Welcome to the Great Britain Rifle Team website for the Tour to the West Indies in 2013.

The site will be added to as more details are finalised, so do please check back regularly to keep up to date.

Saturday 18th May - Australia Match Day


18th May. This is the day. Up at 6. Breakfast served from Jane's balcony at 6:15. Van loading at 6:30. That reminds me - Getafix wants me to mention his having reversed a van into a tree yesterday.  Purely so they could replace it with a new, gold van you understand. The colour of victory.  We'll see... 6:40 leave for the range. For a theoretical 8am start. We'll see... OK so the 7:45 blow-offs and 8am start didn't happen, but the 8am blow-offs and 8:15 start did - wow! Can we really get three ranges in Barbados done before lunch..?

300 yards. Good start to the Australia Match. 11 o'clock wind (mostly). Three points dropped by ten firers. Australia dropped 14, Canada and West Indies more. Solid.

600 yards. A bit more variation and, again, a lot of buffet. Firers took a long time to get some of their shots off (as indeed they had at 300) to avoid buffet related mishaps. GB dropped 11, Australia 13.

And it was still morning! We could scarcely believe it. So 900 yards.  Before lunch. A switching wind, ranging from 5 left to zero. Some great shooting. Some great coaching. 9 points dropped. Australia dropped a further 20. A strong range. A 24 point margin going into 1000. Looking good. But at 1000 you never know...

Lunch break. Rather than the usual burgers, chicken and tuna on the barbecue, ham and cheese rolls expertly prepared by Getafix and his ladies, to minimise risk and time delay (plus we'd been able to munch them between ranges all morning). A few online updates at the BRA. Almost a wee snooze. But then a quick word from Martin about trying to win all the ranges, to go with his word of warning this morning.

Onto 1000 yards. Looking familiar.  Let's get on with it. 49s. 47s. 48s. But it was becoming more and more obvious that there was a big front, rainstorm included, coming in off the sea. Were we to try and get all the shots down the range before the storm hit us? Or were we to stop the last two firers on each target getting down until after the rain (which looked like it was bad enough for the ICFRA officials, specially flown over for this match, to call a halt for shooting)? There was some debate over the headsets, but Martin (and the Captain via him) insisted - get the shots away.

The first indication of the wind change that was coming with the front was a sudden left handed magpie when Tom was shooting. Ouch.  But the Aussies had an outer and a magpie at the same time - five points lost  to our two. Suddenly the wind switched; it was about to bring the rain off the sea to us. "We know what this is," opined the main coach. "Five right." The coaches wound and wound and wound the sights... four and a half left to five and a half right... a pair of bulls. Fortunes varied throughout the fourth firers but they and the final shooters fired quickly and got the team off the firing point just before the rain hit. And boy did it hit. The squall was so heavy that target visibility became minimal and a halt was called to shooting. After the storm, the wind subsided as the other teams resumed.  But we had already won. Australia needed 500 to beat us and had definitely dropped at least one point.

Final scores:
GB 1952.167
Australia 1909
West Indies 1791
Canada 1737ish (TBC tomorrow - their scoreboard had washed clean in the rain).

Tonight is team dinner and a kangaroo court.  Gotta go!

Team List

Captain: Nigel Penn GB, England & Northants Leics and Rutland
Vice Captain: Charles Brooks GB, England & Hampshire
Adjutant: David Rose GB, England & Northants Leics and Rutland
Team Members: Nigel Ball GC, SM, SC. GB, England & Norfolk
  David Calvert GM, SC. GB, Ireland & Ulster
  Matthew Charlton GB, Scotland & London
  David Crispin GB, England & Surrey
# Chloë Evans Wales & Norfolk
  Deborah Fenn GB & Suffolk
# Jonathan Hull England & Hampshire
  David Luckman GC2, SM, SC4. GB, England & Somerset
  Jane Messer GC, SC. GB, England & Sussex
  Ross McQuillan GB, Ireland & Ulster
  Gareth Morris SM. GB, Wales, Cambridgeshire
  Tom Rylands SC. GB, England & Cheshire
  Ian Shaw GB, Scotland & Surrey
# Jon Tapster England & Surrey
  Martin Townsend GB, Ireland & Hertfordshire
  Jon Underwood GM, GC2, SM2 GB, England & Surrey
  Chris Watson GB, Wales, Northants Leics and Rutland
  Chris Weeden GB, England & Kent

#    = New Cap