Day 14 – DCRA National Championships (Fourth day)

Simon Hayton

The Grand Aggregate continues today with the Gibson and the Presidents. The combined score of the Letson from yesterday and the Presidents today forms the qualifier for the Governor Generals Final, and it’s the last day to impress the management for selection to the team matches that are coming in the following days. So, everyone had their game faces on! 

A benign start to the day lulled us all into a false sense of security. The first couple of shoots passed in a similar fashion as the rest of the week, with many 50s in the first Gibson shoot at 500 yards. Chris Heales posted the highest score here with a stunning 50.9v, followed closely by Jack, Jon, and Andrew on 50.8v.

Then again in the first shoot of the Presidents, conditions were maintained, keeping the playing field relatively similar. However, on the weather forecast a storm was brewing nearby and threatening rain. Although thankfully we avoided a downpour, the winds finally made their first real appearance of the week. By the first relay of the Presidents 600 yards it was “blowing a hooley” and we all had to fight extremely hard for each V bull, and often relieved at the appearance of the odd wide bull 5. Sadly there were more inner fours than any of us would have wanted (and no one ever wants those…). Though the strength wasn’t much, especially by Bisley standards, the angle of the wind was coming from over the right shoulder, and sometimes the left shoulder, and sometimes straight across the range. The mirage and flags changed direction more than once to show it, and only the most savvy of us managed to retain the high scores. The changes were so quick that being caught in the aim was a common complaint.

Three of Team GB featured within the top ten of the Presidents, led by Simon Hayton in 3rd with a score of 149.18v, and followed by Jane (149.14v) and Michael B (149.13v) in 7th and 9th respectively.

Those hard conditions continued through to the first relay of the Gibson 900 but slowly declined as we shot into the evening. Jon Underwood won the match overall with a clean score of 150.21v across the three distances. An excellent performance, closely followed by Chris Heales and Jane Messer in the top ten.

With one shoot remaining in the Grand Aggregate, Jane Messer leads the GB pack with a score of 677.79, placing her 3rd overall. Nigel Ball is close on her heels with a score of 676.76 in 7th place, and Jack Alexander is close behind with 675.76 in 9th. Of the top 20, 9 are GB. It’s all to play for on Saturday! 

This evening we continue the tradition of hosting the Athelings for dinner. Though usually it would be pizza, today we are going to Dairy Queen to try and avoid the rain.

Written by Lindsey McKerrell