Stewart battered but victorious
STRONG south-westerly winds ensured the scores remained low as Guernsey Rifle Club members competed for the Albany Trophy.
The club has hastily rearranged events in an attempt to catch up with its Covid-19 ravaged programme and the 15-round shoot at 500 and 600 yards is normally the finale to the Spring Prize Meeting held in April.
GRC captain Nick Kerins took an early, if narrow, lead at the shorter range with a 72.09 ex 75.15 to push Mike Creber into second spot on 72.08.
College master Al Stewart enjoyed his first competitive shoot with a respectable 70.07 despite suffering the penalty for allowing his forehead to get too close to his rear sight.
He initially dismissed the liquid running down his nose as sweat, but soon realised it was actually blood. Everybody who shoots does it at least once.
Up at 600 yards Jon Branch was trying to make up for his 70.09 at 500 yards and a top range score of 72.04 put him in a temporary lead, but Kerins held his nerve in the difficult conditions to score a 70.05 and take the Albany Trophy on 142.14 with Branch runner-up on 142.13 and Creber third on 142.12.
In fourth place was the first B class competitor. Adding a 70.05 to his first round score, Stewart emerged the winner of the Sheiling Trophy for B class with a very respectable 140.12, a massive 10 points ahead of runner-up Cherry Le Poidevin on 130.05.
With a trophy win on his first outing, you could say Stewart blooded himself convincingly and literally.
The high and gusty wind appeared to affect the electronic scoring system and during the afternoon there were several stoppages to rectify matters.
As with all new systems, there are always bugs to iron out and resident electronics engineer Pierre Goubert managed to keep things running.
It appears the designer of the electronics has not factored in the strong winds that are the norm in a coastal rifle range and it will be necessary to modify the target frames to minimise any movement.
That being said, the system works well with fast and accurate scoring displayed for the firer and the range officer almost instantly.