English VIII Autumn Match Rifle Meeting Bisley
Perhaps instead of being the English Eight Club and Irish Eight Club Meeting this should have been called the Equinoctial Meeting, being bang on the autumn equinox with all that implies for inclement weather. Saturday afternoon was breezy but thank fully dry. A brisk left-handed wind taxed competitors with a wind bracket of 7 to 11 minutes at 1000 yards, subsiding a little to 7 to 10 at 1200 yards. The overnight leaderboard had five Scots in the top seven, with Tim Kidner second and Jon Sweet fourth pursued by Mark Crichton Maitland, Ron Scaglione and Guy Blakeney.
Prognostications that Sunday would be cancelled by high winds were wide of the mark, but the morning dawned wet and got wetter. At the cry “ten minutes to message one” most competitors stayed in their cars to avoid the drumming rain and a good number retired back to bed. No quarter was given by the range officers however and a muttering cohort lay down in the deluge. During the blow off period it was only just possible to see the stop butt, but thankfully the conditions eased and after that it was just a matter of lying in a puddle, in damp clothes, with wet kit, trying to make sure the important things kept dry through the intermittent showers and blustery winds thereafter.
At the end of the meeting Scots were not quite so well placed, but Scotland’s Jon Sweet had a storming meeting winning the Stamford Young Trophy, The Irish Cup, and the (replaced) 1200 Salver. Zoe Woodroffe carried off the Ladies Trophy. Otherwise Nick Tremlett won all the other trophies he was eligible for.
A well-run meeting, our thanks to the English Eight Club in general and Si Whitby in particular for organizing it.
Mark Crichton Maitland
30 Sept 2019