Oxford Shot Down By Cambridge In Varsity Shooting

Its a clean sweep for Cambridge in the annual Varsity shoot out. JONATHAN WAITE was there to watch the long faces of Oxford…

cambridge university shooting Jonathan Waite shooting varsity 2013 pistol and revolver

This year was Cambridge’s turn to host, so the lighter blues could enjoy home support in the chilly Elizabeth Way Range. Each team comprised of four shooters and the range has four firing points, so each match required to shoot in two details with one half Dark and one half Light Blue in each. The Varsity match is shot on the ‘Standard Pistol’ course of fire: 12 series of 5 shots, the first four in 150 seconds each, the middle four in 20 seconds each and the last four in 10 seconds each, making 60 shots and a possible 600 points per shooter.

Cambridge vs. Oxford vs. Cambridge vs. Oxford – only in Varsity shooting!

Ladies Captain Sophie Reed and Jonathan Waite joined Oxford’s Captain and a member of his committee on the first detail. As Jonathan took up his pistol to prepare for his sighting shots the adrenaline kicked in and the anxiety was clear as the gun wobbled back and forth over the centre of the target – far from the ideal steady aim he would have wanted.

Captain Jonny Waite kept his cool and nerve, proving superior over Oxford in the joint doubles

Within an hour Cambridge’s finest shooters were done and retired so the rest of the First teams could shoot. In the warmer lobby of the range, they gathered around a table and began to add up the scores. It quickly became clear that, as always, the winner would be decided by who could avoid the bad shots rather than make the good ones. One of Oxford’s shooters let her nerves get the better of her and dropped 40 points more than anyone else, giving Cambridge a big lead. Once the second detail finished, everything was totalled up. The second four shooters had kept up the pace and all scored around 530 for Cambridge, which meant Oxford couldn’t regain any lost ground and Cambridge won the Varsity match 2116 to 2066 points. Joint top with 535 were Jonathan Waite and Stewart Forshaw, who only began shooting in Michaelmas.

No time for shaky hands or needing to go to the toilet!

The second team and the ladies teams shot over the next three details, producing some 520s and one 530. At the halfway point Cambridge had a 13 point lead, but by the finish it had closed up and Cambridge had won the second team match 2036 to 2030 – the difference of only one bad shot. Oxford’s ladies simply couldn’t match the experience of Cambridge, and the home team won the Ladies match 2045 to 1828.

Victory is sweet: The victorious Cambridge team

After a trip to the pub with Oxford, and then onto the Hawks club, Half Blues were awarded to Stewart Forshaw, Minerva Singh and Ali Simon. Half Blues were re-awarded to Jonathan Waite, Sophie Reed and Han Yan.