The Freuchie competition – devised by Bob Norman from Freuchie - is run during the NSRA Scottish Meeting, Initially, it was run under the auspices of the SSRA and more recently by STS.
The competition was first run in 1974 and consists of bays of three shooters competing in a knock-out with 20 shots at 100 yards, the winner going forward to the next round. The initial rounds of the competition are run at lunchtime, with the finals being held after the X and A-class aggregate are finished on the Thursday afternoon. The competitors usually agree the winner amongst the group of three, with the tent being used to resolve any tied scores.
This year the NSRA Scottish meeting was a Lauder. It was held in incredibly warm conditions – temperatures in excess of 25 degrees were common. The wind was variable across the days of the competition and there was no sign of rain. The weather led to conditions under which it was difficult (or sometimes impossible) to see the bottom diagram due to heat haze (AKA mirage).
In the C/D class – for the sgian dhubh trophy – Stewart Mason (from Edinburgh University) put in a stunning performance to beat Robin Law and Adam Dove in the bay of three, before being beaten by a few points in the semi-finals by our 2018 Commonwealth Games finalist Lenny Thomson.
The open final was a shoot-off between Lenny Thomson (from Banff & McDuff Rifle Club & Huntly Rifle Club), Jim Cole-Hamilton (of Bon Accord) and Kay Copland (Kay returning to shooting after a gap of some 2 years). Conditions remained hot, bright and breezy. Jim took the final by a clear margin with a score of 197 winning the Gold medal, and a bottle of single-malt whisky and the Wilkinson-Sword Trophy. The Silver medal went to Kay with 7 off with 190 and in Bronze position, Lenny was some 2 points adrift of Kay with 188.
History repeats itself - in 1974 when the competition was first won by Cyril De Jonckheere, he went on to win the Scottish. In 2018, Jim Cole-Hamilton did the same thing.
Report & Photos by Iain Malone