunch, to be eaten at the Natives RC clubhouse on Belmont ranges before heading out to the long ranges to shoot. Post-lunch, team management held a short briefing after which the team sang happy birthday to Richard Jeens (the third of the tour to date) and presented him with a cake. At about this point, there was a loud report from the range, followed by another and another; it became clear that there may have been a miscommunication from the range officials about the start time of the afternoon detail. With the consequent rush to make it over to 800 yards to get started, the team’s habitual warmup routine was somewhat curtailed.

Conditions for team practice at the easiest of the long ranges were straightforward, with very light winds. Scores were high, with the overwhelming majority of the team scoring a 50, often with high vee counts; although Surrey shooter Jon Cload shot the only 50.10 from GB. Despite the mild wind conditions, the overcast clouds were becoming increasingly threatening during the move back to 900 yards. The high scoring continued at the next range, with only one or two more points being dropped by GB’s shooters. In addition to the shoot with main rifles, team members were encouraged to confirm zeroes with spare rifles in case of mechanical problems. Halfway through the shoot, the rain which had so far held off started to come down intermittently and the dark clouds began to take the light levels down. Moving back to 1000 yards, the rain continued more consistently and the light became extremely dull indeed, with consequent effects on the difficulty of finding and reading target numbers. It is clear that in the wrong conditions, crossfires could very easily become a feature! Fairly damp but buoyed up by generally very good scoring, shooters and coaches headed back to the Natives RC.

Once again, members of the team have demonstrated hidden talents. Our very own Nick Tremlett, assisted by commis chefs Jon Cload and Richard Jeens, cooked a superb dinner in the clubhouse. The moroccan lamb and couscous was super-tasty when washed down with a glass of VB or the local wines, and the masterchefs followed it up with a delicious lemon cheesecake. After tidying up the clubhouse, it was time to head back to the Colmslie for bed for many of the team; however your correspondent is informed that the lure of karaoke in the hotel bar proved irresistible for some!

Addendum

We were delighted to receive a message of support from 2007 Palma Team physio Jackie Davis, now a Canadian resident, who will always have a special place in our team’s hearts.

As well as celebrating team members’ birthdays we cannot forget those back home, so we wish a very happy birthday to Sarah Shears, the other half of Palma Team coach Matt Ensor.