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CUSBC is Cambridge University’s Small Bore Rifle club. Practice with .22 smallbore rifles takes place every Monday and Friday in Cambridge’s very own 25 yard range, the Queen Elizabeth Way range. CUSBC is a very social club, with weekly socials held in the Hawk’s Club.  Four Varsity matches are shot against Oxford in Lent term, the Cambridge first team, the woman’s four, the Cambridge seconds and the 3P (3 position) match. Smallbore shooting is a half-blue sport and Cambridge has a very good record of success (see results here)

Many of CUSBC’s members are also part of the Cambridge University Rifle association, CURA, CUSBC’s sister club.

Come along to one of our open days to see what we do or just come along to one of the weekly practice sessions to get a membership form to join!

Happy Shooting!

News

BUCS match report

 This year saw the BUCS competition return to the original format. The postal qualifying stage was six cards from each of the six team members. After a series of issues with the stickers and details of rules, we were the 8th and last team to make the finals, despite some of our team members being rearranged due to approximate averages. No CUSBC shooter made the individual finals this year, although myself and David Firth were within a couple of points of doing so.
 
The team finals were held at Staveley on Saturday 22nd February. We travelled up on the day which meant an 06:30 start. Due to other commitments, not all the first team shooters could make the finals. The format was four cards per shooter, shot two cards at a time. With 48 team members and only six firing points, that meant shooting lasted a good eight hours even at 10 minutes per card. After each detail the current scores were published to let everyone keep track. As the day progressed Southampton built up a solid lead while the rest of the field stayed bunched together. Despite suffering a migraine, Lizzie top scored for Cambridge with 386.
 
The final scores were:
Southampton 2307
Aberdeen      2285
Newcastle     2284
Oxford          2280
Imperial College 2276
Edinburgh     2274
University of London 2274
Cambridge    2266
 - E Potter 386
 - D Firth 383
 - J Waite 383
 - N Gates 374
 - S Sharma 372
 - M Traynor 368
 
Jonny Waite
CUSBC Captain 2013-14

CUSBC win the Heslop and Bentata

The Small Bore Rifle Varsity match was held on Saturday 15th February, at the National Shooting Centre in Bisley. Shooting started around 11:00, but with a two hour drive to get there that still meant an early start. After a 1 point win last year and consecutive Cambridge victories from 2008, the pressure was on to perform.  

This year’s team was a relatively inexperienced one, with only three of the eight shooters having shot in the 1st VIII Varsity before, although all had shot in important matches. Three of the four members of last year’s Women’s 1st IV returned to it this year, as well as making the 1st VIII, and were joined by a previous 1st VIII shooter to make a very strong ladies’ team.  

The match itself proceeded without incident and we ensured that the correct gauge was used to score after last year’s cards had to be completely re-marked. All the scoring was done at the end of the match so no one really knew who was in the lead as there were similar scores from both sides. The final score for the 1st VIII were Cambridge 1505, Oxford 1496 ex 1600 and for the Women’s 1st IV were Cambridge 753, Oxford 719 ex 800, continuing our winning streak. The top score was achieved by Harriet Nuttall and Elizabeth Potter with 194. Along with David Firth, scoring 193, they earned Half Blues.  

Varisty_team.jpg

This weekend we will be facing Oxford again at the BUCS finals in Staveley and then on 15th March for the 2nd VIII, 3rd VIII and 3 Position Varsity matches here in Cambridge.  

 

Jonathan Waite

CUSBC Captain 2013-14

Incoming Captain's Message

This will be an interesting year for CUSBC. Many of our most senior members have now left Cambridge leaving space for new talent to rise up to the Varsity 1st team. After David's clean sweep the bar has been set high but last year's matches also showed us that we have far more than eight good shots.

The year is off to a good start with a successful Societies Fair, with somewhere in the region of 300 signups. This is in part due to having a proper discussion with CUSU about displaying rifles, which means we won't have trouble doing this in future.

 

GDBO

Jonny Waite

CUSBC Captain 2013-14

Outgoing Captain's Report

Once again it’s been a fantastic season for CUSBC. Things began with a fantastic recruitment effort, with special mention going to Ashley Abrahams for recruiting half of Peterhouse. Thanks also goes to Nick Hall for the effort he put in to running a new format of novice training.

Several internal matches were held earlier on in the season. Lizzie Potter won the Novices competition with an impressive 188, Luke Davison won the New Members competition with 194, and David Firth won the Individual competition with 197. Cuppers saw Peterhouse take a well-deserved victory with Ashley Abrahams and Ed Kim produced an outstanding score of 391.

