18/10 WILRC Day 3

Despite weather and dodgy scores I'm
One of many to have a great time
On a range where 'too slow'
Means sideways outers - 'No!'
And the youngsters do water bomb crime.

With such a hard day’s work on the Monday, with strong and very variable winds, there was a considerable spreading out of the field. It was in anticipation of an easier day today that the team went to be last night; however while driving to the range it was noted that the wind still had a blustery quality to it, and indeed, upon reaching the range the flags were, as yesterday, pointing straight up the range; although perhaps not quite as stiffly. Fortunately the forecast was for rather more sun and rather less rain than the competitors enjoyed yesterday.

At 800 yards the wind was predominantly coming from the left and strongly so; however during gusty periods it would swing round until coming nearly straight up the range. As many found, shooting during this time was generally a bad idea. As with previous ranges, picking a bracket of conditions and firing only within that spread seemed to be the winning tactic. Wind values quoted ranged from 1 to 6 left. Despite the relatively generous bullseye, the scores were not that high, with only 22 possibles being scored from the field of 363 top-class rifle shots. Duncan Davies of the Australian Palma Team had the most vees, scoring 75.11, and David Luckman of GB Palma took fourth only a single vee behind.

With only two shoots today and an early lunch separating them, those first down at 900 were hoping to avoid the sacrificial spot on the first range immediately after lunch. The winds were, if anything trickier than at 800 with strong gusts across from nearly 9 o’clock as well as straight up the range. Scores were generally not impressive; however there were one or two exceptions, including the team’s very own Jumbo Lewis, who put in an astonishing 75.6 during a particularly tricky detail to take the range. A very honourable mention also goes to Eric Smith from the USA Goodwill Team for a 75.5, the only other possible on the range. A total wind bracket would probably go from about 1 left to 7½ left, with occasional wild swings, usually resulting in magpies (or worse) for those who happened to be in the aim at the time.

There was something of a cheer when the RO announced that there would be no prize giving today, and the team members trouped off the range once they had shot and completed their scoring and check-scoring duties. Those who finished a little earlier threw and kicked around a rugby ball and frisbee on the square of grass outside the Natives clubhouse, before being called in when all were present for a brief chat from Webbie, during which he announced with much gusto the birthday of team member Jon Cload. Once completed, the team piled persons and kit into the vans before roaring off the range via the back gate, pausing briefly (and foolishly) to watch the massive water fight that had erupted among the various Under 25 teams between the 700 and 800 yards firing points. Your correspondent says foolishly because their vans immediately became the prime targets for all of the teams competing. Several scoring shots were made before discretion became the better part of valour and a hasty exit was made.

Safely back at the hotel for a quiet evening and early(ish) night, plans were made for target team dinners or outings to nearby Belimba. The final day and final shoots of the World Individual Long Range beckon tomorrow, with GB well represented in the top 50 shooters. GB shooters in the top 10 include Jane Messer is 3rd on 508.43, Nick Tremlett 4th on 508.39, and David Luckman 6th on 507.51.