OL RIFLE CLUB REPORT 2017

This year the Club had fourteen paid up shooting members under the captaincy of Andi Parker-Smith. All of our club rifles were taken to Faultons Gunsmiths in Bisley to have them accessed before next season. Unfortunately there are several major problems including a split stock and worn out barrels which will need replacing. This will require major expense in bringing them up to the required standard for competition shooting. However we hope to end up with a pair of reliable rifles with good sights, one of which with incorporating adjustable features to make it suitable for any shooter, large or small.

It was the OLRC Secretary’s turn this year to arrange the ‘Q’ Match, Long Range and All Day Shoot against the seven other eligible ‘Old Boys’ teams at Bisley. This was a challenge as there is a financial penalty for last minute cancellations and we got down to the wire on several occasions!

The season was scheduled to start in March with the annual shoot against the School in the Gale Cup. Unfortunately the School were unable to put forward a team this year so three members of OLRC and a guest had a ‘Practice Shoot’ instead.  Although the .22 shooting range is due to be demolished, the School has been supplied with air rifles by the Army which do not require a dedicated range and can be used inside or outside without the same requirements to restrain the bullets.

We held the ‘Q’ match in April with seven clubs taking part. We were very lucky with the weather with light winds and sunshine. Andi P-S (who was unable to shoot due to an injured shoulder) and Chris Weeden kindly wind coached. We had nine OLRC members shooting and came 3rd overall. This was followed a couple of weeks later by our annual competition against the Old Albanians where the OLRC had seven members shooting.  Again Andi P-S did a sterling job of wind coaching and we won the match.

We had the All Day Match in May which is the second match against a group of other public schools in the season. We had eight shooting members - plus Andi P-S who acted as wind coach with Chris Weeden – and shot alongside four other schools. The weather was variable but dry but there were challenging wind conditions especially at 1000yds. We also had a few problems with the ‘Target Markers’. Apart from the targets not being ready on time and causing a delay in starting, there were a couple of occasions when a target was indicated as a ‘Miss’.  When these were challenged with the Butt Supervisor, we found that the bullets had hit the target but the ‘Marker’ could not reach the bullet hole so left it unmarked!!  We came second in the Lion Tankard which is a competition against all the other competing schools and once again we won the Lizard Cup which is a competition against the Old Framinghamians.

June is the time for the Long Range Match, the last of the shoots against the other ‘Old Boys’ teams for the year. The weather was fine and warm but with strong gusty winds. It was decided that we would use our teams’ experience to help and each shooter had the assistance of a wind coach and spotter. Six members shot with the best four to count. There were seven teams competing for the ‘Long range Cup’. Keith Alltoft was pleased that, once again, the Cup that he had donated in 1970 was won by the OLRC, beating our nearest rivals by 17 points.

Forty-five teams took part in the Veterans shoot in July. The OLRC put forward one team consisting of five members with Andi P-S wind coaching. The weather was fine and all shot well but, despite this, we came 25 out of 45. We had formidable opposition and the top two teams did not drop a point.

We had two shoots in August. Unfortunately the President’s Shield was not very well attended with only six members shooting as it clashed with other meetings. We were shooting alongside the North London RC and England Team so were under time pressure to fall back as we were all shooting 300, 500 and 600yds. Once again we had fine weather conditions with a very light breeze. The second shoot was the Championship Shoot which, once again, had fine weather with a light variable wind. We had eleven members shooting plus a guest, Elizabeth Mooney, who wishes to join the club next year.

Individual performances of OLRC members:

Chris Weeden who was Captain of the GB’s Rifle Team this on their tour of Canada secured a huge haul of trophies.

The Tour started in British Columbia with the team taking the conditions in their stride and coming away with all the silverware.  The conditions in their next location, Ottawa, were interesting as the GB team experienced a once in a life time 70% solar eclipse during the competition. However, once again, the GB Team came away with the silverware.  Apart from being Captain, Chris Weeden also won a number of prizes for his own shooting. This included the City of Victoria Cup in British Columbia, the City of Victoria Cup, and the Champlain aggregate cup and Junior/Senior pairs in Ottawa. What a fantastic end to a successful and very happy tour!

Richard Bird was selected for the Queens 100.  He also shot for English XX against Combined Cadet Forces and was part of the Winning Ages Team (55 – 64yrs). Richard also won the Championship trophy 1000x for the North London RC and the Long Range Trophy for his County (Northants Leicester and Rutland). He also had the Top Score in the Catastrophe match.

Peter Thompson was also selected for the Queens 100 and, although he did not win, he put up a very good performance.

Lastly I would like to send our good wishes to one of the founder members of the club, Jim Thompson, who has been suffering ill health this year. We all wish him well and hope that he makes a good recovery.

As always we are on the lookout for new members.  If you are interested or would like more information, please contact either me, the Secretary, Alistair Mitchelhill at ajmitchelhill@gmail.com or the Captain, Andi Parker-Smith, at andi.ps@btconnect.com.

AJM

Copyright St Lawrence College 2018