Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Feeling Testy

This post is nothing but a test to see if I remember how to put up content. I am thinking of the upcoming Commonwealth Games in India.

Update: October 3, 2010. We are here and getting ready to go to the opening ceremony. We have been shooting for the last four days and it has been very hot work. Prince Charles and Camilla visited the Games Village today. More to come.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

March 23, 2006, Thursday, Individual Match Final

We assembled for the last time on the range today to fire the final stage of the Individual Match. As there was for the Pairs event, there was a good turn out of spectators for the final. Approximately 300 people turned out to watch, by my conservative estimate. The event organizers provided washrooms, souvenirs and even hot dogs and beer. The crowd had a lot of fun and included our friends from Castlemaine, Chris and Trevor. The unexpected surprise at 1000 yards was the appearance of Frank Horgan. His father was at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne and took some of the cards Gerry Oullette had shot when he won the Gold Medal for small bore. He presented the cards to Alain Marion, who had seen them 38 years before with Frank’s father at a BBQ in Melbourne. Alain was very touched by Frank’s gesture.

The day promised to be hot and the wind did not look like it was going to provide any relief or the potential to shake up the field too much. Sure enough, that was how events panned out. The temperature climbed steadily and the wind’s strength remained mild. It blew down the range towards us and moved across centre with enough strength in the changes to put a person out into the inner and sometimes even the magpie. But for the most part a person could follow the changes and a lot of big scores were turned in. I started the day sitting 10th, fired a pair of 74x75 for 148 total and finished pretty much where I started, 9th. Pat had a 74 at 900 but ran into elevation trouble at 1000 and finished the match in 23rd place. At the top of the heap Parag Patel of England, who started the day in 1st place one point ahead of Bruce Scott of Australia, shot a 147x150 over the two ranges. Not quite good enough as Bruce fired a 149 and won the Gold Medal by a single point. Parag was second for the Silver. Meanwhile, James Corbett of Australia shot a 149 to win the Bronze Medal. The order of finish for the top ten is listed and I have included a few photos.

I hope the people who have read this have enjoyed following the events and do not mind the tardiness of some of the posts. Cheers, Jim.

1 Bruce Scott, Aus 403.60
2 Parag Patel, Eng 402.57
3 James Corbett, Aus 401.57
4 Zainal, Mal 401.51
5 Zulkeflee, Mal 401.49
6 Robert Hayter, RSA 401.46
7 Johannes du Toit, RSA 399.52
8 Lindsay Peden, Sco 399.50
9 Jim Paton, Can 399.50
10 David Calvert, Ire 399.50

John Nelson of Jamaica and Pat before the 1000

Shooters on the line getting ready at 1000

The Winners on the Podium

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Australians pose for the Press under the Aussie Flag

The Winner being chaired off the Range

Two volunteers compare their results

In all 92 volunteers tried rifle shooting.

Jacquie shooting.

Jacquie, from our venue office, puts on a nervous look before shooting.

Jenni, Games volunteer herself, helps another volunteer try her hand at shooting

The Volunteers gathered behind the firing point waiting for their turn to shoot.

March 22, 2006, Wednesday, Last Practice Day and the Volunteers Shoot

So our plan for today’s 900 and 1000 yard practice was to give the rifles a good cleaning and then fire a few shots to foul them and get early morning elevations. That we did, finishing early to save ourselves for tomorrow. In the meanwhile after lunch the range was turned over to all of the event volunteers so that they could give shooting a try. Five shots each from 500 yards, with the rifles rested. The people I spoke to all had a good time and for some of them it was the first time in their lives they had fired a shot. I have attached some photos. Cheers, Jim.

