Jason Pepera-Hibbert at the U25 World Championships 2019, NZ

By Natasha Pasternak-Albert, Club Captain

Our Senior Advisor and ex-Fullbore Captain Jason has just finished competing in the ICFRA U25 World Championships, far away from home in New Zealand. He’s done team GB incredibly proud: attaining U25 individual 4th overall, achieving the top GB individual score, and becoming the U25 long range World Champion. This shows the product of not only his innate talent for target shooting, but also reflects the hard work and hours of training that he has dedicated to this fantastic sport.

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Jason at the U25 World Championships in Trentham, NZ wearing his medals from his individual achievements – including winning the Long Range aggregate. 

Taking a look back at his previous shooting achievements and his fullbore career to date, this doesn’t come as a surprise to those who know him. Jason has always shown his incredible marksmanship prowess when competing alongside and for the society, and as an extension his supreme coaching ability with our members, novice and experienced alike.

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Jason in the winning team for the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) matches at the 149th Imperial, 2018. 

Jason started out in the university club in 2016, already making a splash as an ex-Atheling coming from a school renowned for its shooting prowess, Wellington College. Immediately proving his worth he was selected for the club A teams in both smallbore and fullbore, achieving gold in the fullbore individuals competition at the Imperial that summer.

Continuing to develop both the society and his wider coaching skills, he became the fullbore captain at Exeter and returned to his Wellington shooting roots to coach the school teams in his breaks from his studies. That summer at the 149th Imperial meeting, he achieved silver in the individuals and was on the winning team, earning Exeter gold overall in Fullbore BUCS 2018. Jason’s personal feats in the Imperial that summer did not end there – after coming 16th in HM Queen’s final, renowned as the most coveted prize in the shooting world, and achieving his X-class status, all at the young age of 20.

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Jason at the 149th Imperial meeting in July 2018, pointing at his name on the Grand Aggregate scoreboard, peaking at 6th place.

It was clear that Jason was not done yet and had much more to offer, as evidenced when he jetted off to New Zealand for the U25 World Championships. This was preceded by numerous weekends travelling between Exeter, Devon and the National Shooting Centre Bisley, Surrey for weeks of training with the rest of the U25 GB squad – it seemed like nothing was going to stop him, even when Bisley was covered in a thick blanket of snow during storm Emma in March 2018.

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Jason on a training weekend at the ranges at Bisley, during the snow storm that covered most of the UK in March 2018.

All the hard work lead up to flying out to NZ on 19th January, a quick pit-stop in Hong Kong and some well deserved down time in Taupo, NZ to relax before the important matches up ahead.

The wind conditions were particularly challenging, perhaps reflected in some of the scores attained at long range, with Jason scoring 50 v 2 and 48 v 1 at 900 yards, and 46 v 4 and 43 v 3 at 1000 yards (from a maximum 50 v 10), achieving the top long range score overall of 187 v 10. Jason being an incredible wind reader no doubt came in handy when shooting in these conditions.

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Jason on the firing point at the ICFRA U25 World Championships 2019. Photo by Theo Dodds.

Overall achieving 4th place in the individuals – the highest out of the U25 GB squad, led to Jason subsequently being picked for the U25 Team World Championship match that took place on Sunday 3rd February in Trentham, NZ. After gaining a significant amount of ground on the leading Australian team, at only 3 points behind at 1000 yards with only 2 shooters left, Jason and his team finished a respectable 10 points behind, scoring 965.87 out of a possible 1000.200, coming second place in the U25 World Championships overall.

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The final scores of the ICFRA U25 Team World Championship match. Photo by Theo Dodds.

Throughout all of these amazing achievements, people close to Jason will know that despite being a world-class shooter and an incredible wind coach, surpassing heights any experienced shooter his age would, he remains incredibly humble about his achievements and down to earth. The Exeter University Rifle Club congratulate him on all of his successes to date and on his achievements in the World Championships, and can’t wait to see where he goes from here in his shooting career.

 

 

 

 

 

 

November Bisley 2018

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Success! After minor logistical difficulties, the weekend finally came together! I think we can all agree we had a fantastic fullbore experience. Shoutout to Tom Hill, our fullbore captain, for conducting an overall very enjoyable weekend. The coaching, the socials, the fun guns…Thank you Tom for your terrific organisation – it has not gone unnoticed!

Us at the EURC would like to give a special HUGE thank you to Richard Stebbings at the BYSA for all his hard work helping us through our weekend and especially for his extremely generous kit donation. Stebbings, you recognised our club’s growing numbers and have contributed greatly to the accommodation of all our keen, new shooters. You new kit will also greatly improve access for left handed shooters and marksmen of smaller stature, meaning that our club can welcome even more shooters! Thank you so much.

