Friday 25th January

Thursday concluded with a delicious fish barbecue and much pushing of ammo by team members until late at night. For one there was even a job interview conducted via Skype from the bathroom floor… don’t ask!

Friday saw the team’s arrival in force on the range, for some it being their first ever visit. These first two days have been allocated to team practice, ahead of the New Zealand Match, which is to be shot on Monday.

Some post-travel settling in was expected; in two cases this included fixing the wrong sights to their respective guns.  One was among this diarist’s shooters and surprised both coach and plotter with a right-left combination of very wide zeroes. She shall remain nameless, as will the highly senior member of the team who managed the same mistake with a little less flap.

Conditions on the range were beautiful, with well tended firing points and lush greenery on the surrounding hills.  We were even treated to the air raid siren from the local prison, twice – presumably for lunch break then tea. The temperature was in the high twenties, with intermittent sun and thin high cloud. In the UK, there would have been little thought of sunburn, but it seems to have much greater intensity in NZ, where there is great care taken over sunscreen. The light is also very intense and tiring for the eyes.

Performances were strong, despite a gap of weeks or even months since people’s most recent visits to a range – the consequences of touring way outside the UK fullbore season. Highest possible scores (of 100 from each firer’s first shoot at 300x& 600x respectively) were made by Tom Drysdale & Matthew Ensor (leading on 12 Vs, with Tom edging Matthew out on count back) along with David Luckman and Rick Shouler. Six further members of the team made 99s: Sandy Walker, Parag Patel, James Watson, Toby Raincock, Jon Underwood & this diarist.

As Friday closes, a number of target groups are heading out for dinner in small groups. Others are repeating last night’s feast of fish freshly caught on yesterday’s expedition, which was well-earned R&R for the transport and management team, who had arrived in Trentham days ahead of the rest of us.

Saturday will see a similar team practice routine, but with three distances rather than two.

1 Comment

  1. Jonathan Ensor

    THAT’S THE FIRST DAY WHEN THE MOST OFTEN REPEATED WORDS IN THE DIARY WERE NOT EITHER “WINE TASTING” OR “WINE TASTERS”!!! We are very pleased to see that all that wine did not seriously reduce the effect of Jonny’s patriotic shirt on the performance of Matthew when he concentrated on the shooting. No wonder we are so proud !!


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