After Christmas there were an impressive number of responses for our first match of the season set to be held at Sevenoaks, but this was unfortunately cancelled due to snow. Our next match saw defeat to very strong GOGS side, however it provided invaluable match experience, and we went on to defeat Gresham’s in our final match. This year also saw the introduction of Saturday Practices for blues level shots, which gave extra opportunities to train in the build to the varsities.

This year’s varsity saw 3 shooters making their 1st VIII debut and the match was a close affair. It was the very last bullet fired that determined the winner. After the notorious regauge, Cambridge took a one point victory. James Diviney put down the highest score of the match with an impressive 194, with David Firth and Lizzie Potter achieving an impressive score of 192, matched only by Oxford’s top scorer. The Women’s 1st IV match saw all of our women making their successful varsity debuts with an extremely dominant 66 point victory.

For the first time in a while, Cambridge was able to attend the BUCS team finals. This year saw the introduction of a controversial one card only format for both the qualifying round, the final, and the final of the final. Despite injury, unavailability and rifle problems, Cambridge went through to the final 8 in second place once again beating Oxford. In the final round Cambridge put down an improved score of 573 ex 600, as did Southampton. But following an scoring appeal Cambridge took second place, still a fantastic result.

The 3 Positions, 2nd VIII and 3rd VIII varsity matches were all held on the same day as the CURA dinner.   Things kicked off with the 3 Positions varsity, with Cambridge putting down a winning score of 927 to beat Oxford’s 921, including an impressive score by Jonny Waite of 244. The second VIII varsity demonstrated the huge depth of CUSBC with not one single person dropping below 187, an unbelievable achievement. The final score was not far off this year’s Heslop score, and bodes well for CUSBC replacing those 1st team shooters who will be leaving this year. Matilda McAleenan top scored for Cambridge with 191.

This year also saw a 3rd VIII match, which saw the newly donated ‘Ex-Captains’ Challenge Cup’ being won for first time by Cambridge with a margin of 130 points. Johnny Waite top scored with 193, followed closely by Krit Sitathani’s  190. This means Cambridge yet again achieved the clean sweep, taking home all the silverware.

As the season came to a close, CUSBC helped Cambridge University Officer Training Corps retain the Land Command Small Bore Championship. We also shot for them in postal competitions with 4 members being selected to represent the T.A. in an inter-services competition. The financial support provided by the OTC has proved very useful, and we successfully ran a competition at our range in return. I hope this strong relationship continues into the next season. Many thanks to Nick Hall for help in this.

Varsity Results (and Cambridge top scorer):

  • Heslop: WON 1515-1514 (James Diviney 194)
  • Bentata: WON 756-690 (Lizzie Potter 192)
  • Kensington: WON 1503-1482 (Matilda McAleenan 191)
  • Lerman: WON 927-921 (Johnny Waite 244)
  • Ex-Captains’: WON 1433-1303 (Johnny Waite 193)

Half blues were awarded to:

  • Olly Collas (re-award)
  • Luke Davison
  • James Diviney (re-award)
  • David Firth
  • Lizzie Potter
  • Anna Stansbury

Club colours are awarded to:

  • Ashley Abrahams
  • Alex Dowle
  • Nick Hall
  • Ewan Johnstone
  • Esme Jones
  • Ed Kim
  • Stefan Kuppen
  • Harriet Nuttall
  • Krit Sitathani
  • Anna Stansbury
  • Max Traynor
  • Johnny Waite

I would also like to mention that we now have pigeon hole’s to use for jacket storage, and CUSBC was kindly donated 2 rifles by Duncan Norman (CUSBC 1971-74, Captain CURA 1974).

It has been a pleasure captaining the club, and I am very grateful to the help from my committee. Special mention goes to Anna Stansbury for taking on the Women’s captaincy at short notice, and to Ashley Abrahams for his advice. The club would also like to thank James Diviney for his 6 years of consecutive 1st team varsities, 3 of which he top scored in. I wish the best of luck to my successor and their committee.

David Firth,
CUSBC Captain 2012-2013

CUSBC take home all the silverware!

The 3 Positions, 2nd VIII and 3rd VIII varsity matches were all held on Saturday 9th March, the same day as what would be a fantastic CURA dinner. Things were due to kick of around 11am, however Oxford delay’s kicked the schedule back by two and a half hours. Cambridge, who were well prepared and organised, took this opportunity to relax and watch Oxford scramble to get ready.

