Monday 4th February

Monday began with the opening ceremony for the individual Long Range World Championships, to be shot over the next 4 days: 800 yards once today; 900, 1000 then 800 on both Tuesday & Wednesday; then the last 900 and 1000 yard qualifying ranges on Thursday morning  followed by the final for the top 10 on Thursday afternoon at 1000 yards.We visitors were welcomed in several ways this morning.  The New Zealand shooters were lined up shoulder-to-shoulder around the 930 yards line, facing back to all the visiting teams who were on the 1000 yard firing point.  Several representatives from the broader community were introduced, beginning with Maori from the local town of Upper Hutt, who spoke, sang and invoked a blessing on all assembled for the coming week.  The New Zealand Defence Minister also spoke and we were reminded of the significant contribution of the defence forces to shooting in New Zealand and of the substantial government grant which has helped to defray the expenses of the championships.

The visitors were then invited to walk up to and through the line of New Zealand shooters, who shook our hands as we arrived – some theatre adding to the dignity of the occasion.

An opening shot was then fired from a benchrest, using an SMLE mk3 .303 rifle, which had been given by the New Zealand government to Sergeant Leslie Loveday, the winner of Bisley’s King’s Prize in 1919. Barry Geange, NRANZ Patron, scored a low-right bull-5 in this, the year of his 60th Ballinger Belt.After a couple of hours back at our hotel nearby, the team returned to the range for a 2pm start to today’s sole shoot, at 800 yards.  After
squadding freshly issued for this week, we still found ourselves in strings of 6 or 7, so the same as last week during the NZ Championship. The wind was a fishtail from behind with the usual variability in experience based on location on the range and also time of shoot.  This diarist’s observation was that conditions were rather less changeable for the earliest shooters.  This diarist was not among them and had also been squadded on the outer end of “magpie alley”, with winds coming from behind over both shoulders simultaneously and no
mirage owing to the overcast skies.  It was challenging.  Thankfully, much of the remainder of the team did rather better, with one score of 75 (from James Watson) and 74s from David Armstrong, Jane Messer, Matt Millar and Parag Patel, with a further 5 73s and 5 72s.

In the evening, a barbecue was prepared for half the team by BBQ-masters Jack and Tom D; others went to various places for dinner, with one group served quickly enough to allow them to go for a scenic drive up the hill and over to Whitemans Valley, which they followed back down to Silverstream, pausing at one point to look down the hill, over the prison towards the Trentham range from a point close to two houses that were visible atop the hill when shooting. Gorgeous.

1 Comment

  1. chris law

    How far are you billeted from Range ? Near enough to commute if you’ve forgotten rifle bolt…How many crew buses/ number folk/bus etc.
    Appreciate any special detail for bbq’s regarding available commestibles.
    How many loading sets do you have for setting OAL depths for all, does each do his own or delegated effort ?
    Are there refreshment facilities generally on range, haven’t visited Trentham ?
    How’s accomodation ?
    Clearly ICFRA targets at Trentham very testing, and no ‘gimmes’
    Enjoying diary reports. Message 10[UK] chris law


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *