Team Diary Thursday 2nd April 2009
A typical pre-six o’clock start for the whole team on the morning of the final Grand Aggregate shoots saw the “Mug of the day” committee award Mary Boston with the hat for her extra special bid the previous day. After discussions and bets as to who would win the Grand Aggregate, the usual scripture readings and prayers were given by General Mac Alexander and competitions started with the Jack Mitchley consisting of 2 and 10 @ 300m. Possibles rolled in (even with an eccentrically placed bull on one of the targets – off by 2 inches to the left which made for interesting wind reading). The star of the shoot was Sherri Hurd (winner of the Individual World Championships in 2003) from the USA with an outstanding 50.10 along with her team-mate Bob Crandall who tie shoot on Saturday morning. It has been suggested that they toss a coin instead of turning up on the range for the traditional 1 and 3 tie shoot they have in South Africa.
We fell back to 600m for the first of two shoots at this range which was the Kings Norton, again 2 and 10. Usual form continued with relatively benign wind conditions which were soon to change for the first of 2 ranges making up the President’s Cup (NB a different competition to the State President). This second shoot at 600 separated the men from the boys. Once the team had finished their shooting for the morning we headed back to the concrete shacks next to the SABU offices for the usual lunch of ‘Parag Specials’ and large volumes of water to assuage the pending danger of dehydration from the hot South African sun.
After lunch, the temperature raised considerably to over 34 degrees Celsius during what felt like a marathon of long range shoots in the afternoon. The winds were remarkably difficult at times due to the different sources of information – the combination and of which was very difficult to predict particularly to non-locals.
The Col Bodley at 900 was the last of the Grand Aggregate shoots – we believe that David Luckman was at least three points clear in the Grand with a winning V count before the match started. Unfortunately he came off with a 46, finishing with three inners to end up in third place to his obvious disgust and frustration. This allowed Haasbroek from South Africa to steal the Grand from under his nose with 9 off in total. That having been said, he shot a very impressive 249 – one off on the day. However the England team dominated the top five with four others (Jon Underwood, David Luckman, Paul Sykes and Matt Ensor – 10, 10, 10 and 11 off respectively). Parag Patel was tenth to give us five placings in the top ten.
The evening resulted in a four way team split. For most it was a takeaway (see the photo of the arrival back at the hotel). Some of the more senior members of the team went to scout out a venue for the team dinner on Saturday whilst the middlers (Parag, Lucky and Watty) went to sample yet another fillet steak.
The Captain and Adj went to the ‘Naming of Teams’ event at SABU. Somewhat embarrassingly the Channel Islands seemed to be overlooked and there had to be a retrade.
1 PA Haasbroek (South Africa) 656.64
2 JC Underwood (England) 655.77
3 DC Luckman (England) 655.77
4 PD Sykes (England) 655.51
5 MJ Ensor (England) 654.63
10 PM Patel (England) 652.61
20 JH Messer (England) 648.68
23 MZJ Boston (England) 648.54
24 SNS Penrose (England) 647.59
36 CN Tremlett (England) 645.65
42 D Lowe (England) 644.61
44 JGM Webster (England) 644.57