Originally Posted by The Dictator
Well I suppose now that I've sobered up I'd better finish reporting. This is the abridged version.
Thursday, arrival day.
Cleared customs with ease, as we had sent forth a few guinea pigs on the earlier flight so they could feel the full force of the Polish marigold. I will mention no names but they can be seen standing in most photos!
Captain Lait demanded that as part of our practice regime it was imperative that we drank "a quick half". The quick half's soon turned into a non stop 4 day binge.
Lucky Wayne Marriot turned up with half of his gun and that half wasnt really that good to be honest.
Friday, practice day.
Had a lay in to recover from jet/lager lag.
Arrived at the shoot which looked very organised and professional, something akin to the old FT worlds days.
We crowded around the air bottles and all greedily squabbled about who was going to get filled up first. This soon turned into a debacle with hissing and popping going off and a bewildered looking bunch of miscreants wondering if they'd ever get air.
The polish a Czech guys looked on bemused just shaking their heads. "How can this rabble even call themselves a team" were the thoughts i could see going through their minds. To the plinking range, where after 3 shots each Captain Lait decided our "quick half" training should resume.
This lasted all night and ended Jennie Stone attempting to walk through a door...... It was closed.
Haemorrhoids were also the topic of the day but I'm forbidden to say why, but must ask this question.... "What is piles?"
Saturday, Comp day 1.
Got to the shoot nice and early to find that our hosts had pretty much sorted the filling issue so we all topped our guns up. Wayne's gun however couldn't be filled, because as quick as it went in the cylinder it came out of the barrel. A group gathered but it was more to be fanned by the blast of air than to offer assistance in the rapidly rising temperature.
The shoot went smoothly with a few sporadic whistle blows, but keeping ones cool in desert like conditions with thirty degree heat took some doing. Simon Rant took it all under his wing and showed us all how shooting should be done with a clear round.
With the shoot finished there was no time to lose and the ever demanding narcissistic captain demanded our training continue and so we found ourselves back in Lodz town centre with Tiskie in hand.
Sunday, Comp day 2.
With the sound of hissing all but gone we solemnly mooched to our pegs with the firm belief that Simon would be as solid as the day before and that our chances were over. Little did we know that he forgot to clean his barrel and his days were numbered.
The shoot went as smoothly as the previous day but this time we were in a shaded woodland area which was a lot less grueling on the body than the "quarry of terror".
The shoot ended and the scores were collated. Captain Laits torturous destruction of our liver paid off and team England wiped the floor with our European friends. We also collected a second in the recoiling and a 1st in the ladies to boot, so all in all a blinding result.
I met the Mayor of Lodz but he wouldn't fix my parking tickets.
With the presentation over and the sun low in the sky I thought the work had been done.
The ever demanding Captain once again insisted our training continue.
Monday, the return.
I wont go into this as it was pretty much the reversal of the outward journey, with more cannon fodder chucked onto an earlier flight.
One interesting development was that whilst having our guns inspected at Heathrow airport in the red section of customs, Steve Edmondson broke down in tears and confessed that the gun he was holding was in fact a front for his international drug smuggling empire. I believe he's still with them.
In conclusion, it was a great weekend with some trophies chucked in for good measure and the Polish guys are top top hosts.
I also learned 2 things.
Some Judges can speak Latin and Heathrow has the second longest escalator in the world.
Couldn't have put it better. Absolutely brilliant weekend with a great bunch of people.
Well done to our Polish Friends for the best organised shoot i have ever seen.
Well done Team Great Britain! Roll on Next Year!
Alex and Piers