Tuesday 29th January

After the excited rush to prepare for and shoot the New Zealand Match yesterday, the team has now settled down into a routine for individual shooting in the New Zealand championships.

This is the first of four days of individual competition: the Masefield today followed by the Ballinger Belt over Wednesday to Friday.

As we arrived on the range, the cloud cover extended down to about 100 feet above the ground at the targets, and barely higher further back.

And the bugs & flies were out in force. David Armstrong changed the warm-up routine by adding the flapping arms to keep the bugs away, and possibly the cloud ceiling up.

Our experience so far is that if the sun is not out already at the start of the day then it burns through the cloud very effectively later on. Today this came late on in the 300 yard shoot, and 600 yards became pretty warm as a result.  A two hour early lunch gap was called for 11am – 1pm, after which the 900 and 1000 yard shoots were held in possibly the hottest and sunniest conditions to date, with temperatures in the low 30s.  After an already-warm morning, such conditions at Bisley would have seen people retiring from the day either side of 900 yards and we believe that a number did so today, but not he 85 year old kiwi shooting with one of our diarists.

Wind conditions were very gentle for the short range shoots and then became highly fickle in time for long range.  All individual shooting here is fired in “strings”, i.e. a list of around 8 shooters, each of whom has an allotted time to fire their whole shoot (as opposed to being grouped in a 3 and firing in turn, “Bisley style”).  It is quite rare for us to experience this for the whole of a national championship, but it sets us up well for the Worlds next week.

A quick detail shot as a string might last little more than an hour, especially firing 2 sighters and just 7 counting shots at each distance today.  Longer shoots and harder conditions would make for a much longer day on the range, which we anticipate later this week and next week.  Even with this short duration of a detail, the time when one shoots can affect the extent of the challenge (frequently a criticism of Bisley style shooting, where a single shoot might be spread over half a day for short range and a whole day for long range).

1000 yards, in particular, offered some interesting conditions, with the earlier shooters needing a wind bracket between 5 and 8 minutes right, with gusts as far as 10; by contrast, this diarist needed 1 to 3 right as the last shooter on his target, albeit failing to capitalise owing to a bit of heat-induced pulse.At the time of writing, results have not been published from the range; however, the team’s own stats are visible elsewhere on our website, showing David Luckman top of the day within GBRT (on 139.12 ex 140), followed closely by Matthew Ensor on 138.15 and 137s from Nigel Ball, Toby Raincock and Rick Shouler.  7 of the team went clean on the morning (with 70 ex 70 over 300 & 600 yards combined), and across 900 and 1000 in the afternoon, the team made 10 scores of 35 (the single range maximum).

Dinner this evening was Thai for some and a barbecue at the back of the hotel for the rest. Tomorrow promises to be even warmer…


  1. Sarah

    Well done Daddy! Lots of love Arthur xxx

  2. Mike

    Your posts spread warmth around the globe. Wind chill made it feel like -27c in NB Canada this morning.
    Keep up the great work


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