Quotes from participants on the weekend:

Alex Spensley, 2nd year EURC member – “My highlight was definitely the fun guns, having missed them last year it was great to shoot something other than a target rifle! I would also like to thank Stebbings for his generosity with kit and lending us rifles for the weekend.”

Eleanor Graham, 1st year EURC member – “I always love going to Bisley, which like always was its own brand of charming (found somewhere between the early early morning starts and the smell of cordite on Century). It was a fantastic way to spend time with the team, and meeting members who had already graduated really put into perspective the legacy of shooters I’m now at the end of. It was a fantastic trip, and I’ll always look on it fondly as my first EURC Bisley – I’ll be sure to remember my anti-icing kit next time though!”

Jackie Chan, 3rd year EURC Committee – “Being in my third year and still being able to have an opportunity to travel with the Rifle Club has made my university life very exciting!”

CALLING ALL FRESH – Freshers’ Week Taster Session Competition

!!!! THURSDAY AND FRIDAY 12PM – 6PM & FREE FOOD !!!

 

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FRESHERS FLYER backThis freshers’ week we are running a taster session competition with the chance of winning a £25 Amazon voucher or a Timepiece Gold Card – your choice! These prizes are only available to new prospective members – no committee or returning members can enter but by all means come along and shoot any way! In order to claim your prize you will need to purchase a full or termly membership.

When you arrive you’ll shoot the first round of the competition- five shots, and the smaller your grouping the better! You can shoot the second round when you join the club (around the 6th of October), and the smallest group size, on average, wins!

 

 

 

 

Athletics Union Awards Ceremony

33745351_1943880248969412_5626815643509587968_o.jpgOn Wednesday, 23rd May 2018, six members of our Committee attended the University’s AU Awards Ceremony at Reed Hall. Harry Percival, Olivia Haworth, Stephanie Chanter, Joel Burton-Lowe and Xavier Iafrate received Club Awards, while Jason Pepera-Hibbert (who was unable to attend due to training commitments) was awarded Club Colours. We are extremely proud that the Rifle Club was invited to the ceremony and it was an honour to represent the Club amongst some of Exeter’s top athletes.

Annual General Meeting 2018

We held our 2018 Annual General Meeting on Thursday, 15th March. The meeting was well-attended; it was great to see so many of our members taking an interest in the running of the Club and to have some friendly competition in the elections!
The AGM opened with a brief review of the year so far, and updates on some of the exciting new purchases the Club has made for the benefit of our members. We also outlined some of the changes that are taking place in the club, including our exciting move to Fonthill!
The final part of the meeting was the elections for next year’s Committee. Thank you to everyone who ran for a role – the speeches and manifestos delivered by everyone were full of interesting and carefully-considered ways to improve the club and it was encouraging to see how much thought had been put into them.
We are delighted to announce that the new Committee, to take over in July, will be as follows:
SENIOR COMMITTEE
Captain: Nataša Pasternak
General Secretary: Steph Chanter
Treasurer: James Mac Taggart
Senior Advisor: Jason Pepera-Hibbert
GENERAL COMMITTEE
Smallbore Captain: Danny Lay
Fullbore Captain: Tom Hill
Armourer: Alistair Sanford
Social Secretaries/Welfare: Louisa Collier & Chan Ka Chun Jackie
Publicity Secretary: Lulu Randall
Competitions Officer: Tom Blackburn
Range Officer: Ed Norman
Thanks again to everyone who attended last night and we look forward to another successful year.

 

Match Report – BUCS Smallbore Shortrange Finals 2018

On Friday, 16th February 2018, our BUCS A Team travelled to Chesterfield in advance of the much-anticipated BUCS Finals weekend. The team consisted of both Committee and new members: Club Captain, Harry Percival; General Secretary, Xav Iafrate; Fullbore Captain, Jason Pepera-Hibbert; Smallbore Captain and Publicity Officer, Liv Haworth; Ed Norman; and Danny Lay. Our team would be competing in the BUCS Smallbore Shortrange Team Finals on the Saturday, and Liv would be competing in the Individuals Finals on the Sunday.

We rose early on the Saturday morning and arrived at Staveley Rifle and Pistol Club in plenty of time to sign in, collect our targets, set up the rifles and prepare ourselves for the day ahead. We would each be shooting two rounds of two consecutive cards during the course of the day, with a strict time limit of ten minutes per card.

Up first at 09:30 was Jason, who scored a respectable 95 on each of his Round 1 cards. After Jason, at 10:00, Ed shot a 91 in his first card and a 97 in his second card. Next up, after a detail’s break, was Xav, who scored a 90 followed by a 93. In the fifth detail of the day, at 11:30, Liv shot a 92, then a 90. She was followed by Danny, who scored an impressive 97 and 98. To conclude Round 1, Harry scored a 91 and a 93 on his first two cards.

