English Eight Club and Irish Rifle Club Bisley autumn meeting 2020
26th/27th September 2020
A slightly extended autumn meeting started with a spoon shoot on the Friday afternoon in a howling gale. A former Captain declared that he hadn’t shot in such strong wind since 1994, it rocked cars and produced sandstorms behind the 1000 yards firing point. With the wind almost straight down the range settings on the gun were low, but any change of angle resulted in condign punishment, and for the first detail the changes were savage although for subsequent details they became manageable. Scores were handicapped by some impenetrable and almost certainly subjective statistical system, known only to the Captain of England. Prominent Scots were Mike Buchanan with 72.5 and Fergus Flanagan with 70.0.
Saturday morning dawned bright and clear, with a very moderate headwind. Scores were high in the first detail, although there were no possibles. Scots McLeod, Sweet, Buchanan and Crichton Maitland all scored 99, with Flanagan and Baxby on 98. As the day went on the wind got up, still coming down the range from the north and the temperature dropped appreciably. The cloud came in and the rain mostly stayed off. The strong headwind developed into a minor version of Friday afternoon and to break 70 at 1100 yards was deemed an achievement. 1200 yards was interesting. In the first detail the wind bracket moved from 4 minutes left to 3 minutes right in three shots but seemed to settle down after that albeit with occasional gusts or shifts in angle to trap the unwary and unobservant.
At the end of the first day Jon Sweet was in the lead, three points ahead of the rest of the field, with 99.15 at 1000, 69.6 at 1100 and a very good 97.10 at 1200. Other Scots in the first ten were Buchanan at 7th and Flanagan at 8th.
Sunday continued in a similar vein with strong and cold northerly winds, mostly from the right, but with a reduced wind bracket on previous days. Keeping warm was a major challenge. Jon Sweet continued his winning form and was top of the leader board by a convincing 434.51 from Rob Lygoe at 429.43 and Mike Buchanan at 427.40. Jon swept the silverware board with the Stamford Young Trophy, the Dram Trophy for the highest score on Saturday, the Irish Cup, the Buchanan 1200 Salver and the North London Championship which was shot concurrently.
Our thanks to the English Eight and Irish Clubs for an excellent end to a difficult season and our congratulations to Jon on an outstanding result.