Day 20 - end of the Grand Aggregate

So to Thursday, and the last day of the South African Grand Aggregate. With four competitions today at 300, 600 800 and 900m there is still a good opportunity for people to make up some points and therefore places, or to go the other way if they don't have such a good time of it.

At the start of the day, both DC and Jon were positioned with a chance for the top spot in the Grand. Unfortunately, several senior moments from DC seem to have upset his concentration: Firstly, he forgot to wind on any wind at 300m, going out wide of the target (thankfully only for a sighter). Not wanting to repeat the mistake at 600m, DC made sure that he wound some wind on, sadly though this came at the expense of checking that he had set the correct elevation, choosing instead apparently to set a random value that was neither his 300m elevation, nor (perhaps more helpfully) his 600m elevation. Whilst not actually losing him any points, this obviously unsettled DC, and he proceeded to have a somewhat out of character day (ie one where he did unfortunately drop some points.)

The morning conditions proved for most to be fairly simple, but as the distances got further in the afternoon, the wind started picking up and more and more twiddling with sights was required in order to keep the shots at least somewhere near the middle. Also required was some concentration to ensure that you fired on the right target, as with all the wind changes occurring, it was all too easy to not look where you were firing and put a shot on someone else's target - something that Gareth found out to his cost at 900m.

At the end of the day, with all shoots completed in the Grand, Jon had managed to come in third, being beaten to first place by a couple of points. Still, all to play for in the State Presidents Second Stage tomorrow, with the objective to get as many of the team through to the Final as possible.

The evening saw the team troop out to Greys College (a boys school in Bloemfontein) for the Protea Dinner, and the announcement of the teams for the matches on Saturday. The setting did remind a large portion off the team of school dinners, not least when we all paraded through the kitchen to pick up our dinner following the hour long team announcements. Great Britain didn't actually announce their team at this function, instead introducing the South Africans to the whole squad, with team selection being postponed until after the State Presidents Second Stage the following day. This must mean that the competition for places is fierce, so watch this space for the team announcement.

Following dinner, the team headed back to the lodge, and for a large proportion of the members (including yours truly), straight to bed in anticipation of another early start in the morning. However, reports have been received of revelry occurring later on, involving CJ at the bar, some of the Army rifle team, Lauren (still in formal attire), and the swimming pool, in some combination that I'm sure the reader can work out.

Quote of the day goes to Simon for "you could market them as a love banana". Exactly what 'they' are shall remain lost in the mists of time...