DAY 12 - FRIDAY 17th August

On strict instructions of the Adj, the team was in breakfast on time and geared up for an early drive. Everyone praised the brilliant contrast the luxurious Best Western beds made to the singles in The Shores and as we tucked into a continental breakfast (including waffles courtesy of the chirpiest and kindest lady known to the hotel breakfasting industry - she even brought toffees and a thank you card to each table!) the group seemed remarkably animated for this time of day. Nobody had really unpacked much for the stopover so once kit was thrown into buses and the satnavs were programmed, bus 2 took an early lead and departed bang on time. The first stint was not the best one to be driving to be honest. The traffic was clear and the road free flowing, the weather was great too, but the road itself could not have been more boring. Changing lanes was a big highlight as the road was just a straight line east with no corners. After a swap of drivers and a fuel stop at some convenient services (coincidentally the same ones chosen by most of the buses) the monotony continued, this time in a more northerly direction... but with "home" in the form of the Barons Hotel (Best Western these days) to look forward to. Eventually we all made it to our familiar and much loved accommodation in great time. Once checked in and fed, we made our way to the range. It should be said that by this point there had already been at least a hundred mentions from within the team along the lines of "I remember going there [pointing at restaurant] in 2007" or "that wasn't there when we were here for Palma". Ottawa had clearly been missed. At the range we found that the GB room had been opened and the stored kit moved into it by Chris and Chris (FitzHockley - the Celtic nations' answer to Hergé's Thomson and Thompson). Ross was again in 'super adj' mode and while the room was being configured for optimal use ("in Palma we laid the tables out like this" - never mind that this was a different room) he gathered up declaration forms and delivered all the entries. I say all the entries but it seems Webbie was a little unlucky and his warm-up shoots were missing. Not to worry - Super Adj aided his insertion into the first match - his success re: tomorrow remains to be seen, since the staff were telling us that the Gooderham was oversubscribed (despite being three to a target in a two-man time limit)... positive signs for the health of Canadian shooting?*

As if by magic, the range food team (girls plus doctors-cum-food hygienists) returned with half the supermarket and laid out the food area of the room. Excitingly, Kelvin had been entrusted with the deli counter run. The room has desks pushed to the sides with spaces under them for kit and tables in the middle for sitting/eating at. Mod cons include all important air-con, a fan or two, a fridge freezer and of course a box full of frisbees and balls to play with. Holly and Matt Purdy took no time to fulfill their role as 'Athelings liaisons', catching up with friends and no doubt comparing notes on the contrasts in their respective tours (one of the new caps says it's "nice to be trusted"!). 6pm soon came around and the team (minus DC and Matt Charlton who were on the second detail) headed out for the Ottawa Regiment, the first of our warm-up shoots, a 2+15 at 800m. The wind was strong from the left and Chockley had warned us earlier that he had found it very tricky while shooting the Sierra long range match. Team GB had a good crack, though it was evidently hard work as John Pugsley's comments after his downwind magpie attest (they can't be printed here for sure!). 72-74 seemed the par score unless your name was Underwood (75.9) but it wasn't until the second detail when David Calvert managed a 75.12 in the dying light. There were some other notable features of this shoot that he confided to his bus (forgetting that his bus included two diarists) but we won't go into the detail. Suffice to say it could easily have been a 50 instead of a 75 - thank goodness for Adam the Atheling!

Shooting done, the team headed back to base and back to the familiar eateries of Bells Corners such as East Side Mario's and the Cock and Bull. Tomorrow, more warm-ups and a team reception to look forward to.

* It turned out that there were't many targets being used for the Gooderham on Saturday.


Yesterday's answer: Ross McQuillan has a maple leaf shaped birthmark.

Q8: Which team member played Ultimate Frisbee for Delft University's 1st team?