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Reflections

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
England
Cap #:
774
Big 5 Caps:
16

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
SM SB
England
Cap #:
685
Big 5 Caps:
78

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.

Parag Patel
GM GC5 SM SB2 SC2
England
Cap #:
768
Big 5 Caps:
72

Parag first started shooting at Epsom College and his prodigious talent was in early evidence as he won the Canadian Grand Aggregate as an Atheling in 1994. This is his 14th tour with the GB team. Accomplished in both team and individual shooting, Parag has shot in all ‘Big 5’ matches with 69 appearances to date (including the last five Palma matches). His proudest individual accolade is having won the Bisley Grand Aggregate a record of five times 2001, ‘03, ‘20, ‘21 and ‘22.

He has also represented England in 4 Commonwealth games with a tally of 4 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze medals.

When not on the range, Parag is an ear, nose and throat surgeon. He and his wife, Urvi, have three young sons, so he has little time left for golf. For the meantime, all his slicing is therefore done with a scalpel.

Dave Rose
England
Cap #:
859
Big 5 Caps:
17

A self confessed shooting and touring addict, Dave is delighted to be involved with the Palma team again and is looking forward immensely to returning to South Africa, for the first time since 2009. Dave seems to have acquired the Adj title over the last few years but is glad to have handed over the reins for this one!

Dave started shooting at Epsom College where he finished as the Captain in a record setting year with the second of two Ashburton wins, continuing at Southampton University and The Old Epsomians. Focussing on Fullbore in recent years he has toured overseas 12 times and visited all the major shooting nations around the world. To date the high point is being part of the victorious Palma team in 2015 in the USA.

Dave is an Operations Director, lives in Surrey (& Edinburgh) and spends a lot of his time finding slots in the diary to enable him to go on tour.

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