With the tour fast appraoching, the first training day of 2022 was held at Bisley before the Spring Meeting. Many have already got in some individual practice or load development after the winter. However this was a chance to bring everyone together to the first time in 2022.
The morning was devoted to some individual shooting but in Australian style. This is not some joke about shooting upside down. There is a different format to individual shooting competitions in Australia.
In the UK, there are mutiple details each with three firers per target. The shooters fire single shots in turn with a time limit of 45 seconds per shot. A shooter will register keep (i.e. offically record the score) for one of the other two shooters. This is the method of individual shooting that all on the team are accustomed to.
In Australian shooting, a group of firers (usually more than 5) are allocated a target. They each complete their entire shoot in turn, so one shooter is never waiting on the shot from another. There is a time limit for each individual to complete his entire shoot, rather than a time limit for each shot. After shooting, the next firer completes their shoot. Like in the UK, there is a register keeper who is also the time keeper. Additionally, the Australian system has a scoreboard behind each firing point. This allows competitors to walk along the line and see how everyone is doing and is a great addition.
When competing in Australia, we want each GB touring member to be familar with the protocol. This allows them to focus on the shooting and not where they should be when. Therefore the entire morning of the first training day in 2022 was devoted to a rehearsal of this.
The afternoon of the first training day 2022 was devoted to team training at 1100 and 1200yards. The coaches had a chance to practice their skills and remember the perculiarities of Stickledown.
Unlike most of last year, there was significant wind on the range. This kept the coaches occupied and communicating with each other to maximise points for each team. For the shooters, this was a chance to be coached and focus on shooting straight. A few of us left a little to be desired in the latter. But that is why we train.
After shooting, we had various briefs on the latest itineray and administation for the tour. There is so much involved in getting a team of shooter to the other side of the world to compete. Our Adjutant with the rest of the team management has been doing a stellar job.