March 21, 2006, Tuesday, Individual Match Day One

And a long day it was. We shot a Queens One in the morning followed by a Queens Two in the afternoon. For non shooters that is 2 sighters and 7 on score at 300, 500 and 600 yards followed by 2 sighters and 10 on score at 300, 500 and 600 yards. Temperatures have been steadily climbing the last few days so it was hot work in the afternoon with the mercury hovering just below 90 degrees. My new trigger made the rifle much easier to break good shots with and I was pleased to put the all in at the first 300. I was not so happy with 500 and 600, dropping a point at each range. So I finished Stage One down two points, good for 12th place of the 38 entered. Pat had a slightly rougher go at 500 and 600 dropping 4 points in total. I knew the afternoon would have to be better. 300 and 500 were both clean and despite the heat I was confident 600 would also go well. Unfortunately I got caught for two inners in a row, shots 8 and 9 after a very good start. That was not a good finish to the day, so I am sitting in 10th place going into the final stage Thursday. The bad news is I am four points behind the top two competitors and that will be hard to make up if the conditions are benign, but we will see what happens on the day. Pat had a better afternoon then morning, shooting a 149 and leaving him down a total of five points and sitting 15th, but not without some drama. At 500 he got off one shot and then could not chamber another cartridge. His partner finished while he cleaned out the chamber and then he was able to finish, shooting a 50 in about five minutes. So we wait for Thursday. Cheers, Jim.

Monday, March 20, 2006

March 20, 2006 Post Pairs Match

What do you do after a frustrating match that you think you should have done better in? Put the damn thing out of your mind and get on with it, whatever it is. For us we went to the range today with specific missions in mind. Pat and I both wanted to fire a few shots to foul our barrels after cleaning them following the pairs match. For the non shooters, an overly fouled barrel shoots a big group, bad news. A squeaky clean barrel sometimes needs a few shots to settle down, bad news if you have to fire some of those shots on score in a competition. So we cleaned after the pairs match knowing we could lightly foul the barrels today. That was Pat’s only mission so he went out and had a shoot at 300 yards. The other mission was mine. I have been shooing my Angel and struggling with the trigger, today I installed the spare trigger I had brought with me and then I went out and had a shoot at 500 yards. A word about the install, the trigger needed a bit of fitting, something I was not prepared for. James Corbett from Australia lent me a file and Martin Millar from Ireland lent me some Loc-Tite, such is shooting. Missions accomplished we drove out to Castlemaine for lunch at Tilley’s Tea Room, the restaurant owned by our friend Glenda. We had a great afternoon chatting with Glenda and husband Chris. Chris will be at the shooting event tomorrow, Glenda will be working. Our final stop of the day was at the home of Barry Davies. We had a nice visit with Barry who also kindly gave me a screw I needed for my rifle. All this on a pleasant, sunny day, who could ask for better? No pictures today, Cheers, Jim.

Zainal and Zulkeflee, Bronze Medal

James Corbett and Bruce Scott, Silver Medal

Parag Patel and Glyn Barnett, Gold Medal

March 19th, Pairs Match

What can you say about a match that does not go your way, even though it was close, except that it’s frustrating thinking about what might have been. The weather for the match was excellent, sunny and not too warm. The spectators numbered around 200, including some of our Castlemaine friends. When the 300 was finished we had lost three very close points through a combination of elevation and wind and had dug ourselves a hole we were going to have to climb out of. We were 12th out of 19 teams. 500 and 600 were much better, we dropped only one point when the wind changed abruptly while we were on aim. We had pulled up to 7th. Lunch was a rushed affair and then into the 900. We needed a good one but things did not go our way. Two very close inners for wind and one poor shot left us with a 71 for the first shooter. We had the wind figured out though and made 75 on the second shooter but were sitting 9th overall going into the 1000. Our 1000 yard score topped the field, a pair of 74s, but too little too late. We climbed up to 5th, 1 v behind the 4th place Scots and 2 points off the podium, 3 points out of 2nd place. We felt afterwards that we could have been a bit crisper in our shooting but it also came down to a few of the shots that were very close but not in for wind and group centering. On another day a couple of those might have been a tiny amount closer to the centre and bit the line. Not to be though. The winning teams shot well. England topped the field with 594.87, a point off the games record but with more v’s. Australia was second with 593.74 and Malaysia 3rd with 592.72. We finished with 590.80. A few photos of the winning pairs are included.
Cheers, Jim.

