On Friday, 16th February 2018, our BUCS A Team travelled to Chesterfield in advance of the much-anticipated BUCS Finals weekend. The team consisted of both Committee and new members: Club Captain, Harry Percival; General Secretary, Xav Iafrate; Fullbore Captain, Jason Pepera-Hibbert; Smallbore Captain and Publicity Officer, Liv Haworth; Ed Norman; and Danny Lay. Our team would be competing in the BUCS Smallbore Shortrange Team Finals on the Saturday, and Liv would be competing in the Individuals Finals on the Sunday.
We rose early on the Saturday morning and arrived at Staveley Rifle and Pistol Club in plenty of time to sign in, collect our targets, set up the rifles and prepare ourselves for the day ahead. We would each be shooting two rounds of two consecutive cards during the course of the day, with a strict time limit of ten minutes per card.
Up first at 09:30 was Jason, who scored a respectable 95 on each of his Round 1 cards. After Jason, at 10:00, Ed shot a 91 in his first card and a 97 in his second card. Next up, after a detail’s break, was Xav, who scored a 90 followed by a 93. In the fifth detail of the day, at 11:30, Liv shot a 92, then a 90. She was followed by Danny, who scored an impressive 97 and 98. To conclude Round 1, Harry scored a 91 and a 93 on his first two cards.
As we prepared for Round 2, we were more familiar with the range and more comfortable with the atmosphere of a six-lane, shoulder-to-shoulder match and prepared to improve our scores from the previous detail. The team worked well together, ensuring that everyone was helped with their equipment and changing targets, and offering moral support throughout the day.
The afternoon saw an improvement in scores for most of the team. Jason scored 91 and 97; Ed 91 and 93; Xav 95 and 97; Liv 96 and 95 (despite having to leave the range between cards to find an Allen key!); Danny 96 and 98; and Harry, who rounded off the day with a pleasing 95 and 97.
Pleased with our Round 2 scores, we packed up the rifles and our kit and awaited the results. With a total of 2264, we placed 5th – just 1 point behind 4th! Imperial took 3rd place, Edinburgh took 2nd, and Cambridge placed 1st overall. In the evening, we headed out for the customary EURC Nando’s and reflected on how the competition had gone.
On Sunday morning, we enjoyed a more relaxed start as Liv’s first detail was at 12 noon. We went for breakfast, then returned to the hotel to pack up and check out. Arriving at the range at 11:00, we unloaded the kit, set the rifle up and collected the targets. In Round 1, Liv scored 85 and 94, having had trouble with the sights on the first card. Round 2 was also the final detail of the day at 15:00, in which she shot a 94 followed by a 91.
After the final detail, we packed up and drove the 240 miles back to Exeter, arriving at around 20:00 to unpack the kit and return the minibus.
The BUCS Smallbore Shortrange Finals were the culmination of several months of postal cards, training, and preparation by all of our teams. We are very proud everyone who has represented the Club over the past few months and look forward to our next event!
We also extend our thanks to the Exeter University Athletics Union, who have helped us with entering the teams and has supported us with arrangements for the Finals; to the organisers at the NSRA and BUCS for arranging the competition; and to Staveley Rifle and Pistol Club for hosting the Finals at the weekend.