Well, the first day of competition is in the books and your correspondent at the Canadian International Sniper Concentration officially has no idea which of the 27 teams is currently winning — but nor is that really the point, actually.
The competition is not the reason these teams are all here, it is becoming clear. The competition is only a way to spur new learning, and the event is a place for all these shooters and spotters to exchange ideas and to figure out what they have to do to get better.
The event I watched today was called the ‘Alternate Position Shoot’ and the idea was to force the teams to shoot from positions that require them to adapt (or fail). For example, there was a simulated boat complete with a shifting and bouncing shooting platform, there was a rooftop position (seen in the above picture), a stand for shooting with your opposite hand and, most difficult of all, a stand that forced shooters to turn the gun on its side to see through a narrow gap, at which point all the scope’s adjustments become, um, confused. (That particular target was hit by hardly anyone!)
Earlier on, the Canadian Forces’ master sniper gave the teams a briefing that neatly (if un-diplomatically) summed up the purpose of the event:
“The end-state is everyone leaving here with more knowledge than they came with,” he told the crowd. “It’s not about the competition, gents, it’s about learning lessons so we can go overseas and kill people.”