DAY 14 - SUNDAY 19th August - START OF THE GRAND

The team seemed to have all made pretty early nights after the reception last night although it was suggested that there had been some 'carrying on' by some team members in the hotel bar - a ridiculous notion among these high calibre athletes (especially given the bar closed at 10pm!). The staggered departure to the range according to detail start time was working well and Ross had plans to optimise this further by means of a giant table of start and finish times (super adj seeking marginal gains). For those who have not been to Canada, the drive to the range from the Baron's is not long at all but long enough to strike up a bit of chatter. Danny was apparently heard to comment of the local wildlife that you don't see many skunks (cue a skunk scurrying across the road) and also that you don't often see gophers (yes, cue several gophers). Tomorrow he will predict tigers.

The morning's shooting was the Tilton at 300m/600yds - the final shoot before the Grand began with the MacDougall at 300m/500yds. Through the morning in a gentle breeze from over one's left shoulder, the short ranges didn't present too much of a challenge to a team who had been shooting so much long range and the easily readable mirage meant the ammo had every chance of some good possibles. And possibles there were. Most team members managed at least one 50 in the two shoots and Chris even made a rather nice 50.10 at 300m.

Over lunch, where we were reminded about food hygiene by Parag after someone left the meat out, the wind seemed to be getting more interesting and the clouds overhead suggested some weather was on its way. It's true there were dark storm clouds - heavy, black and pendulous - toward which we were walking. It's also true that the kit bags we were carrying were badly in need of some waterproofs. But us being normal shooters and on an overseas tour... Well we weren't going to let a storm spoil the events of our afternoon. It was an afternoon shoot we were going to remember for a very long time (clap of thunder). Pop quiz - name the origin of that pop-culture homage.

In actual fact the afternoon was more threatening and blustery than actually wet and the rain only actually broke after shooting finished - this diarist just couldn't resist the opportunity to use "Heavy, black and pendulous" to describe the weather (bonus points if you know what the audience shout out at that point in the show). As the afternoon drew on, it became clear that Des Vamplew had restored Canadian honour and won the Tilton match from the morning, halting the British dominance thus far. Team GB took on the blustery winds and a few came out the other end of the first two shoots in the grand unscathed (Jon managing an impressive 17 vees) but it was Des's day as he pulled 18 vees out of the bag to win the MacDougall. Those who had lost points during the day were left to reflect on the ones that got away but were able to take some sense of victory from the fact that Team GB almost all now have a clean wardrobe now we've fully utilised the washing machines on camp. Carlsberg don't make shooting teams, but if they did, it'd smell like Team GB.

Back home to the Baron's where the team split into those BBQ'ing and those heading to West Side Mario's for authentic Canadian-Italian cuisine. Early to bed again (except for me, editing this - Ed.), not only because we are up early again but more because we are all so tired. Shooting all those vees (again, except for me - Ed.) really takes it out of you.

WHO AM I?

Yesterday's answer: David Calvert crashed on his first driving test. Before this tour, that would have surprised me!

Q10: Which team member appeared on a Saturday morning television show in 1984, alongside Paul McCartney, to demonstrate early touch screens?