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Forester Leads British Cadet Rifle Team to Success
Alastair (at left) and team members with their winning haul.
Alastair Smyth, an FES forester in the North Highlands District, helped lead a team of UK cadets to Canada last month for the second round of an historic international marksmanship competition.
The cadets, or British Cadet Rifle Team took part in the first round of the competition against the Royal Canadian Army Cadets at Bisley, Surrey in July.
The 18-strong team of marksmen and women beat the Canadians in the Rex Godard competition and also came second in the Inter-services Long Range match, beaten only by the team representing the British Army.
The British Team also took part in a number of other competitions as members of smaller teams.
“My original experience with the team was 20 years ago and it was a shock and honour to get a phone call to ask if I would join the 2017 tour.
“In the first round in July it was an additional bonus for me to win Gold in the Colin Grafton memorial match and be a semi-finalist in the St Georges, with scores that were better than I managed 20 years ago.
“The ‘return match’ in Canada was great fun.
“We had a short period of acclimatisation and then it was two intensive weeks of shooting in team matches and individual events.
“The Canadians put up a good team and were looking to get some points back but in the end the UK came out on top.”
All the competitions were shot between 300yards – 1000meters (British in yards and Canadians in meters) and the equipment used being either the cadet service rifle of the host country, or a single shot Target rifle.
Alastair, who in his younger years competed in the under-18s Norther Ireland team and was selected to join the UK team, has been an Army cadet instructor for 15 years.
The first exchange visits of cadet teams took place in 1910, when parties of cadets from Australia, New Zealand and Canada came to England.
Reciprocal visits by a team of Royal Canadian Army Cadets have been taking place since the 1950s.
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