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148th Imperial Daily Report by Matt Charlton 21/7/17
FICKLE FRIDAY

As Friday dawned there was evidence that the wind might be a bit of a problem today. On ?D Lines?, a gazebo was to be found, upside down, with one corner still attached to the hut, and the rest of it on top of the car that had been beside it. Unless this was the result of some early hours post-Dewdrop mischief, it was clear that this wind was so strong as to be known as the Gazebo Killer.

Perfect time, then, for the Kolapore, in which eight of Britain?s best shooters (plus coaches) are selected to compete against the visiting national teams. Conditions were, as expected, difficult, so the coaches used almost all the available time at each range, rarely allowing strings of more than two or three shots to be fired before a pause was required. After dropping six points at 300 and five at 500 yards, Great Britain lost a further fifteen at 600 yards to finish on 1174.121, 17 points ahead of Jersey, who were 1 ahead of Australia in a reversal of fortunes from the Overseas Match as Guernsey, Canada, Kenya and Germany followed on behind. Top scorer was Parag Patel on 149.20; sole new cap Sandy Walker acquitted himself well with a 147.15.

At the same time the various universities were also competing on Century Range, mostly in teams of four in the Musketeers, with Oxford and Cambridge fielding teams of eight in the Chancellors, which was this year won by Cambridge. Edinburgh University won the Musketeers ahead of Exeter, London, Newcastle, Durham, Imperial and others; GB won the Under 25 Match with Cadet Shakhman the highest scorer; and the House of Lords also took on the House of Commons in the Vizianagram.

In the afternoon, the 300 highest scorers from the First Stage shot in Queen?s II. It was still very windy, coming over the left shoulder, mostly from 7 or 8 o?clock. At 300 yards, it was just about possible to stay in the bullseye by running on a mean wind throughout, so as not to be caught out by quick angle changes. Nevertheless, scoring appeared lower than usual. At 500 yards, that tactic could no longer be used, but some still tried! Both strength and angle changes became greater, and they only increased further, resulting in substantial numbers of magpies and even outers across the range. Strange things were happening at 600 yards, with some of the fall of shot defying logic in terms of the apparent (as opposed to actual) wind values. Much depended on when one fired; and your correspondent fired at the wrong time too often! So did many others, resulting in a rather low cut-off for a place in Queen?s Final, of just 144.13. There were no 150s, and only two 149s. Parag Patel?s, with 18 V-bulls, won the Silver Medal for top Second Stage score ahead of Frau Soelzer-Hermes of Germany.

The evening?s Donaldson Memorial at 1000 yards, for which four earlier long range shoots constitute the qualifier, was won by David Crispin with 73.8 from Dan Richardson on 72.7 and Peter Bromley on 72.5. The difficulty of the conditions was reflected in most scores being in the sixties and several in the fifties!

Tomorrow afternoon, the hundred competitors in Queen?s Final at 900 and 1000 yards will carry through their Second Stage scores, so there is already a spread of five points between them with thirty scoring shots still to fire. First thing in the morning, there is a two point spread between those competing in the St. George?s Final. In between are the long range team matches: the Universities Long Range, at 900 & 1000 yards, and the international Mackinnon match at the same distances, in which Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Australia, Canada, Jersey, Guernsey, Germany and Kenya will have their hands full agai
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Updated: 22-Jul-17 (Original posting: 22-Jul-17)

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