DAY 16 - TUESDAY 21st August

There was a wee post-Athelings-visit 'after-party' in the hotel bar last night so a few had had late nights (sure, if you class 10:30 as a late night Ed! - Ed.). Admittedly this probably had less to do with a thirst for drinks and more with some people's curiosity about the barmaid that the previous nght's barman had told us was "really hot" and "worth seeing". The jury is still out (with opinions highly correlated with status - very single vs. very married).

The team rolled on to camp nice and early as usual this morning and were soon pushing Frosties (breakfast of champions, according to Lucky) into their faces before their early details of the Letson. There will be force feeding of Frosties before the week is out after Jacqui interpreted the request on the board of "Frosties x 3" (i.e. three people asking for Frosties in the shopping run) as a request for three family sized boxes of Frosties. Good thing that they're grrrrreeeeaaat! Those who shot first were greeted on their return to the hut by a pile of boxes of cold pizza (snack of champions). It has to be said the food has been great in the hut (thank you food people) but the requests section on the blackboard has become notably more sweet-toothed as people rebel against diet sodas and devour the sweets and chocolates with surprising haste.

Letson and Tunis day (much like having Queens and Corp in one day at Bisley) is potentially a Grand-and-Governor-General's killer. A day not to make mistakes perhaps... maybe someone should have told Ed,who casually went to 300m without his freshly pressed ammo. Not to worry - he borrowed some of Matt C's unpushed ammo; a little bit of engaging with the lans never hurt anyone, just don't create a need to unload! Both men converted both sighters, which only left them with five more rounds to find. The morning seemed to go well, with only one person dropping a point at 300m and four (out of 21) dropping at 500 yards. Jeremy did comment that he'd be unlikely to break 10 V's after his 35.2 and 35.3.

Lunch was an interesting affair with Jacqui searching for a way of having a hot toasted sandwich or to reheat the pizza using the toaster. Matt suggested that she turn it sideways which looked promising. She recognised there was a risk of the filling melting out into the toaster so suggested that she might use a polystyrene plate (in the toaster!) to help catch the mess. Genius. This plan was vetoed. She tried running the toaster and hovering a slice of pizza over it in her hand, but forgot that her hands would get hot too; but she soldiered on and after much yelping and singed hands, she ended up with a slice of lukewarm pizza. Result!

The Alexander of Tunis (known by other names but apparently that is the official one) holds much the same gravitas as the Corporation does in terms of making or breaking one's Grand - Webby claims to have taken six attempts to break 40, whereupon he scored 50.5 and won. The important thing is that the Corporation is more conveniently made into a verb - Tunis'ed is a bit clunky, though again, variations on the name are available (and work at least as badly). The first detail was greeted to the range by an encouraging sprinkling of rain as a front moved over. Some wet flags and low light are just what you want in the Tunis. The rain kept on until about shot 8 of the shoot, just enough to be annoying and warrant drying kit out, but it did make the wind quite steady (unlike Tunis shoots of legend), to the glee of the shooters and disenchantment of the coaches. A breeze of 4-6 or so wasn't always easy to follow as it moved but it could have been worse. 2 of the team managed to put shots out of the top in this detail but Chris was lucky to shoot very quickly with an American and had a good 50. The next detail was dryer and had more 50s being shot so it seemed the Tunis wasn't offering the Grand-killing it often promises. Ah well, shame for those trying to make up points. The wind pretty much died later on and Stu went to town and drilled a 50.9 home to win.

Over at 600 yds, the wind was fairly boring too, gently drifting fromone side to the other. There were plenty of triggers being weighed and the 105s for the Letson were soon piling up on the GB score board including a 105.15 from Kelvin, .17 from DC and .18 from DCL. There were 12 GB 105s in all after all but 5 people went clean at 600.

Some of those 35s were achieved despite the appearance of Danny, and then David, on the point asking each of the GB shooters if they had the hut key - DC was rattled - he had tried the hut door and found it locked, they said, and he was worried that it had been locked while he was out, separating him from his kit. For any non-shooters, being separated from your kit when you have to shoot is a terrible feeling of dread and worry. What if your kit gets sad and misses you? And how can you shoot without it? It eventually was pointed out to DC that the locked hut might not have been ours and that he ought to try the one with a banner saying "Great Britain Rifle Team" on it...

James also had an amusing afternoon when he shot his sighters at 600. Having survived the easy-to-crossfire range at Perry unscathed, James had a bit of a moment with his sighters. Seemingly convinced that he was on one particular target, Watty put both his sighters on that target. His partner failed to notice that the correct target hadn't gone down and so made no fuss. Those shooting on the target James was shooting at didn't notice or say anything either. Even the range officer was at a slight loss. Amazingly nobody noticed what was going on until James twigged and put the next 7 on the right target for a 35, scoring 0 for his sighters!

That evening was the NCCRA "Corn Boil" (they do provide sausages, not just corn). There was no 3 line whip in operation, so a few team members did other things - Matt C was seeing a friend for dinner, the Watsons dined together, MattE was having a quiet night in and Stu was doing something with a load of girls who picked him up, which mysteriously required him to apply concealer (borrowed from Jacqui). The rest of us piled into buses (a small gin party happened en route in the back of one bus - good work girls) and headed off to fill our faces with corn on the cob. The corn boil was - as it always is - a lovely evening and a great clubhouse experience. If only there were more such evenings on camp! The team got their faces all messy with buttery corn and had a great time catching up with old friends.


Yesterday's answer: Matt Purdy was the factory kiln fire hero.

Q11: Which team member once lapped Silverstone... on a BMX?(!)