14/10 Queen's Day 3

On our Queens and Grand Agg final go,
David L was the star of the show:
Won the Kaltenberg Cup
And still better, ballsed up
Two shots to let Sherri win us dough!

The final day of the Queen’s and the Grand started overcast but warm in the typically humid Queensland spring, as the team headed out to the range for a quick breakfast before the final stage of the Queen’s kicked off. With two ten round shoots to complete before the end (here all shooters compete in all stages of the Queen’s, which is also included in the Grand) it would be a reasonably short day for those not qualifying for the Royal Kaltenberg final.

The 900 yards stages started with a gentle right wind, which picked up a little shoots but never really seriously threatened carnage and scores were generally high as a result. Our very own David Luckman managed a 50.5, leaving him in the top slot going into the final 100 yards shoot on 349.42. Geoff Grenfell, Noma Mayo and Trudie Fay tied the range each on 50.9 dropping their 6th shot to count.

As 900 yards was easy, 1000 was much more variable and scores depended heavily on a shooter’s place in the order and the consequent conditions. While the team had their fingers crossed for Lucky, with the tricky conditions on his relay it was not to be; he shot at 48.2 to finish in 11th place on 297.44. John Whidden of the USA Palma Team held his nerve for a total of 399.46, a point clear of 2003 World Long Range Champion Sherri Gallagher also of the USA Palma Team on 398.54. While there was some disappointment from Team GB, this was at least partially compensated by the fact that the team’s investment of AUS $800 in buying “the rest of the field” in the previous night’s Calcutta had paid off a significant dividend for team coffers.

Amid some confusion about when the final would be shot and how we would find this out, Watty managed to get the Kaltenberg list from stats about ten minutes before it was allegedly due to start. The cut was 12 off, which unfortunately was just out of reach of several of the team. Kelvin Ramsey in particular just missed out, having the requisite points but only a couple of v-bulls too few. Five of the team made the final – David Luckman, Nigel Ball, Jane Messer, Richard Jeens and Jon Underwood – which consisted of two sighters and fifteen to count at 1000 yards. The wind blew steadily from the left, needing between 3 and 6 minutes of correction. Unlike the whole of the President’s and Queen’s series, the final was shot in pairs rather than strings, which clearly suited the Brits. Only Lucky and Nigel cleaned the shoot, with David’s 10 vees beating Nigel’s 5.

After freshening up at the Colmslie, which has become something of a home from home for the team, most people elected to walk to the Thai restaurant chosen for a team dinner by OIC entertainments Jumbo Lewis. Although some had misgivings about the menu (such as Chris Watson, who is unable to eat food containing chilli peppers) ultimately all were satisfied by the delicate starters and the more filling main courses. With the team dinner complete, some elected to head out to “the valley” where may be found many bars and nightclubs (your correspondent is told that a seriously good time was had) but many others headed back for a swift beer or two in the hotel bar and then bed to make the most of the day of rest on Saturday.