Wednesday 6th February

6 February is Waitangi Day, the national day of New Zealand, named for the place in 1840 where a treaty was first signed between the Crown and over 500 chiefs of Maori tribes over the subsequent months, which effectively founded the nation.  All shooters were invited to a ceremony held on the range prior to the start of shooting, where the importance of the day was explained and the New Zealand national anthem beautifully led for us in both Maori and English.

Conditions today were dull and overcast until mid-afternoon, when it brightened a little. It was quite cool all day, with many keeping their shooting jackets on just to l stay warm. Wind was largely from the front, with fishtailing between left and right with every shot at some stages.

The morning wind appeared to be fairly gentle as we arrived at the range, at least until the first shooting began, at 900 yards . With the wind picking up, the number of 75s was kept at just 3 out of around 300 shooters, despite the fairly low absolute wind settings needed. GB made 4 Scores of 74, including David Luckman, David Crispin, Matt Millar and this diarist.

1000 yards in the late morning was substantially more challenging, with greater wind strength and more rapid fishtailing switches. Only 5 scores exceeded 70, including a 71.6 for David Luckman, placing him 2nd, to add to his range win at 900 yards on Day 1. Overheard in the NRANZ village at lunchtime: “I’m looking forward to the next five weeks of getting used to this range.”  Rumour has it that a team member made a double flush in this shoot, with two each of a hit-1, outer-2, magpie-3, inner-4 and bull-5. Thoughts indeed turned to flushing after this.

This is Monday’s diarist back again and that must mean a third visit in as many days to magpie alley for the 800 yard shoot, beginning in the mid afternoon. Suffice it to say that there are many routes to a score of 71, but converting bull-5 & magpie-3 sighters is not conventionally among them. Despite being a fairly high scoring shoot (by this week’s standards), only one score of 75 was made across the range, with 74s from GB’s James Watson, Matthew Ensor & Tom Drysdale and then a further 5 of the team on 73.

Overnight placings (including today’s 800 yards for “Day 3”) put GB’s David Luckman in 6th place and Parag Patel in 10th.

The day finished with the bittersweet experience of scorebooks being submitted for review ahead of selection for the Palma Match, and then cocktail hour at the Vice Captain’s room. Various groups are now heading out for dinner, or should I say trying to find somewhere open for dinner on Waitangi Day!

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