Outgoing Captain’s Report 2015-2016

This year has been very successful for CUSBC. There was a very good intake of new members at the beginning of the year and by mid-Michaelmas the range was busy and scores were improving at a promising rate. Special mention must go to Sam Sharma for his efforts setting up novices and Charlotte Sayers for successfully organising both the fresher’s fair and the open days.

The internal competitions demonstrated the good influx of new members with both the Novice and New Members competitions receiving an impressive number of entrants. The results were as follows; Cuppers was won by Trinity, made up of Alexis De Vivenot and Chris Bowring making a score of 384 together, mixed Cuppers was won by Caius/St Catherine’s made up of Fergus Flanagan and William Johnson with a score of 386. The overall individual competition was won by Fergus Flanagan with 296, Top Novice was Fenella Chesterfield with 286 and Top New Member was William Johnson with 295.

BUCs this year wasn’t hampered by the administrative difficulties that it was last year (missing signatures at our end and missing cards at the other), and complements must go to Chris Bowring for his eagle eyed checking of all of the cards before they were sent off. On the individual side Fergus Flanagan made it to the final but unfortunately couldn’t attend. Special mention must go to William Johnson for being placed 21st overall in his first attempt at BUCs. Disappointingly the team didn’t make it to the final due to one card not being completed.

There was a flurry of matches after Christmas with a good attendance to all of them. The first match against RGS at the Lord Robert’s Centre was hotly contested and we were unlucky to come away second best with 1497 to RGS’s 1506, the top score for Cambridge came from William Johnson with an impressive 194. This result actually demonstrated the depth of CUSBC as we put down a very respectable score with half of the team made up of novices.

The next match was against Sevenoaks, four intrepid members of CUSBC made the unusually snowless journey down south. CUSBC unfortunately lost with a score of 1456 to Sevenoaks’ 1492, perhaps unsettled by the unusually good road conditions.

The usual Captain vs Secretary Match took place at Queen Elizabeth Way with the captain’s team coming out victorious, 1321 to 1316 over seven firers.

Then came our usual fixture against GOGs where they whipped us as usual with 1555-1515 to GOGs. It was a very good spirited match as usual and is a great one to be able to keep on the calender. An impressive top score for CUSBC came from Charlotte Sayers with 196.

The Heslop and Bentata were held at the Lord Robert’s centre on Sunday the 28th of February. The Heslop was won this year by Cambridge with a score of 1515-1462, with top score coming from Fergus Flanagan with 196. The Bentata was narrowly lost this year by 717-725, with Charlotte Sayers top scoring with 191.

The final matches of the year took place on the last weekend of term and saw a clean sweep for Cambridge. The Kensington was won with 1482-1440 with James Xiao top scoring with 190. It is worth mentioning that the 1482 scored by the Kensington team was 20 points higher than the O*****d score in the Heslop, a very strong and encouraging performance. The Ex-Captain’s Challenge was won with 1381.3 – 1268. And finally the Lerman was won with 852 to OURC’s 706 with the top score of 238 from Fergus Flanagan.

It has been a great pleasure to captain CUSBC this year and I am very grateful for all of the help that I have received from my committee; special mention going to Charlotte Sayers for keeping the club, and myself, function behind the scenes.

Half Blues are awarded to:

  • Jonathan Waite
  • Charlotte Sayers
  • William Johnson
  • Michael Boucher
  • Fergus Flanagan


Club colours are awarded to:

  • James Xiao
  • John Darlison
  • Em Mason
  • Krit Sitathani
  • Mark Deng
  • Alex Fellows
  • Lauren Stokeld
  • Greg Brooks

Fergus Flanagan

CUSBC Captain 2015-16

Outgoing Captain’s Message

In terms of matches and results CUSBC has had a very strong year culminating in winning all 5 varsity matches, a feat to be applauded as always. The club has also seen a strong intake and retention of members and the social side of the club is as strong as ever.

The start of our rifle replacement programme has been highly successful and my thanks go to Harriet Nuttall for overseeing this. We were also incredibly grateful of the alumni support for the plan and their generous donations.

Michaelmas saw the usual setup of new members and our thanks go out to Bill Cowell who gave a huge amount of his time to assist with this with impressive results. The internal competitions saw a high participation rate and rounded off the term brilliantly. My thanks go to Michael Boucher for organising these. Cuppers was won for Peterhouse by Fred Hill and Emily Mason with 383/400. Emily also won the Novice Competition and Charlotte Sayers won both the Individual and New Member Competitions.

Lent term saw an impressive number of matches with an equally impressive turnout to them all which I hope will continue into next year. This year saw the return of the Captain versus Secretary Match, and despite the fiercely competitive nature of the sides selected it provided a friendly introduction to shoulder-to-shoulder matches. The Secretary’s team were ultimately victorious with 946/1000 to the Captain’s 932/1000.  An effort to rekindle matches against other universities saw a home match against Imperial. CUSBC was once again victorious with the 1st VIII 1528/1600, followed by the Cambridge 2nd VIII with 1508/1600, closely followed by Imperial with 1502/1600. Our regular fixture against GOGS was much closer than normal. Cambridge scored an impressive 1546/1600, coming within just 8 points of GOGS’ 1554/1600. In the build up to the first varsity matches another strong turnout was seen for the match against Gresham’s Rifle Club. Gresham’s were victorious with 1523/1600 narrowly beating Cambridge who scored 1521/1600 with the outcome decided by the final shooter. In third place was Cambridge’s 2nd team with 1456/1600 beating Gresham’s 2nd team who scored 1448/1600. Another home match, this time against RGS Guildford, saw Cambridge victorious once more with a score of 1500/1600 to RGS’ 1490/1600. My thanks go to Max Traynor for organising these many matches.

