Dorchester Rifle & Pistol Club

Sandringham Sports Centre, Fordington Fields, Dorchester


Dorchester R&PC v. Bayeux Tir Club at Dorchester

Dorchester 3 Bayeux 1

Last weekend [19th – 21st June 2015] Dorchester Rifle and Pistol Club shooters welcomed fellow shooters from their Twin Town of Bayeux for the 30th set of rifle and pistol competitions of what is believed to be the longest established regular international inter-Club shoulder to shoulder competition. There are teams of five from each club and as Bayeux only brought 7 shooters for 4 competitions most shot at least 3 matches.

Soon after their arrival at the Sandringham Sports Centre range on Friday afternoon the Bayeux team were in action with the 10 metre precision air pistol where traditionally they are very good and also have strength in depth. This year the journey had taken its toll and with Michel Huart as their last shooter he needed 273 to win, considerably more than any other shooter had achieved in the afternoon. He was second highest scorer with 266, one point behind Jean-Jacques Durand [267]. Gill Carter [258] led a steady Dorchester team, scoring 1247 to Bayeux’s 1241; the first time Dorchester has won this match for many years.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Dorchester [Robin and Val Potter] joined both teams and other Dorchester members for Friday evening's social at the Dorchester Clubhouse, where there was the opportunity to try the older sport of archery. Accompanied by Jacques Lechevallier [President of Bayeux Tir Club and a Town Councillor in Bayeux] and Richard Burden [Chairman of Dorchester Rifle and Pistol Club] the Mayor cut a celebration cake made by Gill Carter. On behalf of the Dorchester Town Council, the Mayor presented a glass memento celebrating the 30 years’ continuous shooting activities between the Twin Towns.

Saturday morning at Piddlehinton range was initially overcast for the start of the 25m black powder pistol competition but conditions soon brightened up. The shooters use replica historic arms similar to those used for duelling or by highwaymen. The shooters measure their own powder and load the lead ball down the muzzle of the pistol between each shot. There are clouds of smoke and because of the variability the loading creates they are allowed 13 shots with the best 10 to count for the match. Dorchester improved on previous years [402] with Sean Thomas scoring 90 ahead of Ian Davison and Wendy Thomas, both on 86. Michel Huart again shot excellently to top score with 94, ahead of Bernard Hamel and Jean-Jacques Durand on 89. The consistency of the Bayeux team enabled them to win with 443 points.

After a substantial lunch at The Poachers rifle shooting in the afternoon was a little challenging for both teams. There was a fickle wind blowing over the left shoulder and varying along and across the range. The rifle competition involves each of the 5 shooters in the teams having 40 shots; 20 at 50m and 20 at 100yds. In the tricky conditions Ian Davison was by far the best shot on the range [385], well ahead of Sean Beer [373] and Marie-Claire France [372] who was 10 points ahead of the next Bayeux shooter. The steady shooting of the rest of the Dorchester team, which included three who had shot in the original match in Bayeux in 1986 – David Carter, Ian Davison, and Richard Burden - enabled them to win by 1860 to 1758.

Back at the range in Dorchester the Police Pistol competition was shot, with air pistols, against the clock on advancing targets at 20, 15, and 10m. Dorchester fancied their chances on home territory and having put in a lot of practice three of the team came out ahead of all the Bayeux shooters, with Steve Hubble top scoring [256] ahead of Mark Donnelly and Steve Maros [both on 243] and Marco Dal Pont [237] leading the French. Dorchester won convincingly by 1199 to 992.

The celebration dinner was held at The Gamekeeper in Charminster where Honorary Life Membership of Dorchester Rifle and Pistol Club was presented to Marco Dal Pont, Michel Huart, and Jean-Jacques Durand in recognition of the many years they have shot well in the competitions. Bernard Hamel, who initiated the competitions, and Jean-Pierre Bouin have been Honorary Life members of Dorchester Club for many years. Richard Burden presented Jacques Lechevallier, the President of the Bayeux Club, with an ammonite from the Jurassic Coast as a memento of the competitions, and Jacques reciprocated with two photograph books of the Battle of Normandy.

Richard Burden Chairman
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