Bermuda a bit like Green Island with palm trees? Looking at the photo I don’t think so, white sand blue sky and a lagoon. I suppose someone has to go to these far away places sacrificing their creature comforts, forgoing black butter, bean crocks and other Jersey delicacies in order uphold the honour of shooting in Jersey.
After many months of meticulous planning, acquiring the required qualification scores, and rounding up sufficient cash, the journey began at Jersey Airport on 10th July 2013.
The team comprising Mick Radcliffe, Mike Quenault, Nikki Holmes, Chris Le Moeligou and George Winstanley, packed their pistols and headed past Guernsey firstly to London. After a stopover of several hours in Gatport Airwick they eventually took to the skies in search of the sub-tropical paradise island known as Bermuda.
After 7 hours of BA cattle-class in an air-conditioned cigar tube thay arrived in Bermuda. The team, captained by Mick Radcliffe, soon realized that despite their age and infirmity they would have to carry their own luggage. After being stripped searched by the Bermudian Police, Mick could only wonder whether this was a sign of things to come.
Although it would be nice to say that the next few days were blurred in the memory due to alcohol intake however, despite all of Mick’s exhortations, the team rather let the side down by refusing to participate in any drinking competitions until at least after the first day’s competition.
The conditions were hot which with very high levels of humidity made shooting difficult for all of the competitors. On the first day of competition in the open-sided marquee used for the air events the temperature reached about 48c. Bad for the pistol shooters but it must have been terrible for the rifle shooters in all their kit.
The Bermudian hosts having had firearms banned for nearly 5 decades have no experience of organizing shooting events and, unfortunately the CRO they imported to look after the 25m events was a qualified IPSC judge with minimal experience of ISSF.
Unfortunately when we arrived the ranges were still not complete and the draft schedule was not workable. After great effort by all of the competitors and particularly by a number of the Bermuda support team a workable schedule was put together and all events were held.
Despite all of the difficulties our pistol shooters persevered and came back with a great crop of medals and Cap’n Mick was extremely proud of every one of them.
PS One or two of the team did indulge in one or two fermented beverages after the competitions were over. The good news is that no-one missed the plane on the return journey !!!