Things kicked off with the 3 Positions varsity, known as the Lermann. It consisted of 4 man teams shooting one card in the prone, kneeling and standing positions. The score remained tight throughout the match, with a 2 point lead to Cambridge after the prone cards, and 5 point lead to Oxford after kneeling. In the final detail the Cambridge shooters held their nerve. Between them, David Firth, Nick Hall, Johnny Waite and Ed Kim put down a winning score of 927 to beat Oxford’s 921, including an impressive score by Waite of 244.

Whilst the Lermann was coming to a close, the 2nd VIII match, known as the Kensington, had already begun. All of the Cambridge 2nd team had been with reach of the closely contested 1st team places and were looking to prove themselves under the pressure. The huge depth of CUSBC was demonstrated by not one single person dropping below 187, a fantastic achievement. Oxford had some strong shooters but were let down by their tail end, showing a much greater variation in scores across their team of eight. The final score was 1503 (Cambridge) vs. 1482 (Cambridge). This was not far off this year’s Heslop score, and bodes well for CUSBC replacing those 1st team shooters who will be leaving this year. Matilda McAleenan top scored for Cambridge with 191.

This year also saw a 3rd VIII match, which saw the newly donated ‘Ex-Captains’ Challenge Cup’ being won for first time. Unfortunately Oxford were let down by one of their team, who did not turn up. A confident Cambridge kindly agreed to take an average across the team to work around this, although this is arguably a disadvantage to the Light Blues. This match was an easy victory for Cambridge, who produced a score 1433, beating Oxford by 130 points. Johnny Waite showed his 1st team experience, and why he already has a CUSBC half blue, by putting down the top score of 193. Following closely behind was Krit Sitathani with a score of 190. The first ever engraving on the Ex-Captain’s Challenge Cup will be ‘2013 Cambridge’.

After a long day, where 38 shooters ploughed through 86 cards between them, Cambridge came away with 3 more victories to add to successes in the Heslop (1st VIII) and Bentata (Women’s IV) just a few weeks ago. This means Cambridge yet again achieved the clean sweep, taking home all the silverware. Celebration took place throughout the night as Oxbridge shooters, past and present came together for a highly commended CURA dinner. As the season comes to a close, CUSBC will be hoping to help Cambridge University Officer Training Corps retain the Land Command Small Bore Championship on Saturday 16th March. After this, the focus will shift to Easter Bisley training as the Full Bore season begins and CURA looks to extend run of varsity success.

David Firth,
CUSBC Captain 2012-2013

CUSBC win silver in BUCS

For the first time in a couple of years, Cambridge was able to attend the BUCS team finals, which were held last weekend on Saturday 23rd February in Staveley near Sheffield. The final consisted of the 16 teams who had qualified via a round of postal card competition. This used to be 2 cards each a months for five months, however this year saw the introduction of a controversial one card only format. Our team managed to make the cut despite a distinctly below average performance, and we were looking to do ourselves justice on the day.

Things looked set to be against us from the start, with team members unable to attend or injured, and last minute rifle problems, but we were not deterred. Upon arrival we learned of yet another unusual competition format. Everyone would shoot just one card, with the top teams progressing to the final (of the final), where scores would reset and everyone would shoot just one more card. 10 minutes including sighters meant this would be high-pressure shooting, but something we were confident about having won varsity just last weekend. Some teams travelled for hours only to shoot for 10 minutes and go home. Cambridge went through to the final 8 in second place with 570 ex 600, 2 points behind Southampton, but once again beating Oxford. Olly Collas showed fantastic form with a huge 98 ex 100.

In the final round, seeing as the scores were bizarrely reset, any one of the 8 teams was in with a chance of the medals. This time Cambridge put down an improved score of 573 ex 600, with solid scores across the board: Olly Collas (97), Ewan Johnstone (97), David Firth (96), Nick Hall (95), Anna Stansbury (94) and Luke Davison (94). This was enough to leave us tied with Southampton for gold. As the team began preparing for an exciting tie shoot, the Captains were called over to discuss the format. Southampton challenged one of their scores and received an extra point, meaning the tie shoot was off and Cambridge took second place. This was disappointing but still a fantastic result given the difficulties and the one card system, and the icing on the cake was that we had beaten Oxford yet again, who took bronze with 571 ex 600. The club will now focus on 2nd & 3rd VIII and 3 Positions varsity which will be held in Cambridge on Saturday 9th March.

