“A Grand Day Out”
The final day of the Grand Aggregate, though hopefully not the final day of shooting, with the 2nd stage of the individual championships being decided on the previous two days results, plus today’s efforts. As only the top 44 go through to stage 2, the pressure was on for England, with all members still in contention for at least a morning’s shooting the following day. Conditions were tricky from the off, with 300yds yielding few high scores and certainly not the sea of 50s commonly seen at Bisley. Andy Daw lead the English on a 49.2 with Dick Winney just behind on a 48, but with double the V count at 4. 600yds was similar and with only 7 shots to work with, scores in the low 30s were common. However, this didn’t stop Phil Chapman-Sheath and Chris Heales putting them all in, coincidentally each with the same V count for a brace of 35.3s and on count-back, took first and third places respectively. After lunch, “The Grand” closed with its only 1000yd shoot. A challenge enough on its own, the first detail were additionally put upon by intensely hot conditions and the second detail start was by rain, followed by building temperature as this cleared. Scores suffered significantly, with low 40s being typical any many dipping well below this. Charlie Staples led for England on a 46.01, with Martin Liversage trailing by a point (but pipping her on Vs) with a 45.3.
Tension mounted for the final results, not just for the day but the Grand Aggregate and the opportunity for another day’s shooting. In all, an excellent result for England; two of the team in the top 10, namely a podium finish for Charlie Staples in 3rd and Martin Liversage 10th, a further seven in the top 25 and all bar two (both of whom had suffered rifle issues) making the cut for the second stage.
The Grand now complete, a relaxed evening was called for. The team met for the traditional “Sundowners”, hosted tonight by Andy Daw and the Social Secretary for the Guyana phase of the tour, “Turbo” Barnes. For those not familiar, this largely consists of the team meeting up after the day’s events for a catch-up, briefing for the forthcoming day and more importantly a few drinks, which given the location inevitably involve rum! This outrageous behaviour was introduced to the team by the Captain who accepts full responsibility, or as he would call it, “credit”…
With no formal dinner plans, members made their own various arrangements and plans. This was claimed by Turbo to be by general request of the team and most definitely not due to him having been fired as a result of the previous night’s extortionate bill!