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Brief comment on Australian team performance at WBC11

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Zorba's picture
Brief comment on Australian team performance at WBC11
The Team arrived back in Australia on Wednesday after close to 27 hours of very uncomfortable travelling, some had a further 6 to 7 hours before they got home to get some sleep. I imagine some of the team are still catching up. I believe the teams performed very well and represented Australia with pride especially when a number of factors that were contributing to the experience are taken into account. There were some exceptional individual performances when you consider our team had nine newcomers to World Championship Benchrest. John Brook, Anthony Foate and Barry Warwick all put in exceptional performances and each will ponder (along with the other team members) what might have been with one or two shots that went astray. With such a new team it was really helpful to have Paul Sullivan providing input at appropriate moment to the newer team members. The Americans came to WBC11 with a full head of steam and for all their laid back approach on practice days they were deadly serious about winning the title away from Australia. The range can only be described as a non stop mixing bowl and it took five days of practice for many of the team to get a handle on what the flags meant whilst they swirled around. The difference in conditions over a distance of three bench widths was rather dramatic at times. Being up against a wall or alongside the centre poles added another flavour for the competitors. The weather conditions went from high heat and very high humidity (over the 100% scale) during practice days made the load challenge interesting. Fouling was an issue and on competition days we had four seasons in one day with rain coats and garbage bags being eagerly sought for the 150 metre march up heart break hill to the firing line. The facilities were of Olympic standard with the only downside side being the marathon walk from the Reloading room to the Firing line. The reloading room was 120 metres long and the round trip up the hill for us was upwards of 400 metres with your gear and closer to 600 metres for the smaller competitor countries who were placed at the furthest end of the reloading room. Some of our team (and others) found the two hour break in the midst of the day quite disorientating when it was added to the 5.30 am rise, shooting started at 8am and usually finished at around 6.30. I guess that is the French way of doing things. It also meant you had to work on your psyche to get back into the your particular rhythm for competing. By the time the flags were moved and gear organised for the next day of shooting we were leaving the range at around 8.30 pm for a 30 minute drive and looking for something to eat. There is only one winner of the team gold and in that context all the other teams can strive for improvements next time around. Australia had the highest number of first time competitors at WBC11 some may see that as a disadvantage and certainly we gave up some previous experience and the new team members at WBC11 now have similar experience. I reminded all the team members in France it took from WBC1 to WBC10 for Australia to wrest the gold medal out of the American's hands and they were not about to take that easily or without a serious comeback. The WBC11 Australian team has now brought back experience that will add to the already significant experience base we have in the Benchrest fraternity and that should make us even tougher competition for our guests at WBC12. I said in France and I repeat it again now - well done to each team member I know each and every one of them tried their best and learnt from the experience. The 12 competitors have in my opinion all come back better Benchrest shooters as a result of the experience. We will be able to post pictures once the official photos are received and I hope to do that within a week or two Alex