David Firth,
CUSBC Captain 2012-2013

CUSBC win the Heslop (1515x1514) and Bentata (756x690)

The Small Bore Rifle Varsity match was held on Saturday 16th February, at the National Shooting Centre in Bisley. An early start was required to give time for 2 hour journey, and some relaxation and preparation time at the other end. Somewhat to our surprise, we found Oxford on the range practising as the clock approached (and past) the agreed start time. It was clear they were trying to get every advantage they could in order to overcome the 5 years consecutive victories Cambridge have managed since the draw of 2007.

This year’s varsity saw 3 Cambridge shooters making their 1st VIII debut, joining 5 experienced shots with 13 previous 1st team caps between them. The match was a close affair from the very beginning.. With just two shooters from each first team left to shoot, there was just 1 point in it. Due to a policy of no talk of scores, it was something few knew as I watched my last two shooters put in solid performances. Due to an Oxford rifle malfunction, and some leniency on my behalf, the last Oxford shot had to complete their cards on a one-man detail once their rifle had been fixed. Her shots were to decide the match, and as things eventually unfolded, it was the very last bullet fired that determined the winner…

It was initially believed that Cambridge had won by 2 points, but before it could be announced it was elucidated that Oxford had provided a gauge (used to determine the precise score on a target) for the wrong distance. This meant the Oxford captain and I had to regauge every single card again to see if the scores changed - a very tense time for everyone! Oxford gained 3 points and Cambridge gained 2, meaning a one point victory to Cambridge 1st VIII. The final score was 1515 (Cam) 1514 (Ox) out of a possible 1600. James Diviney put down the highest score of the match with an impressive 194, with David Firth and Lizzie Potter achieving an impressive score of 192, matched only by Oxford’s top scorer.

The Women’s 1st IV match was shot simultaneously, and was an extremely dominant victory for Cambridge. The four Cambridge shooters were making their varsity debuts for Cambridge, with Lizzie Potter shooting the 1st VIII concurrently. Her score of 192 made her the highest scoring woman. The final score was 756 (Cam) 690 (Ox), meaning a resounding 66 point victory.

 

Having met the criteria (a score of 190 in a first team varsity), half blues were awarded to Luke Davison, David Firth, Lizzie Potter and Anna Stansbury, and reawarded to Olly Collas and James Diviney.

Our shooters will now be moving their focus towards BUCS team finals on Saturday 23rd February, followed by 3 Positions, 2nd VIII and 3rd VIII varsity on Saturday 9th March. After so many fantastic shots narrowly missing out on a first team place, I am confident that Cambridge has the depth and talent to achieve yet another clean sweep of victories.

David Firth
CUSBC Captain 2012-13

New website!

Thanks to some of our current members, CURA and CUSBC have new websites! They are now much more usable to not-so tech-savy people so expect more updates. New features will be added as time goes on but bear with us!

CUSBC Complete The Clean Sweep

The Cambridge University Small-Bore Club has once again recorded a clean sweep across all varsity matches. In a season where the club has experienced large growth, team selection was far from easy and strength in depth was obvious throughout.

In a strong team performance, the 1st VIII (Heslop match) recorded a convincing victory of 1519 vs 1499 (ex 1600). The captain, Oliver Collas, topscored with 196 (ex 200). By scoring over 195, he is now eligible for a full blue, dependent upon results this summer. Ashley Abrahams, James Diviney, Alex Dowle and Jonny Waite all shot well to record half blue scores.

Liz Campbell’s ladies IV destroyed Oxford in one of the biggest wins on record, 754-657. Kay Sharpington’s brilliant 190 ex 200 earned her the top score, whilst Matilda McAleenan, also shooting in the Heslop, and Minty Sainsbury impressed on debut.

The 2nd VIII (Kensington match) produced a stunning 70 point win. Nick Hall, unlucky to miss out on a first team place, held his nerve well to top score with 192. The 3P team completed the clean sweep- their fine score of 972 winning by over 120 points with every member shooting superbly. Tom French’s relaxed attitude paying dividend as he scored 253. This capped a successful year for the club and with the huge influx of new members we are hopeful for next season.

CUSBC Win the Bentata

CUSBC have retained the Bentata (Ladies' Match) with a very strong performance, beating Oxford by 754 - 657 (ex. 800). Top score for Cambridge was Kay Sharpington with a half blue qualifying score of 190 (ex 200). The rest of the team each scored 188 in this very consistent performance.