Bruce is aiming high

010713 Sincliar Bruce, marksman.
010713 Sincliar Bruce, marksman.
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LINLITHGOW Marksman Sinclair Bruce is aiming to outshoot the Americans at one of the most prestigious international rifle events.

The veteran has been selected for the British 12-man Pershing Cup team to face their counterparts at Camp Perry, Ohio.

Next month’s event is one leg of a shoulder-to-shoulder international held in 
rotation every four years.

Pershing Cup meetings take place eight years apart, conjoined by the Roberts Match in Bisley, Surrey, every other four years.

And while the fixture is fairly rare for most, Sinclair (53) has spent decades waiting for the call.

He said: “When I was younger, I watched the Roberts Match at Bisley one year and ever since I have wanted to be involved.

“I’ve just always felt there was something about these matches that made them a little bit special.

“I’ve been in a lot of different types of competitions before, but to shoot the Roberts or the Pershing would be an experience to savour.

“And if we were to return from Perry with a win, it would be up there as one of the greatest achievements of my career.”

Before he can take aim, Sinclair will need to negotiate the final selection hurdle at the American Championships on July 22. The 12-strong British side needs to shed two of its members ahead of the Pershing the following day.

“It is a tough selection process,” Sinclair said. “There were 44 hopefuls at the trials last October which was narrowed to 25, then 15 and finally to 12.

“There is still a final stage to go when we arrive at Perry, but really, I’ll be pretty disappointed if I didn’t make the final team.”

The Pershing itself is a Dewar-format competition where each team member takes 20 shots at 50 yards and 20 shots at 100 yards while lying stomach down on the ground.

Sinclair’s weapon of choice is manual bolt-action .22 caliber Anschütz small-bore rifle.

Rifle competitions generally require a steady nerve and unnerving concentration but, as any sharpshooter will atest, accuracy is paramount.

Sinclair added: “The last time at Camp Perry saw the two teams tied on gunscore. However, we lost the match because the American side hit more ‘inner tens’.

“That is to say that we both hit the same amount of bullseyes but their shots were just a little closer to the centre.

“I think that shows the margin of victory in these types of games and how precise you have to be.

“Nevertheless, having lost in that fashion eight years ago, the team feels we have a bit of a score to settle.”