March 16, 17 and 18 Final Tune up shoots for the Pairs Match

We had a fairly leisurely morning after the opening ceremony since we were not shooting until the afternoon. We had our breakfast then said our good byes to the people we were rooming with and wished them good luck in their matches. A volunteer driver took us back to Bendigo and we headed out to the range. 300, 500 and 600 yards in the afternoon with our second rifles was our plan. I shot my Swing at 300 and decided then and there to switch to the Angel. Pat had his shoot and decided that his Barnard was out shooting his Musgrave. So we had our rifle decisions made. On the 17th we had a long day, shooting 900 and 1000 once each in the morning and the afternoon practice sessions. In the evening the hotel laid on a jazz band in honour of St. Patrick’s Day. The 18th was a dry run for the pairs, 300, 500 and 600 in the morning and 900 and 1000 in the afternoon. Pat and I skipped the 500 and 900 to avoid playing ourselves out before the match itself.
The practice was with our number one guns and went well. That brings us to the Pairs Match which we will be firing tomorrow and an early night for all of us. Cheers, Jim.

More Fireworks

More Fireworks

The Fireworks

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Our flag bearer and Pat pose with the Australian umbrella girl who led the Canadian Team into the Arena.

The Full Bore Crew; we came in on the green ramp behind us

Friday, March 17, 2006

Jim Marching

Alain Marching

Inside the gymnastics venue, the Teams assembled.

Melbourne skyline from the Rod Laver Tennis Centre where the gymnastics are being held.

Muster for departure, instructions on hat and towel etiquette.

The Shooting contingent assembled in front of Canada HQ.

Wednesday March 15, 2006 Opening Ceremony Day

We packed up our opening ceremony uniforms and set out by bus for the Games Village in Melbourne at 10:30 am. This got us to Melbourne by 12:15. We decided to check in at Team Canada HQ before we went for lunch. Pat and I had rooms assigned to us in the village; Alain’s room was at a nearby hotel. We stashed all the gear in our room and then headed off for lunch with Mike Hockings, a small bore three position shooter. Lunch for me was Indian food and it was excellent. After lunch Pat set off to see if he could find his Sony Mini Disk that he had left behind on Tuesday, Alain and I went to check out the International area of the village. The international area has various shops, services and games rooms plus an open air café restaurant. After browsing the shops for a while Alain and I decided to sit down in the café. Since I knew we would go a long time without food at the opening ceremony I had a snack, a small serving of fish and chips. That and several coffees later and we caught up with Pat back at the Canadian residences. His music player had been found and turned in. He was able to recover it from lost and found. Some more chit chat with the other shooters at the accommodation and then around 4:30 it was off for and early dinner before we left for the opening ceremony. This time I had a slice of Pizza and to be honest was getting a little tired of eating. We changed and mustered in front of Canada HQ to be issued ponchos, in case of rain, and last minute instructions about how to proceed through the ceremony. That done we headed off by bus at around 6:00 for the arena. All the athletes were assembled in the gymnastics venue, a short walk from the opening ceremony and given more last minute instructions before walking out and eventually filing into the arena. Walking into the arena with the huge crowd and the flashing of thousands of cameras was quite the experience. It was hard to hear the announcements over the sound system because of the crowd noise and the echoes. We walked past the Queen, tipping our hats and then waved our towels to the crowd and came to a stop to watch the rest of the opening ceremony. Speeches and then fire works, it was a good show. Afterwards, we bused back to the village at around 1:00am. Alain disappeared in search of his hotel and Pat and I went for a late night snack, more Indian for me. A personal record of five meals in one day, I must be going through a growth spurt. I have included a few photos with not too many comments. Cheers, Jim.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Badge Match Winners

First, Adam Jory 296.35
Second after a shoot off, Peter Jory 295.29
Third, Gareth Morris 295.29
Fifth, Pat Vamplew 294.38
12th, Jim Paton 293.28

Tuesday March 14, 2006, Badge Match Day

Today we shot the Badge Match. The purpose of the Badge Match is to give the event organizers a dry run prior to the main events being held. The volunteer range staff and register keepers get a chance to practice along with the shooters. The course of fire was 2 sighters and 10 shots on score at 300, 500 and 600 yards in the morning and then 2 and 15 at 900 and 1000 yards after lunch. The weather was very good for shooting, sunny but not too hot. Pat and I tested our second rifles today. We wanted to try our second equipment and not take the match too seriously with the main events still to come. Interestingly the winner and runner up were Adam and Peter Jory, brothers from Guernsey. They were followed by Gareth Morris from Wales. Pat finished 5th two points behind the winner and one point ahead of me in 12th place. A total of 38 competitors took part. Tomorrow we head to Melbourne for the opening ceremony. We start shooting again on Thursday. Cheers, Jim.