Day 17 – Wet Weather Drills

As the team departed for the range for the first full day of shooting, there was much talk of the weather forecast. Environment Canada had issued a weather warning, stating that rainfall of up to 60 mm in some areas was expected. The diarist was, over the course of the day, able to follow the progress of the rain, as it drew ever closer to the range.

The day’s shooting should have consisted of the Gooderham (2 and 10 at 500 and 600 yards) and the Army & Navy Vets (2 and 15 at 900 metres). However, after the 500-yard details of the Gooderham had been completed, the rain arrived in full force. Indeed, it was so strong that the roof of GBRT’s trusty classroom began to leak. However, recycling bins were repurposed as drip trays and the crisis was averted.

The dangers of shooting in such heavy rain, due to poor visibility and a risk of equipment failure, meant that the DCRA were forced to postpone the start of the 600-yard shoots of the Gooderham. Unfortunately, by the time the rain had eased enough to permit shooting again, it was too late to squad all competitors and so the 600-yard details were cancelled altogether.

Connaught downpour

Although this outcome was far from ideal for those who had wanted to establish their 600-yard zeroes, it was perfect for GBRT’s Angus McLeod, whose 50.9 at 500 yards saw him win the Gooderham Cup. Other team members also had scores worthy of mention: Charles Dickenson and Rory MacLeod, both with 50.8, David Calvert and Jon Underwood, both with 50.6, Stephen Penrose, with 50.5, Ellie Joseph, Mike Barlow and David Rose, with 50.4 and, finally, Jeremy Tuck, with 50.3.

The only individual shoot of the afternoon was the Army & Navy Vets, which was able to complete its first two details, thanks to a break in the rain. However, much to the annoyance and/or relief of the shooters, who arrived at the firing point for the remaining details, just as the heavens opened again, shooting was cancelled for the rest of the day. This meant that, sadly, the Army & Navy Vets was not contested at this year’s DCRA Fullbore Championships.

Frustrated and damp, after a broken day of very little shooting, GBRT returned to the Best Western, in order to stand under deluges of the correct temperature, before donning team kit and heading to the DCRA Meet & Greet, back at Connaught. Here, seasoned tourists caught up with old friends and new caps got to chat to the other shooters, some of whom had come from places as far afield as the West Indies.

Once full of exotic cheeses, cookies and other hors d’oeuvres, kindly provided by the DCRA, the team returned to the hotel to see how their kit was drying. Most individuals, the diarist included, had chosen to reverse their air conditioning units and take advantage of the powerful heating function. Consequently, upon re-entering his room, the diarist met with an atmosphere akin to that of an Amazonian rainforest, the water that had permeated his shooting kit now hanging in the air. Doors and windows were opened for a good fifteen minutes, in order to restore the room to a habitable humidity and temperature.

Tomorrow sees the last of the warm-up shoots and, after lunch, the first of the Grand Aggregate shoots. Here’s hoping for drier weather…

Lollipop awards (Day 17):

Good – the Captain, for tumble drying a lot of damp team kit.

Bad – David Crispin, for leaving all of his shooting cards back at the hotel.

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