Unfortunately the arrival of Covid-19 in 2020 put paid to that idea when travel to the island was suspended and again in 2021 the NRA team decided that such visits were inadvisable.
Last weekend the amended event took place with an entry of over 20 entirely local marksmen and women and it was GRC president Peter Jory who once again took the spoils as his Grand Aggregate score of 393.41 ex 405.81 pushed Ollie Hudson into second spot on 391.44.
The first day saw ‘A’ class marksmen contesting the Falla Trophy and the ‘B’ class members fighting for the Highfield. Consisting of two sighters and seven scoring shots at each of the three ranges for a maximum score of 105.21, the event coincided with a change with hot sunny weather, far removed from the blustery, cold conditions the shooters have recently faced.
Jory strung together a 33.04 at 300 yards, a range-topping 35.05 at 500 yards and added a 34.05 at 600 yards for a trophy-winning score of 102.14.
Ollie Hudson had enjoyed a temporary lead after the first range, tied with Charlie Brewin on 34.03 and the two closely followed Jory all the way.
Hudson ultimately claimed second spot on 102.11 with Brewin a single point behind in third.
Rollo Tiffin continued his progress towards ‘A’ class as he posted an impressive 101.09 to take the Highfield Trophy ahead of Matthew Stuart and Rory McKenna tied on 95.07.
The Saturday was the first time the GRC had shot before lunch this year and the low sun coming from the right-hand side of the 300-yard range caused problems for many of the competitors.
With 10 shots to count at each range for a maximum score of 150.30 and the Renouf Trophy, it was the experienced Pierre Goubert and Rob Waters who shrugged off the difficulties to record 49.07 ex 50.10 just two V-bulls ahead of 49.05s from Hudson and Adam Norman. Tiffin continued his dominance in ‘B’ class with a 48.03 ahead of James Nippers on 46.05.
At 500 yards Waters extended his lead with a superb 50.07 for a running total of 99.14, while Freddie Stewart entered the frame with a 50.06, just shading out Nippers with a 50.05, his first possible since restarting his full-bore career. Tiffin however held onto his lead for the ‘B’ class Randall Trophy on 97.08 from Nippers on 96.10.
When the competitors gathered at 600 yards the fine weather caused a setback as many boaters saw the calm conditions as a chance to visit L’Ancresse Bay and the resultant delays while they cleared the danger area prevented most of the marksmen from getting into any sort of rhythm.
Jory top scored with a 50.07 ahead of Waters on 50.05 but the latter was uncatchable and took the spoils with a magnificent total of 149.20 ex 150.30 from Hudson on 146.17, with Jory and Goubert tied in third place on 146.13. Nippers managed to topple Tiffin from his perch at the top of ‘B’ class with a 143.15 to Tiffin’s 143.11.
The wind put in an appearance for the afternoon and the marksmen had to watch the wind flags carefully for any changes in strength or direction.
Waters took an early lead for the Albany Trophy with an excellent 74.09 ex 75.15 at 500 yards, just ahead of Ed Laurence making his first appearance of 2021 with an impressive 73.08.
Alexander Stewart topped ‘B’ class with 72.08 ahead of Nippers on 71.08.
With all to play for, the marksmen gathered up on the hill at 600 yards and Laurence continued to impress with a top-scoring 74.08 and a total of 147.16, but it was Waters again who kept his cool, adding a 74.05 for a 148.14 trophy-winning total. Nick Kerins added a 74.07 to his 500-yard score of 73.07 for a third place on 147.14.
Waters had dominated on the Saturday and was left ruing his decision not to compete on the Friday afternoon as he would very likely have been a contender for the big prize.
Alexander Stewart joined the prize winners taking the ‘B’ Shieling with an impressive 144.15 just beating Tiffin on 144.13.
When the scores from the three competitions were totalled, it was victory for Jory who took the Grand Aggregate Trophy with 393.41 to Hudson’s 391.44.
In a surprise third place was Tiffin, who had showed consistency throughout the weekend and took the ‘B’ class Grand Aggregate with a 388.33 from Al Stewart on 373.21.
The team of six to compete against Jersey to earn the right to represent the Channel Islands in the Astor Cup at Bisley will be selected from, in alphabetical order, Jon Branch, Charlie Brewin, Ollie Hudson, Peter Jory, Nick Kerins, Adam Norman, Freddie Stewart and Rob Waters. The team will be selected on the basis of results in next weekend’s Astor Trophy event at Fort Le Marchant.