As we prepared for Round 2, we were more familiar with the range and more comfortable with the atmosphere of a six-lane, shoulder-to-shoulder match and prepared to improve our scores from the previous detail. The team worked well together, ensuring that everyone was helped with their equipment and changing targets, and offering moral support throughout the day.

The afternoon saw an improvement in scores for most of the team. Jason scored 91 and 97; Ed 91 and 93; Xav 95 and 97; Liv 96 and 95 (despite having to leave the range between cards to find an Allen key!); Danny 96 and 98; and Harry, who rounded off the day with a pleasing 95 and 97.

Pleased with our Round 2 scores, we packed up the rifles and our kit and awaited the results. With a total of 2264, we placed 5th – just 1 point behind 4th! Imperial took 3rd place, Edinburgh took 2nd, and Cambridge placed 1st overall. In the evening, we headed out for the customary EURC Nando’s and reflected on how the competition had gone.

On Sunday morning, we enjoyed a more relaxed start as Liv’s first detail was at 12 noon. We went for breakfast, then returned to the hotel to pack up and check out. Arriving at the range at 11:00, we unloaded the kit, set the rifle up and collected the targets. In Round 1, Liv scored 85 and 94, having had trouble with the sights on the first card. Round 2 was also the final detail of the day at 15:00, in which she shot a 94 followed by a 91.

After the final detail, we packed up and drove the 240 miles back to Exeter, arriving at around 20:00 to unpack the kit and return the minibus.

The BUCS Smallbore Shortrange Finals were the culmination of several months of postal cards, training, and preparation by all of our teams. We are very proud everyone who has represented the Club over the past few months and look forward to our next event!

We also extend our thanks to the Exeter University Athletics Union, who have helped us with entering the teams and has supported us with arrangements for the Finals; to the organisers at the NSRA and BUCS for arranging the competition; and to Staveley Rifle and Pistol Club for hosting the Finals at the weekend.

 

 

November Bisley 2017

On Friday, 3rd November, 35 of our members, including Committee and alumni, ventured up to the National Shooting Centre at Bisley for a weekend of fullbore shooting organised by our Fullbore Captain, Jason Pepera-Hibbert. Our trip coincided with the BYSA’s “Bonfire Bonanza” weekend, which meant we were introduced to other university rifle clubs and young shooters. Friday night saw us settling into our accommodation at the Inns of Court and Bunhill Lodge, and socialising with the other shooters.

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We rose early on Saturday in order to be set up for our first detail on Century Range at 08:30. Once set up at 300yds, the details ran smoothly with Committee taking turns to coach and a rota in place for butt marking until 12.30, when the klaxon sounded for lunchtime. After lunch, we continued to shoot at 300yds until the klaxon sounded again at 16:00. By the end of the day, all of our fullbore novices had had a shoot (or three!) and tried their hand at marking the targets. Despite the rain, an enjoyable day on the range was had by all.

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In the evening, we exchanged our waterproofs and woolly hats for something a little smarter and headed to the Inns of Court for dinner and the BYSA’s social.

We had another early start on Sunday morning to ensure we were set up on the firing point by 08:30. Our novice shooters then had the opportunity to develop their skills at 600yds and learn about the alterations made to the sights and foresight elements when shooting at different distances. We were very fortunate to be joined by alumnus and GB U25 shooter Liam Cheek, who assisted us with coaching and shared plenty of useful tips! When the klaxon sounded for lunchtime, we headed inside out of the cold, packed our bags and cleaned up our accommodation, before making our way back out to Century for the afternoon.

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Sunday afternoon, in keeping with tradition, was dedicated to shooting “fun guns” at 300yds. Our Armourer, Dan Studholme, kindly allowed us to use his Lee Enfield no4(T) and was delighted (and trying hard to hide his astonishment) when he managed to score a V-bull with it! A TR with a scope (which was not a favourite with our Treasurer, Joel, who learnt the importance of maintaining distance between the eye and the scope the hard way) and an Accuracy International Arctic Warfare were also provided for us to try. The smallest grouping was by our Assistant Armourer, James Mac-Taggart, with his five shots on the TR falling within half a V-bull.

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At the sound of the final klaxon of the weekend, we cleared up the firing point and arranged ourselves for the annual November Bisley group photo. A beautiful sunset over the range was tinged with sadness as we packed up the vans and left Bisley Camp. Joel’s Bisley playlist cheered us up as we drove back to Exeter (via KFC, of course) and started counting down the days until Easter Bisley.

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