“Kit On, Sight In and Wash Out”
Another early start for the team, in fact the first of many, as shooting in earnest started today. Once again fixed transport times dictated this, with a series of local buses of varying size, shape & colour having been hired to take several teams from the hotel to the range in convoy. Minimal Sunday morning traffic, plus occasional application of the “biggest vehicle has right of way” principle, kept the group together, arriving at Timehri range 45-ish minutes after setting off.
After a busy start, time at the range was fairly relaxed. With rifle boxes opened and contents checked & reassembled (as well as occasionally inspected & fettled by the team armourer), sighting in rifles at 300yds started, with the team largely free to make use of 3 targets as they saw fit to get their first few rounds down range. A similar exercise at 900yds followed, fortunately completing before what can only be described as “the mother of all storms”. Torrential (if warm) rain ensued, along with visible lightning strikes, fortunately with none taking an interest in either the flagpoles or more importantly, the metal-framed shelters which were now proving popular with absolutely everyone!
With a leisurely (and quite substantial) on-range lunch consumed and the rain showing no sign of abating, the team added the fifty-something metre sprint to their list of sporting activities, making a break for the bus. Having persuaded their driver that foot-deep water along the road wasn’t really an issue and that buses were perfectly capable amphibious vehicles really, they headed back to the hotel in good time to scrub up & change for the evening reception.
Thus followed the first seriously high-pressure moment of the tour – trying to remember the names of all of the other competitors! For many this was a process aided by already knowing a few and have the opportunity to chat with old & new friends alike (and perhaps heckle one or two who really deserved it, as each team was introduced to the room), all aided by a glass or two of social lubrication.
With nibbles nibbled and drinks drunk, the opportunity for an early night presented itself and was taken by all, in advance of the first day of competition.