National Scout Air Rifle Championships 2011

Explorers Scouts

With a heavy heart we returned the team rifle, team pistol and the Junior Connaught trophy (overall junior champions) when we returned to Bisley on Friday evening, ready to compete in this year’s competition. We also had quite a few team changes with most of last year’s winners having migrated up to Explorers meaning we were wondering how well our Scout team would do this year although we still had a really good number of competitors on our team. This of course did mean that we took our strongest ever Explorer team this year however even they knew they were competing in a very strong field.

So at 8am Saturday morning (up at 6am, yes SIX), a really hectic weekend started with all the adults busy on ranges or assisting the Scouts and with so much to-ing and fro-ing going on it was difficult to tell just how we were getting on. Some came back with smiles, many ruing their luck and some quietly confident. Over the weekend we competed in the main events of 6yd air rifle and pistol, field target and the dreaded knock-out competition and many of the Scouts and Explorers also competed in some extra events such as biathlon, (run and shoot), own pistol and rifle at 6yds and the blue ribband 10m own rifle event. Shooting continued from 8.30am to 9pm on Saturday and again from 8am to 1pm on Sunday before we all assembled in the hall for the results ceremony.

It was pleasing to see a number of our Scouts and Explorers who represent the National Scout Squad receiving their ‘colours’ before the main results started, this giving a great impression to start with as so many of our number were called up to receive their awards. And then the results show started and we didn’t have tooooo long to wait before our first taste of success.

First Lily P got silver for junior biathlon followed smartly by Sam H who also got silver but in the senior section. Jacob H took gold in the under 14 category of the 6yd ‘own’ rifle with a score of 82 and quickly followed this up with a silver in the Junior main pistol event with a score of 73.

Next was the joy of the team pistol trophy being returned to us, a trophy won by adding the four best pistol scores from competitors in the same team with Jacob H, Lily P, Isaac G and leader John W taking the trophy with a team score of 295.

The main rifle competition results were then read out with Jacob again featuring with gold in under 14 rifle, scoring a tremendous 93. This was also the best score by a Scout in the event meaning he also won the Ken White trophy, Ken being the man who started this event some 35 years ago. All was not finished here yet though as with a team score of 353 aided by scores of 90 from John W, 88 from Jamie S, and 82 from Lily P along with Jacobs 93 we won back the Webley Scott team rifle trophy for the second year!

We then moved onto the aggregate score trophies which culminates with the overall Connaught trophy award, however before that another prize for Jacob in winning the Chief Scouts Award for the best aggregate score of rifle, pistol and field target. And so to the big one and with the team rifle and pistol awards in the bag hopes were high for a good placing, but as ever the results being announced in reverse order nearly shreds the nerves whilst waiting for first place. 3rd……. 2nd…..and in 1st place, 3rd Hampton Hill, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant stuff and well done to Jacob, Lily and Emily H in bringing the trophy back to 3HH for the second year running and now for three out of the last four years!

And what of the rest of our teams? Well the full results where we’ll get a better measure of exactly how well we did will be released in the next few days but we already know that….
• Our second Connaught team of Isaac, Ella L and Lucy R came 5th overall and our 3rd team of Matthew H, Annie D and Jamie S took 8th place overall.
• Hampton Explorers came a fantastic 4th overall with the team of Matt C, Ruth H and Sam H, I can’t wait until next year!

And so, with a joyous heart we returned the team rifle, team pistol and the Junior Connaught trophy (overall Junior champions) to our trophy cabinet on Sunday afternoon. Well done to all the team and especially to all the leadership team of Jon H, Mark H, Paul C, Ann S, Simon F, John and Wend W with special mention to Fidelma who kept us so well fed and watered all weekend.

Bring on 2012!

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