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Hmmm. The dreaded Blair diagonal line is just visible on the monitor .... but it was to get much worse as wind speed and variability increased


By the time the detail finished the rain stopped – and the wind died leaving near calm – to let a set of F/TR shooters move in like greased weasels, setting up as fast as they could to take advantage of conditions that weren’t likely to hold for long. There was wind in fact, not showing on the flags but running at around 2 MOA from the left for a .308 with invisible but still potentially significant variations and a full 2-MOA additional elevation was also needed, bringing home how much wind does affect elevation on this range.


With Laurie and Russell shooting together, a small group formed behind to watch the monitor to see both contestants find the bull/V-bull on shot 1 - Russell hammering five consecutive Vs in. Laurie wasn’t dropping points but was down two Vs by shot six, nevertheless, the word got round that the 223 was holding up against the 308 and more spectators moved in. As the match progressed, both dropped the odd point, every one in the 4.9 ‘just out’ category but the .223 was now getting a higher V-count! In fact after shot 19, both men had dropped four points and hit the V eight times, so it was a last-shot playoff for this pair at least.


Russell, shooting first sensed the wind might have strengthened fractionally, but decided on balance to hold his aim - a four at 3 o’clock, another damned 4.9! Laurie aimed off a fraction and the monitor flashed up a V – 96.9v for the ‘Mouse Gun’, 95.8v for the World Champion and the 308! A few yards further down, Adam Bagnall also shot a 96 but with eight Vs for second place. With Steve Donaldson on 95.7v the leading quartet pulled further ahead of the F/TR pack.


In the Open Class, the detail shooters were allocated to for Match 4 had a potentially significant effect, with pulses of rain coming through and the right


86 Target Shooter


Grant Taylor picks up his Stage win medal


wind reappearing for the second detail. This match saw Yorkshire/Diggle shooter Simon Rogers power through on 98.6v ahead of Robin Gow and Mark Daish on 95s. Of the previous day’s leaders only Ian Boxall broke 90 and that only just.


With such variability at the top of the class, the overall lead really was open now, everything depending on last match performance. The wind was back again but lighter and occasionally fishtailing around from behind as Match 5 got underway. It was Grant Taylor who took his second Match of the weekend on 95.4v ahead of Match Director Des Parr by a single V and the ever reliable Anthony Dunne on 94.4v.


Gary Costello recovered from a poor Match 4 to shoot a 91 but the other Day One leaders were stuck in the 80s. Day Two ‘Open’ sensation Simon Rogers was in between Anthony and Gary on 92.2v


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