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Our tour to South Africa officially ended in the early hours of Monday morning when we touched down at Heathrow. Much of the 48 hours since has been spent unpacking, sleeping and spending time with families (and work) and for most of us has been somewhat of a blur. Co-incidentally, today marks exactly 1 year to go until the 2024 Palma Long Range World Championship match, and as such it seems an appropriate time to pause and reflect on our tour.

Protea Match

This morning saw the second of our two team matches, the Protea match, and is considered the most prestigious match in South Africa. GB Teams have competed in various international ‘test matches’ in South Africa from the first overseas tour to visit in 1921 but the first time a GB team competed in the Protea Match, as it is now named, was in 1998. This will be GB’s 15th appearance in the Protea match, and it is well known to be hard to win against South Africa on their home soil.

GBRT Win Protea…by 1 point!

The Great Britain Rifile Team have contested a closely fought match with South Africa, USA and England. South Africa led by two points going into the final range but, as the result of some exceptional wind coaching, GBRT were able to overcome that deficit and win by a solitary point. We would like to congratulate the other teams, and particularly South Africa, on producing a match of the closest margins…
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Featured Team Members

Derek Lowe
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Big 5 Caps:

Derek began his shooting in the cadet force at RGS Guildford, moving on to the Athelings in 1991, Oxford University over 1991 – 1994 and the Surrey county team since the late 1990s. He has been fortunate enough to represent England or Great Britain in various guises in Australia, Canada, Jersey, Kenya, Namibia, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

This tour will be Derek’s 5th to South Africa, and 3rd as Adjutant. Keenest at long range and in a team environment, he also spends a lot of time in match rifle. Aside from coaching and shooting (usually in that order), Derek sits on various committees in order to delay the inevitable moments when he has to leave Bisley. He is an experienced charity trustee both in shooting circles and at the church he attends in central London, and works in corporate finance as a Group Company Secretary.

Bill Richards
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This will be Bill’s twelfth GB tour and his fourth to South Africa, including once with England in 2009. Although best known as a coach, Bill has appeared in the final of HM Queen’s Prize final 25 times and 18 times in the top 50 of the Grand Aggregate, so he can occasionally point his rifle in the right direction.

Bill has been a Maths teacher since 2003 and is extremely grateful to his school for allowing him time off during term time to tour. When Bill isn’t teaching or on the range, Bill is involved in running Space Design Competitions, inspiring the next generation of rocket scientists! He is rarely found without his Kindle, reading mostly a diet of science fiction and fantasy.

Paul Sykes
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Paul started shooting with his father, having spent many a year at Bisley “on holiday” as a child. In his early years, he captained The Perse School and University of London. His first shooting tour to South Africa was in 2004 as Adjutant of the GB Under 25 Team. He gained his first senior international honours as part of the England National Match team that same year, first toured with GB in 2008 and made his first Palma Team in 2011.

After a brief hiatus flirting with the world of cycling and writing his PhD thesis, Paul returned to shooting in 2018 with a bang finishing 4th in the Grand Aggregate and completing his “Big Five” following selection for the Kolapore Match. He topped this by winning the Silver Cross (2nd in the Grand) the following year, his highest individual honour. Other highlights include seven top 50 Grand finishes, 13 HM The Queen’s finals and winning the Welsh Open. This is his fourth GB tour and fifth trip to South Africa.

Away from shooting, Paul is a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at the Queen Alexander Hospital, Portsmouth. In what little spare time he has, he enjoys skiing down big mountains and cycling back up them.

Jon Underwood
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Big 5 Caps:

Jon’s passion for target shooting started at the tender age of 11 at Aldro School on a 20 yard range in a converted greenhouse. Jon continued to enjoy the sport, learnt about fullbore shooting and ‘Bisley’ when he moved to the Royal Grammar School, Guildford, continuing at London University.

Jon has achieved a number of notable successes over the years including winning the Grand Aggregate in 2005 and 2009, the HM the Queens Prize in 2006, and most recently the Governor General’s Prize in 2019. He has also been a member of many successful teams representing England and Great Britain. As a regular tourist, the enforced break from touring during the pandemic was the longest time he hasn’t been overseas so he is delighted to be returning to Bloemfontein just over 8 months after a trip to Canada with the 2022 GB team.

Back home, Jon looks after his family business interests in Surrey, including a tool hire business and property rental business. In his ‘spare time’ has returned to RGS Guidford to help coach the school’s rifle team. Jon also has the responsibility of looking after Ted – ‘The Underdog’!

Meet the Team

Tour Information

Captain’s Foreword

My family has a long tradition of fullbore 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…

South Africa 2023 Team Announcement

GBRT South Africa 2023 team announcement
I am delighted to announce the names of those selected for the GB Rifle Team to South Africa, touring in March 2023…
More Information