The Heslop and Bentata Varsity matches were held on Sunday 15th February at the Lord Roberts Centre, Bisley. Fiercely strong competition for places saw an impressive final squad who were victorious in both matches on the day. The Heslop was won with a score of 1522/1600 to Oxford’s 1473/1600. The Bentata was won with a score of 746/800 to Oxford’s 687/800.

The season was concluded with the final 3 Varsity matches held on the 14th March, and once again CUSBC was victorious in all 3. With Bill Cowell once again having passed on his expertise, a strong Lermann team was victorious with a score of 968/1200 to Oxford’s 838/1200. The Kensington was won by Cambridge with a score of 1502/1600 to Oxford’s 1364/1600. The Ex-Captains’ Challenge was won once again by Cambridge with a score of 1462/1600 to Oxford’s 1048/1600.

I would finally like to personally thank all of this season’s committee for their hard work all year, in particular Michael Boucher and Fred Hill as Secretary and Treasurer respectively. Best of luck to the incoming Captain Fergus Flanagan.

Simon Armstrong

CUSBC Captain 2014/2015


CUSBC win the Helsop and Bentata

Dear All,

The Small Bore Rifle varsity match for the mixed 1st VIII and ladies IV
was held on Sunday at the National Shooting Centre in Bisley. A strong
performance from both Cambridge teams brought home the respective Heslop
and Bentata trophies, continuing the light blue trend since the teams
drew in 2007. The Heslop team scored 1522/1600 to Oxford’s 1473/1600,
and the ladies team saw an equally impressive winning margin with
745/800 against 687/800.

Anyone out for a stroll on Sunday morning would have seen the odd sight
of the team playing rifle tetris whilst trying to cram our kit and
ourselves into the cars, but nevertheless we were soon off on the 2 hour
drive to Bisley. For the first time in a few years we managed to arrive
before our opposition, giving plenty of time to prepare our kit and calm
our nerves! Being on a new range combined with the sense of occasion we
all know accompanies a varsity match always threatens to break the focus
essential to our sport, but the team more than stepped up to the

This year’s squad was a relatively experienced one, with 5 returning 1st
team shooters with a number of varsity matches behind them. The club is
in a really strong position this year in terms of both quantity and
calibre of shooters, which made team selection incredibly tough despite
a gruelling series of selection matches earlier in the term. Regardless,
the team still saw 6 uncapped smallbore shots earning a place in the
squad and putting in very strong performances; Emily Mason, Charlotte
Sayers, Fergus Flanagan, Hannah Fisher and Fred Hill.

Particularly standout performances include Fergus Flanagan joint
top-scoring in his first varsity match, and Hannah Fisher who was
drafted in from a different discipline at short notice due to unforeseen
circumstances. Half Blues were awarded to David Firth, Jonathan Waite,
Harriet Nuttall, Fergus Flanagan and Simon Armstrong.

The shooting does not stop here however as the club now focuses on the
2nds, 3rds and 3P matches on the 14th March. We will be aiming to
maintain a dominance across the board which has seen none of the 5
matches lost in 5 years, and then many will move onto full-bore shooting
with CURA’s Easter training week.

The full scores were as follows:

Cambridge Heslop – 1522 Oxford Heslop – 1473

S. Armstrong (Trinity) – 195/200
M. Boucher (Trinity Hall) – 189/200
D. Firth (Trinity) – 191/200
F. Flanagan (Gonville & Caius) – 195/200
A. Hill (Peterhouse) – 189/200
H. Nuttall (Queens’) – 190/200
C. Sayers (Churchill) – 182/200
J. Waite (Clare) – 191/200

Cambridge Bentata – 746 Oxford Bentata – 687

H. Fisher (Girton) – 187/200
E. Mason (Peterhouse) – 187/200
H. Nuttall (Queens’) – 190/200
C. Sayers (Churchill) – 182/200

This was a terrific achievement and the club should be proud that we can
not only field such strong teams here but also in the matches yet to

Simon Armstrong
CUSBC Captain

Message from the incoming Captain

I’m taking over the CUSBC captaincy at a very exciting time for the club. In a welcome turn of events we have only had to say goodbye to a relatively small number of senior shots compared to recent years. This will allow the club to build upon the many successes of the last few seasons and consolidate its skills at all levels. The returning senior shots will be able to fine tune in order to win a likely highly competitive varsity place and there will be a real focus on supporting novice training to bolster the strength in depth that has long been the club’s advantage.  That being said there is always an opportunity for new faces to step up and win their spot in one of the Varsity matches!

I am lucky to have an extremely strong committee alongside me this year, with a wealth of shooting experience, and look forward to working with them all. First on the agenda is the fresher’s fair!


Simon Armstrong – CUSBC Captain 2014-2015

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.



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

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

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.



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