Sharp Shooters Arrive in Barry Buddon

Date: 21/07/2014

After the heavy rain of yesterday, the sun shone through today at Barry Buddon where the shooting begins on Day Two of the Games. 

On the 50m small bore range Delhi Gold medallists Jen McIntosh, Jon Hammond and Neil Stirton were all getting in practice ahead of their events which start on Monday 28th.

The Scottish small bore shooters have been training on a similar range in Hannover, Germany, before coming back last week.

Neil Stirton, Gold Medallist in the 50m Rifle Prone Pairs in Delhi with Jon Hammond, said the conditions at the range were testing today.

“The wind turned around lunchtime to become a headwind,” explained Neil. “Normally when you’re shooting it’s the bullet that can be affected by the wind. However when there’s a predominant headwind it can shift your entire pattern, especially when shooting standing or kneeling,” explained Stirton.

“Even when lying prone, a headwind plays on the elevation of the shot. It can get under the bullet and lift it up, or push it down.”

When you are talking millimetres between Gold and missing the podium, understanding and adapting to the changing wind conditions is key.  For the 50m small bore rifle shooters at these Games, there is an additional challenge as they won’t be able to experience the range in its full Games set up until the night of the 26th.

That’s when the indoor air rifle and pistol events finish and the temporary wall erected to create the indoor range within the 50m range area comes down, leaving the 50m outdoor range  fully opened up to the east coast winds.

For Stirton, adjusting to the wind is just part of normal preparations.  “I quite like windy conditions because I train in the North East, shooting in Aberdeen for the last 20 years where you just don’t get too many calm days,” joked Stirton.

Air Pistol shooter Alan Ritchie was excited to see the Barry Buddon range and surroundings all getting branded up in Glasgow 2014 livery. “Four years since Delhi have gone by so quickly,” said Ritchie who will be competing in his fourth consecutive Games. “It’s ready to go and so are we.”

Elsewhere on the site, the shotgun cartridges were flying with Trap shooting trio of Shona Marshall, John MacDonald and Jonathan Reid all getting in some solid practice, whilst Skeet shooters, Sian Bruce and Drew Christie were sharing the round with the Australian Team who included triple Commonwealth Gold Medallist Lauryn Mark.

 

Photo credit: Jeff Holmes