Members of Ruislip Rifle Club, representing the London Borough of Hillingdon, won the 2012 London Mayors' Association Annual Rifle Competition for an unprecidented sixth year running.
The team was supported by Cllr Michael and Mrs Rosemary Markham, Mayor and Mayoress of the London Borough of Hillingdon, and also by Cllr Josephine Barrett, former Mayor of Hillingdon and Member of the Executive of the London Mayors' Association.
Four teams representing London Boroughs and one representing the Corporation of the City of London were selected for the Final by competing in three preliminary rounds, shot on their home ranges with the targets being posted to a scorer. This year, the finalists were the London Borough of Barnet, the Corporation of the City of London, the London Borough of Hillingdon, the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, and the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. To the surprise of many this year, the London Borough of Wandsworth did not qualify for the final. Wandsworth have won the competition more times than any other team in the competition's 101-year history, and own the Challenge Cup that is traditionally presented to the winners.
The Final was held at Ham & Petersham Rifle Club on Saturday, 1st September, The five teams of eight shooters from each borough shot against each other in a round-robin format. In each heat, each team has 24, 2 inch clay discs on a black background, at a range of 100 yards. The discs shatter when hit, and the team to shatter all their discs first is the heat winner, and receives 2 points. In the event that neither team hits all their discs within 3 mintues, the team hitting the most discs will be declared the winner. In the event of a dead heat (or the same number of discs hit within 3 minutes), each team will receive 1 point. At the end of the heats, the team with the most points will be the winner of the Challenge Cup. If there is a tie on points, there will be a shoot-off.
The ten heats were decided as follows:-
After the competition, there was a presentation of awards in the club house, followed by refreshments.
The final results were as follows:-
Before the competition started, we had the opportunity to sight in our rifles for the range (100 yards), wind conditions, and the size of the clay discs we would be breaking. The black targets on a white background in the picture are ordinary 100 yard targets, as used for normal competitions. The white dots on black represent the size of the clay discs we would be shooting at later. During the sighting details, we were allowed to use spotting telescopes between shots to see where our bullets were going. During the competition, no 'scopes are allowed! Of course, telescopic sights are not allowed at all.
This competition is always very enjoyable, both for those taking part and for the Mayors and other dignatories that come to support their teams. The format is designed to be exciting for the spectators (well, as shooting goes, anyway), and the occasion provides an opportunity for a few people with influence to get a better appreciation of the sport of target shooting and those that take part. We look forward to another opportunity to defend our title next year.
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