15/10 U25 & Vets

With the World Champs not starting til Sunday
Old and young shot on one of our fun days.
In line with many bets,
Aussies were the best Vets
And America had the best “Undies.”

With the Saturday a day of rest (and some of the team not having come in until quite late) most of the Palma Team enjoyed a well-earned lie in before heading down to a leisurely breakfast in the hotel restaurant. Different groups had organised various activities from sightseeing in town to target team lunches at the range, or in some of Brisbane’s fine restaurants; however most would elect to head to the range in the afternoon to support the GB Under 25 and the GB Veterans Teams in their respective World Championship matches.

Both teams have worked extremely hard in practices and achieved some excellent scores, but on the day found the combination of very hot conditions, tricky winds and stiff competition a challenge too far. Rather than being held purely at long range, as is the case for the Palma Match, the Under 25s and Veterans follow an Australia match course of fire: 2 sighting shots and 10 shots to count at 300, 600, 900 and 1000 yards. The Under 25 match has been somewhat controversially relegated to a single target of five shooters, instead of two targets of four shooters as was previously the case. The veterans shoot two targets of five.

The Under 25s got off to a reasonable start at 300 yards dropping four points and staying in touch with most of the other teams; however USA Young Eagles Red shot clean. Meanwhile the Veterans had a tricker time at 300 yards, dropping 14 points for a 486.48 to range winners Australia with 494.52. Moving back to 600 yards, the tightest of the ICFRA targets, the Under 25s shot 242.21, some 7 points behind the Kiwi team who took the range. The Veterans managed 476.35 to the USA Goodwill Team’s 495.57. Rather than break for lunch, the threat of severe thunderstorms prompted the organisers to run straight though to 900 before stopping. After the first three ranges, GB U25 were languishing in 7th place from 7 teams, having had a tough morning in the office. GB Veterans were in 6th place from 8 teams.

After a nervous lunch, the teams went out with renewed vigour and gave it their all at 1000 yards; however the gap was too great to overcome. James Lothian’s Under 25 team came 5th with 957.78, with USA Young Eagles taking the top slot with 975.85; Eric Stuart-Bamford’s Veterans also came 5th with a score of 1894.132, with the Australian team leading the way on 1947.171. The Palma Team invited the junior team to join us for a commiseratory drink in the Natives RC, where GB Palma Team Captain John Webster congratulated the team for the hard work and gave them words of comfort to take into the individual matches.

The evening’s entertainment for nearly all of the team (and the four Welsh team members in particular) was watching the rugby semi-final against France in the bar. Almost as emotional as a Palma Match, but nowhere near as long, the game had everything except a much deserved Welsh victory (you may be able to guess the nationality of your correspondent at this point) over a disappointing and limp French team, mostly the result of a misjudged spear tackle by Sam Warburton. Although many of the team went to bed disappointed, consolation was to be had in the start of the World Individual Long Range Championships the following day.