DAY 1 - MONDAY 6th August

The tour started, as is traditional, with the team arriving in dribs and drabs at the Surrey RA for weighing and checking of baggage. As ever, there were many bags overweight and everyone (with the exception of the baggage 'legends') decided to arrive toward the end of the time requested time window. Never mind; by bed time there was a satisfactory pile of weighed and checked rifles and bags as well as a stack of empty pizza boxes, courtesy of Emma Cannings. Everyone did their best to get a good night's sleep before the early departure, although Jacqui had a harder job of it when she found a dead mouse in the 'Manor'.

The morning proceeded entirely to plan, with Matt Ensor (baggage legend) taking full control of the 40-odd items of luggage. The only cause for concern was possibly when the coach driver was heard to say "I've never done this before" - we hoped he meant specifically carrying a shooting team, not driving a bus. The concern was unnecessary as we got to Terminal 3 in good time and the touring machine rolled on to get us checked in and on the flight without any diary-worthy worries other than higher than expected firearm transport costs. Amazingly, Danny arrived early(!) at Terminal 3 and Matt C turned up with a GB flag and red, white and blue stripes painted on his cheeks, "fresh" from his Olympic attendance the day before.

One event of note was that, given we were 'Team GB' travelling during the Olympics, we were asked to give more than a few autographs - of course we obliged, none of us daring to admit we aren't actual Olympians! Good for the ego, and bizarrely nobody from the 140-person choir in the check-in queue seemed to think it odd that a Team GB would leave GB AFTER competing.

Taking a flight on any tour involves a variety of emotions - you get on the plane and are very excited about getting there, but the excitement dwindles as you lose your battle with fatigue and realise that you are still on the ground, queuing to take off. Well our flight was much like that, but after a few more autographs and several in-flight movies, we arrived. Day 1 accommodation was in an airport hotel so a short drive in our luxurious vans (not all were de luxe models though - Kelvin was peeved to be shown that he had picked up a less well specced out van from the group) and then a quick team meeting saw us soon heading out for dinner. Some stayed around the hotel, some went further (into Toronto for some nice food and a wander round the town) and some went for luxury (Barberian's Steak House in Toronto, where there were a number of choice quotes from Jacqui "52 states" Rankin). The team were largely in a slightly jetlagged haze while taking in the sights of Toronto, but Matt Purdy had his wits sufficiently about him to hook up with a very nice looking Canadian girl... or rather to remake acquaintance with a member of the Canadian NRT from his Athelings year. This liaison earned him huge kudos with the team and was deemed to be good work for a new cap on day 1, despite protestations of being just good friends. Off to bed now, we rise early for a long day of driving. Olympic Update 1 - Canadian broadcasters are only dimly aware of the existance of other nations in the Olympics. Tomorrow we find out if the American ones have a similar attitude.