The Kent Open competition, open to any target rifle shooter, has become a hallmark of the OSRA calendar. In 2021, Old Suttonians comprised a third of the entry; in 2022, just under a quarter. The desire to perform on the county stage has not faded as the club and its members have matured. Indeed, the appetite for success has only grown as Old Suttonians bring home silverware each year.
In 2022, four Old Suttonians competed in the Kent Open: Anthony Bromley; Freddie Pawlik; Chris Dale; and Edward Ervine, with Tom Fermor and Harrison Sharpe having to unfortunately drop out before the event. This year was also the second year in which we ran our Young Shooters’ Foundation sponsorship for the Open, which was met financially by the Old Suttonians’ Association. We chose to sponsor two Fourth Form members of the SVS Shooting Team, Elyse Ratcliffe and Filipp Rivanenok, in the hope that what they learn from the experience can stay with them throughout their school careers.
At 300x, despite many Old Suttonians having shot a reasonable amount this season already, it was evident that some cobwebs remained. However, under a dismal sky that threatened rain, Ted Ervine was able to shoot a steady 48.2, demonstrating the benefit of his new cheekpiece. Moving back to 600x, groups tightened: Freddie Pawlik found the V-Bull with 49.6, but was pipped to top spot by Anthony Bromley with a personal best of 50.9 for that distance. Daniel Wild, our YSF sponsored shooter from 2021, should be especially commended for scoring 50.5, his first Highest Possible Score. It is wonderful to see young Suttonian marksmen achieve such success with their shooting.
Long Range, shot at Stickledown – a beautiful range on Bisley camp – often instils fear in the mind of shooters, young and old. The threat of a gust of wind blowing a shot into the magpie (3-ring) is real. The wind, however, remained steady under the lowering sky: the flags barely lifted from their posts, which meant that experienced shooters had to rely on mirage for their wind calls. Ted Ervine and Chris Dale scored an exceptional 49.6 at 900x, with Ted coming second overall at 900x at that distance; but Anthony Bromley proved again that it is possible by landing a 50.7.
At 1000x, however, the OSRA had its finest hour. Freddie Pawlik, having toyed with different aspects of his new rifle, now decided that it was time for him to put that new barrel to good use. 49.6 – a tight V-count, considering that this is just shy of a kilometre away – was scored, with Chris Dale second (49.4) and Anthony Bromley third (49.3). In total at Long Range, we not only came first and second at 900x, but also first, second and third at 1000x. This is an unprecedented achievement for the club, and one that will echo down future generations of Old Suttonian shooters.
The 2022 Kent Open was a proud moment for the OSRA: not only were we able to bring home trophies, but we were also able to support up-and-coming SVS students to compete for the first time, and see the success of the YSF programme in the performance of Daniel Wild. We hope that this serves as inspiration for new OSRA shooters and younger Suttonians, who dream of the bright glint of silverware.
|Name||300x (ex. 50.10)||600x (ex. 50.10)||900x (ex. 50.10)||1000x (ex. 50.10)||Total|
*denotes top score for that distance