Imperial 2017 Report
July brings the NRA Imperial meeting at Bisley, Surrey, the home of British shooting. Representatives from Edinburgh University were competing in the Target Rifle meeting, where over 700 shooters compete with iron sighted rifles at distances from 300 yards to 1000 yards. Shooters from Edinburgh had considerable success over the past week. Starting with the individual accolades, Emma Sweet shot well in the Georges I, Queen’s I, and Prince of Wales competition to come second in the O class Fulton’s Pairs with her parter, Zoe Northam. Megan Kenyon shot well at 900 yards in the Admiral Hutton to get on the prize list, and Seth Dowley performed at a consistently high level to place 147th in the Grand Aggregate, securing the BUCS silver individual medal.
In team matches, there was more success. Rory MacLeod was selected for the Scotland National Team and shot very well, with Scotland finishing second to England, some achievement indeed. Rory was also chosen to shoot in the East of Scotland team in the Inter Counties match, with the team performing incredibly well at long range to finish a fantastic fourth. Emma was picked to shoot in the Scotland U25 team, with Rory as captain. With the six having been assembled at very short notice all members shot well to finish second in the match behind England, a very commendable achievement. Seth Dowley was chosen to wind coach the England team in that same match and contributed towards their success. Seth was also picked to coach the GB under 25 team, which beat the Canadian Cadet team by a massive 30 points, in very tricky conditions.
At the same time as Seth was coaching the GB under 25s, the Musketeers trophy was being contested. This is a match shot by teams of IV from non-Oxbridge universities at 300, 500, and 600 yards. The Edinburgh team consisted of Seth, Rory, Emma, and Chris Gray, with Simon Glen very kindly offering his services as wind coach. At 300 yards the team all shot very well, indeed the Edinburgh team were only 3 V bulls behind the bottom half of the GB Kolapore team, which is an incredible achievement. Credit must go to Seth, who, having coached 3 GB shooters in the U25 match at every distance then sprinted down the range in order to then shoot for Edinburgh, he had a rather tiring morning! After 300 yards the Edinburgh team were already 4 points ahead of the field. 500 yards saw the team score only drop by one point compared to 300 yards, once again Simon keeping the shooters as close to the middle as he could in such challenging conditions. 600 yards was a true test of both shooter and wind coach. With the conditions proving incredibly difficult, the coach had to act quickly to select the right wind and the shooter had to fire a good shot equally quickly in order to ensure they weren’t caught out by any wind changes. The whole team acquitted themselves brilliantly, the scores from the Kolapore teams showing that the conditions were incredibly difficult. With all the scores tallied, Edinburgh won the Musketeers by a margin of 5 points.
Saturday morning saw the team compete in the Universities Long Range, with Jon Sweet coaching the team this time. At 900 yards there were excellent performances from all four shooters and wind coach, with only 7 points being dropped in conditions that weren’t the easiest. 1000 yards was a far trickier affair, with the team deciding to delay firing due to the torrential rain. Once the weather eased up a tad Edinburgh got underway, the wind still flicking around and the prospect of rain never far away. Despite the best efforts of the coach and plotter, the team struggled and dropped 16 points, ending up losing the Long Range to Cambridge by a single point.
However, the combined scores of both the Musketeers and the Long Range meant that Edinburgh took BUCS gold in the team event! With Seth, Chris, and Emma all graduating this year it was the perfect way to sign off as student shooters, and the club looks forward to more success in the new smallbore season.