Well… we are well into the swing of things and to be honest, even after two days of shooting, the Wellington Champs really does feel like the first real day of Nationals week. With competitors arriving from all over the country and in some cases, the world, the shooting village is starting to hum and the atmosphere is becoming rather festive!
Although we were both taking the WRA champs seriously, I had some other goals for the day…
- To get used to the formal squadding and scoring procedure for the week
- To not have any technical issues
- To fine tune my between-range procedure – cleaning and rifle set-up
- To figure out to the second when the last possible chance for a toilet stop is before I have to lie down on the mound.
Jared’s goals were:
- To trial our food plan for the week
- To get settled down before the big events.
Head-Chef-Jared planned ahead and bought some frozen raw croissants from the local supermarket. Left in the clubhouse oven to rise overnight, all we had to do when we arrived the next morning was to turn the oven on and wait for our delicious hot breakfast (it was amazing!). This may be a plan for the next week if we are organised.
While I sorted out the rifles, Jared prepared our dinner and threw it in the slow cooker. It should be ready the minute we finish shooting in 10 hours!
We both shot reasonably well at 300 yards. I definitely felt the benefit of shooting 150 shots at 300ish yards over the last few days. I had a good handle on the wind but did notice the difference between the wind on the two sides of the range! I am also glad that I had shot the club shoot at 300 yards the previous day as 300 yards looks a little different to 300m sight picture.
Jared had a bit of trouble as it seems that his sights have been knocked and his wind zero had shifted by a minute and a half. He had three shots on the left before he figured it out.
I ended up with a 47.2 and Jared got a 46.3
Once we got back to 600 yards, the wind had become a little savage. It was switching between 4.5 minutes left to about 2 minutes right. I was firing nice shots but was absolutely hammered by the wind. I scored a few 5s (finishing on 5 in a row!) but also had a couple of 2s and 3s on the waterline to cancel them out. I ended up with a 40.
Jared had similar problems but also had a miss to make matters worse. He scored a 39.2
Leftover croissants of course! We paid a couple of dollars and filled them up with delicious sandwich fillings from the club!
We both had a lovely patch of wind at 800. Probably the only consistent patch of the day. I wound 6 leftwards minutes onto my sights and just hammered the shots down range. I carelessly put two shots at 10 o’clock and got punished with a couple of 3s. I am not sure it it was me, mirage or the tremendous buffeting from the wind. Only on the last shot did the wind change to the right but I had a stab in the last 20 seconds of my time and nailed a 5. *Phew*! In the end I got a 45.2 which I was very pleased with.
Not to be outdone (and determined to beat me), Jared got down and had a screamer! His first counting shot was pushed out to the three ring but after that, it was all 5s and centres (and maybe a sneaky 4) He scored a 47.2.
The pressure is on! Jared has caught up and is now beating me on centres but we have one range to go and anything could happen!
Our last range of the day and I don’t know about Jared, but I was starting to feel a little bit worn out! We were both shooting towards the tail end of our squads so whilst I was waiting, I went for a little tiki-tour to have a look at the scores so far.
Hmmmm… the scores seemed to mostly be in the high 30s to low 40s range… not confidence-inspiring! A quick glance at the flags and I thought “nah… it can’t be that bad. It looks pretty steady out there…”
How wrong could I be?!
I scored two fours for my sighters and scratched them both (to a mixed reaction from the audience – I am not sure if it was admiration or face-palming going on behind me!). Some days shooting reminds me of Five Card Stud.
I think my first few shots were threes and I was regretting not keeping the sighters. Then I got some fours and some “super twos”! I think there may have been a sprinkling of fives in there as well. One thing I am certain of, I was making no sense of the wind. It seemed to be varying between about 1 left to around 9 right. Most of my shots were waterline so I am pleased with my actual shooting. I finished on a 4 and a V (my only one!) so my sighters weren’t wasted after all. I scored a 35.something
Jared unfortunately had a worse shoot than me. As well as being knocked around by the wind (even scoring a miss due to a big gust), he thinks his foresight ring may have been rattling around in its holder. Jared ended up with a 32.
It seems like Jared’s dinner plans were a success! We arrived back at the clubhouse to the lovely smell of potroast wafting out the door! It is nice to be able to socialise without worrying about going home and having to cook dinner at 8pm! The best news is, there will always be leftovers for breakfast and lunch the next day!
Wining and Dining… Sorted.
Well… I thought I was well out of the running with some of my scores today but it seems not!
I came second in the C grade long range aggregate (totals for 800 and 900 yards)
Thanks to Alverie Doyle for the superbly silly photograph!
I also came second in the the C grade grand aggregate!
All in all a great day. We are into the serious stuff from now on!
P.S if anyone is wondering, I did not have any technical issues and the best time for a pit-stop is when the penultimate shooter before me gets down to shoot!