Captain’s Foreword

My family has a long tradition of Fullbore Target Rifle Shooting with substantial links to South Africa. My Grandfather Major Tom Anstey, captained the 1953 GB Team to South Africa whilst my father, Major David Scott-Langley, was Adjutant to the 1963 GB Team. In 1993 I made my first trip to South Africa as a member of that year’s Great Britain Rifle Team, the first officially sanctioned international sporting team to visit the country since the end of Apartheid. This will be my ninth South African Bisley Union (SABU) Open Meeting and my second Palma Match in South Africa.

The pinnacle of fullbore target rifle shooting at international level is the World Individual Championships and the World Long Range Team Championship, known as the Palma Match. The Palma Match is normally held every four years and last took place in South Africa in 1999 where GB finished second to the hosts; not a result we are aiming to repeat! Australia are the current champions, having won in New Zealand in 2019, and with 8 nations competing this will be a hard-fought series of matches.

An international Palma Team comprises 25 people, and the National Rifle Association of Great Britain afforded me the opportunity to take an enlarged GB team to South Africa in 2023 to assist with final selection. I am exceedingly grateful for this opportunity, to that team for making selection so difficult and the support throughout this endeavour of my team officers, Nick Tremlett (Vice-Captain) and Derek Lowe (Adjutant).

I am delighted to note that this team is selected from a squad that represented the wide demographic of fullbore target rifle shooting in the UK; the oldest member turned 70 while the youngest was still a teenager and it included representatives from all four home nations. Team members and reserves have a wealth and variety of experience to draw upon, including a combined 249 GB overseas tours and 996 Big 5 team match appearances. In addition to five Queen’s Prize winners, five Commonwealth Games medallists and a former individual World Champion, I am excited to include nine team members who have not yet competed in a Palma Match.

Taking an international rifle team abroad (in two consecutive years) is an expensive undertaking, even after the generous support of the National Rifle Association and their Overseas Teams Fund. I am therefore extremely grateful to those companies and individuals who have supported the team along the way; we could not have done this without you. Equally, I will also be eternally grateful to the team member’s partners and families for their support in allowing us to tour and represent Great Britain in these important matches.

Finally, I would like to express my thanks to SABU for their excellent Open Meeting held in March 2023 which served as a useful test event for the World Championships to be held in Bloemfontein in 2024, and I wish them every success with their on-going planning. Following the pandemic-induced interruption, it will be wonderful to have so many overseas competitors from all age groups competing once again on an international stage.

Being selected to represent your country is a great honour accorded to few, and I know the members of the 2024 GB Palma Team are determined to represent our country with distinction in South Africa. Good shooting and good luck to all.

Jeremy Langley

Captain – Great Britain Rifle Team, South Africa 2024