Manawatu Smallbore Champs, Training, Clubday, Interclub and more!

This week has been a big shooting week!

It started with the Manawatu championships on Saturday.  We drove to Palmerston North in the morning and arrived at the range at around 11am. I had come down with a head cold on the Friday and was feeling very unwell so although Jared was raring to go and immediately entered to shoot in both C and B grade, I thought I would just shoot C grade and make up my mind from there.

All in all it wasn’t a completely disastrous  competition.  I learned a lot even if I didn’t have a very good shoot. To start with, I was having horrible problems with my eyesight – the foresight element was disappearing in the 4-5 o’clock segment and the target seemed to be bulging and distorting in funny places. I know I have astigmatism which would account for some of this but it was a lot worse than usual. My eyes have settled down in the last week so I can only assume that being unwell had something to do with it.

On top of this, I had a dramatic group shift on my third (and last) card in C grade. I started placing shots at 7-8 o’clock… maybe 7 clicks out from the bull. After 3 shots in this general direction (some of them scoring 8 and even a 7! – unusual for me!), I wound myself back to the centre and for the rest of the day my shots stayed (roughly – I was tired and sick at that point) in the new group.

My group shifted back to normal the next day and has stayed there. The only thing I can think of that might have made the change is that the Panadol that I took in the morning had worn off and my fever came back which messed with my eyes and maybe even with my position. I know I could feel the fever building throughout that particular card… It is a shame because if I had dropped only three less points I would have placed and with two less points would definitely have been in the final 5.

My re-entry into B grade was a little more successful. I shot alright and although it wasn’t enough to do well in B grade,  if I had gotten that score in C grade, I would have placed. Oh well… can’t win em all! You can find the results here.

After a fun night at Jonno and Helens place, Jonno, Helen, Ewan, Jared and I all headed back to the range to do some training on Sunday. We took the Scatt system with us (a computer based shooting simulator using your own rifle – great training tool!) and Helen worked through some things with us such as hold and breathing. I learnt that I have a pretty short hold (even though it feels like eternity!) and I should work on increasing it as well as some other bits and pieces with my breathing. It sounds like Jared got a lot out of his Scatt session and has gained a lot of confidence!

While Helen was working with one person on the Scatt, Jonno was helping us with our positions and we shot some groups whilst playing with different things such as foresight elements. It seems like my position is pretty good considering I am on a badly-fitting club rifle. I shot some fairly tight groups although the group was shifting depending on what target I was on. This is something I need to work on. We learnt about the value of the practice card and how something that works for one person might not work for another. Huge thank you to Jonno and Helen for doing some training with us! We all learnt a lot!

Wednesday rolled around and I struggled along to club night. I always struggle with club night – It starts late (7.30pm – well past my bedtime!) is after a long day at work and is inevitably cold and busy. Being an introvert, the last thing I need after 3 days of student-time at work, is seeing more people and having to socialise! The busy-ness has its advantages though… nowadays there is always someone with a birthday in the week so we all get cake!

To be honest, I shot like crap. I was expecting it to be amazing after such a good training session on the weekend but it was probably my worst shoot this season.  Luckily Jonno caught me on facebook later and persuaded me not to throw all my toys – it takes a while to adjust to any changes that are made. 😀

Thursday was the highlight of my week. It was interclub but was also combined with a couple of teams trophies and also the Hutt Valley closed champs. There is quite a lot of pressure on interclub night – you  shoot one card only, no practices. I put Wednesday out of my mind and just focused on making every shot the best I could. I ended up with a 97.5 which I was very pleased with. All three of our Upper Hutt teams won their matches and I got the highest score in my Div 2 team! It has been a big shooting week and I am very tired especially with being unwell but I still can’t wait til next time!

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