Day 14 - Free State Pairs and Scottish Sword

Today sees the end of the Free State Championship with the pairs competition, and the start of the SABU (South African Bisley Union) meeting with a warm-up competition called the Scottish Sword.

For the morning, the management team formed the team into pairs using some unpublished algorithm which resulted in some interesting combinations of age and experience. The competition was at 300 and 900m, and with the range already windy at 8am, the first thing the pairs needed to do was decide on the coaching arrangement: either to coach one another, and potentially have a better handle on the wind, or to shoot side by side, and try to let their partner be aware of changes as and when they occurred. The former arrangement seemed to be the one to go for, with the partnership of Gary and Gareth being victorious in the overall competition using this approach.

A fairly long lunch over the heat of the day, and another opportunity to visit the food wagon on the range, essentially a caravan with a microwave in that can provide a variety of sustenance for the hungry shooter (the curry and rice proves particularly popular.)

The afternoon saw everyone back to individual shooting in the Scottish Sword, and with the wind still proving difficult, many people wished they still had the advantage of someone sitting beside you who you could blame all the bad sideways shots on. This was especially true at 900m, where a strong wind coming straight up the range and varying in angle caused some very fast changes, and many groans from people as they looked up after firing their shot only to see some completely different wind value than they had applied to their rifle only seconds earlier.

Results included Jon in third place, Gareth in sixth and Mick in ninth with the Captain in 15th place - hopefully full results will be on the SABU website in due course but internet connections are not good.

Scottish Sword GB team results as far as known

Shooting concluded it was time to go back to the lodge for a Braai (yes, there is a lot of barbecuing here) prepared by the lodge staff using some meat picked up from the Nottingham Road shooters earlier in the day when they arrived in Bloem for the championships. Somewhat confusingly, the meat was stored in several ammo boxes (of at least 45 that we have out here) and one of the boxes proved difficult to find when we got back to the lodge. Thankfully, both for the sake of the meat and anyone who may have assumed that the box actually contained some rounds, it was located, and the lodge staff provided us with some excellent food and service for the evening.

Quote of the day goes to Steve again for "Neil's used to my b****cks." I didn't ask how...