01/10 Arrival

All the English lads had a big scare
(16-12) while our lone Scot was there
At Eden Park, but more
Amazingly for sure:
Ant ate up Martin's food - quite a dare!

Many of the team managed to avoid sleeping on the flight from Singapore to Brisbane, with the consequence that some got a good first night’s sleep in the hotel; although others weren’t so fortunate and woke very early in the morning.

After breakfast, the team assembled for a briefing from Webbie to outline the next few days: the various tasks required and the team events that had been organised. With the need to get acclimatised to the warm Queensland spring weather as well as recover from a 27 hour journey, the team had planned several days of rest and recuperation before the first practice. Foremost among team directions was not to have an afternoon nap under any circumstances to ensure the fastest possible adjustment to Brisbane’s 9 hour time difference with the UK.

After the briefing, the whole team met to visit the range and retrieve the personal kit that we had shipped, as well as some of the 38,000 rounds of ammunition that we had shipped. Belmont Ranges is only a 10 minute drive from the Colmslie Hotel and is a major centre for shooting in Queensland and Australia as a whole, with a 1,000 yard target rifle range and a separate 1,200 yard match rifle range, in addition to a host of other facilities for smalbore, pistol and air rifle shooting. Benefitting from commercial activities such as providing landfill, the facility looks to be superbly maintained. Certainly, the firing points were beautifully manicured during the team’s brief tour.

Upon returning to the hotel, a flurry of unpacking ensued as team members dug out their personal kit, shooting mats, gunslips and scope stands. Different groups made plans to go shopping at the nearby Westfield centre in Carindale, or to go and get lunch based on Parag’s recommendation of a good area nearby.

Over half of the team of all nations watched England (narrowly) beat Scotland in the hotel bar, which involved some heckling from partisan Aussies in the first half and rather a lot of robust celebration in the last quarter from the English contingent. Our sole Scottish representative had made arrangements to travel over to Auckland and stay on Jimmie Lawrie’s floor so that he could go and watch the match at Eden Park, but your faithful correspondent can report that he had a few commiseratory drinks with the Scotland team before heading to the airport for the 7am return flight.