Guernsey Press

Home team stay on target despite tough conditions

THE strong north-easterly winds persisted throughout the Guernsey Rifle Club Spring Prize Meeting and although they made things incredibly difficult at times, at least some of the marksmen managed to achieve good scores.

The match scoreboard from the Guernsey Rifle Club's win over the visiting NRA of Great Britain team at Fort Le Marchant. (32180150)

Swelled by members of the National Rifle Association of Great Britain on their annual tour of the Channel Islands, and fresh from their narrow two-point win over the Jersey Rifle Association, the event attracted 38 competitors.

The Parker Tankard comprised two sighters and 10 scoring shots at 300 and 600 yards and local marksmen held eight of the top 10 positions with Guernsey’s Alexander Stewart holding his nerve for a superb 100.07 ex 100.20 to take the spoils.

Nick Mace dropped two shots at the longer range but managed a near perfect 50.09 at the shorter range in a total of 98.16 while the visiting NRA team captain James Mehta held third spot on 97.09.

Many of the visitors discovered to their cost that the strong Guernsey wind is a formidable adversary.

Day two saw the NRA’s Rob Edwards get to grips with the conditions to take the Falla Trophy with 101.12 ex 105.21 with Nick Branch holding second place on 100.10.

Paul Le Poidevin won the Highfield Trophy for B-class shots with a 91.06.

The cold and windy conditions were more like a winter shoot with everyone grateful for their thick leather jackets, and the whole weekend was a poor example of the normal conditions for June.

Visitor Ed Welford overcame the difficulties to take the Renouf Trophy with 148.16 ex 150.30, but with GRC president Peter Jory the only local in the top six, it was becoming obvious that at least some of the visiting side had finally mastered the buffeting winds.

Sam Frost took the B-class Randall Trophy with 130.07 on a day when only 13 people managed to break 140.

The Albany Trophy was final event of the Prize meeting, a 15-round shoot at 500 and 600 yards for a maximum score of 150.30, and Adam Norman finally fulfilled the promise he has shown of late by taking his first ever open trophy with an excellent 148.19, pushing the NRA’s Sasha Radkovskii into second place on 148.13.

Adam Norman, right, receiving his first open trophy - the Albany Trophy - from Pierre Goubert. (32180152)

Norman is better known for his prowess with an air rifle, but is now at the top of his game on the full-bore range.

When the scores were totalled it was the NRA’s Welford who took the Grand Aggregate with 390.38 ex 405.81, Radkovskii was runner-up on 389.37 while Branch was the top placed GRC member in fifth on 386.38 and Frost took the B Grand Aggregate on 353.20.

It obvious that the all-important team match that would complete the weekend was going to be close, especially as the visitors had beaten the Jersey Rifle Association by just two points on the previous weekend.

The sun emerged for the match and although the wind still blew from the north-east it had become far steadier. Usually, Guernsey struggle at 300 yards but the eight performed magnificently with coaches Jory and Charlie Brewin keeping them in the centre as they amassed a score of 388.28 ex 400.80.

Despite a 50.08 from Radkovskii, the only ‘possible’ at the shorter range, the visitors must have been very disappointed with their 378.33 and hoped for better at the longer ranges.

With Stewart and Norman both slotting in 50.06 at 500 yards, Guernsey went on to total 387.40, another respectable score, and the visitors slipped even further behind with a 375.28.

Having a commanding lead of 22 points, the local team had to keep up their efforts but it was looking ever more likely that a victory was on the cards. At the longest range both teams pulled out all the stops, Guernsey shot superbly and led by Nick Branch on 50.06 totalled 391.38 for a match winning score of 1,166.106 ex 1,200.240.

The visitors finally showed their true potential with a 391.46 that included no less than four possibles to at least have some satisfaction by winning the 600-yard battle. Top local score was Stewart on 148.17 closely followed by Norman on 148.11 while Radkovskii took the overall honours with a 149.18.

The reserves match saw the visitors triumph with 293.21 ex 300.60 to the local score of 290.23.

The weekend culminated with the prize giving and a barbeque and the GRC captain for the day, Mike Creber, thanked the visitors for making the trip to the Channel Islands and expressing the hope that the friendships formed during the meeting would grow over the coming years, particularly when the marksmen gathered at the Imperial Meeting at the NRA of Great Britain's home at Bisley.