“The Last Cut Is The Deepest” (aka. “Rain Stopped Play”)
Timehri Weather Forecast, 12/10/2017
Clear skies to start, cloud building later. Potential for rain after lunch. Wind from the north-east, angle changing rapidly, especially when shooters are in the aim. Strength sufficient to blow you out of the bull.
Temperature: Hotter than the 7th layer of hell. (45 degrees on the firing point)
UV Index: Hide behind hard cover.
Thus was the lot for the lucky 13 making the second stage who, along with 31 others, ventured onto the range for a full morning’s shooting. The course of fire, previously anticipated to be 2 sighters & 10 to count at each of 300, 500 & 600 yards, was toned down to a “2&7” due to the extreme heat. This to the great relief of all shooters and even more so the medics, who otherwise anticipated conducting significant amounts of ‘pro bono’ private practice work as shooters expired on the firing point.
With a total of 105.21 available, conditions ensured that none appeared on the prize list. The highest on the team and winning the second stage overall was Andy Daw, with an impressive 103.12, securing himself a place in the final. Also joining him, finishing in the top 20 of Stage 2, were Trevor Bryan in 4th (103.7), Andrew Morley 9th (101.7), Turbo Barnes 10th (101.5), Nigel Stangroom 14th (100.6), Martin Liversage 15th (100.5) and Dick Winney 20th (99.5).
As lunchtime approached so did the rain, the former arriving between the latter. The final was delayed as a result the start was delayed until early afternoon, followed by mid afternoon when (yet) another downpour caught the finalists out as they headed out onto the firing point. With no end in sight, the decision was finally taken to cry off and delay the final until Saturday, inevitably meaning that as rifles & kit were packed away, the rain stopped, the clouds lightened, the light improved, presenting what would have been ideal conditions for the tourists.
Every cloud has a silver lining and with so many clouds making an appearance, the silver lining was having a couple of extra hours to get back to the hotel, wash & air kit and prepare for a teams reception, jointly hosted with Canada and the Irish(ish) crews. The venue, a club in Georgetown, were perhaps slightly surprised at the voracious appetites of an entire Open Meeting’s worth of (recently very hot & rained upon) shooters, but managed to keep the food and rum flowing. The evening proved to be a success, with new friends sharing stories of tricky wind calls & unlucky shots. As the evening went on, some took the opportunity at the upstairs nightclub for the throwing of some serious shapes (or alternatively, dad-dancing & the Funky Chicken), while others enjoyed a nightcap a bus back to the hotel while today was still just about today.