This shoot is usually for Light and Heavy Benchrest rifles, but when the public holiday falls on a Friday or Monday, the organisers have the option to include an extra class. As the original Australia Day matches included the Sporter Class, then that is what happened this year.
Sporter Class was contested on the Saturday, with 36 shooters nominating. The conditions looked good and enthusiasm was high. Darren Parsons shot a .189 on the A target to give us something to chase, but on the B target, Steve Sori put down a .170, which no-one bettered that morning. The Aggregate also went to Steve with .2844, from Mitchell Tallar on .3020 and Malcolm Price on .3300 - yes, you could say the field was well spread out!
The longer yardage proved to be a struggle, but Steve Sori again took the smallest group with a .314, which was pretty good in the conditions. Consistency wins aggregates and it was Les Fraser (better known for his 500m shooting prowess) that stole the trophy with an aggregate of .2934, from Mitchell Tallar on .3442 and Michael Huebner on .3537.
The Sporter Grand Aggregate went to Mitchell Tallar, who has made the transition from winning everything in IRB to the noisy type of rifles. His aggregate of .3231 was clearly in front of Steve Sori on .3455 and visiting Kiwi Ian Owen on .3593. Mitchell received the Ian Josselyn Memorial Trophy for winning Sporter Class.
|Top 10 Sporter Class||Top 10 Light Benchrest|
|Mitchell Tallar||NSW||.3231||Bill Jupp||NSW||.3006|
|Steve Sori||NSW||.3455||Annie Elliott||Qld||.3447|
|Ian Owen||NZ||.3593||Milan Morrell||SA||.3480|
|Les Fraser||NSW||.3652||Brendan Atkinson||SA||.3490|
|Paul Sullivan||Qld||.3694||Ross Hutchins||Vic||.3491|
|Fergus Bailey||Vic||.3864||Chris Vaz||Vic||.3495|
|Michael Huebner||Vic||.3881||Les Fraser||NSW||.3606|
|Malcolm Price||NSW||.3974||Ian Owen||NZ||.3621|
|William Greer||Qld||.3989||William Greer||Qld||.3670|
|Steve Blaine||Qld||.4009||Steve Sori||NSW||.3706|
The second event was Light Benchrest, and 58 shooters fronted up for the battle. There was plenty of new gear on the line to start the 2014 season and a few new faces as well. Fresh from the previous day’s victory, Mitchell Tallar shot a .171 on the A target. Darren Parsons lowered this with a .159 on the B target, but Steve Blaine blitzed them with a .138 on the C target and that was not bettered. The aggregate, however, was won by Adelaide shooter Milan Morrell with a .2682, Newcastle’s Bill Jupp was second with .2898 and Brendan Atkinson was third on .3172.
Things were a little wobbly at the longer yardage, but small groups still kept coming in. Steve Sori had a .358 on his first target and Bill Jupp lowered this with a .342 on the second. Chris Vaz, however, waited until the last card to punch in a .332 for smallest group. This effort also pushed him into first place in the aggregate with .2847, from Ross Hutchins on .3043 and Bill Jupp on .3114.
The Grand Aggregate winner for Light Benchrest went to Bill Jupp on .3006, and a popular win it was for a bloke who has been around this sport for many years. Second place went to Annie Elliott, shooting a brand-new outfit, on .3447 and third was Milan Morrell on .3480.
There were 57 names on the list at the morning weigh-in and a fine day promised some good shooting. Right from the start it was serious stuff and Steve Blaine punched in a .114 on the first target to show what we had to aspire to. Some came close, but no-one beat that group. Steve finished off with a .160 on his last target and claimed the aggregate with a tidy .2322, from Michael Huebner on .2552 and William Greer on .2568.
The longer yardage in Heavy usually produces some spectacular groups, and Fergus Bailey kicked off with a .395 on his A target. Darren Parsons lowered that with a .320 on the B target, but on the D target Roger Marshall dropped in a nice .290, which held on for small group. In fact, Darren won the aggregate with a .2605, from Ross Hutchins on .2740 and Barry Tucker on .2772.
In the Grand Aggregate, there was no stopping Steve Blaine as he powered to a win with .2575. Darren Parsons was second with .2714, followed by Fergus Bailey on .2821.
|Top 10 Heavy Benchrest||Top 10 2-Gun Aggregate||Top 10 3-Gun Aggregate|
|Steve Blaine||Qld||..2575||Bill Jupp||NSW||.3159||Paul Sullivan||Qld||.3484|
|Darren Parsons||NSW||.2714||Annie Elliott||Qld||.3200||Mitchell Tallar||NSW||.3516|
|Fergus Bailey||Vic||.2821||Ross Hutchins||Vic||.3253||Steve Blaine||Qld||.3540|
|Michael Huebner||Vic||.2823||Darren Parsons||NSW||.3294||Steve Sori||NSW||.3591|
|Paul Sullivan||Qld||.2841||Brendan Atkinson||SA||.3305||William Greer||Qld||.3601|
|Annie Elliott||Qld||.2952||Steve Blaine||Qld||.3305||Darren Parsons||NSW||.3607|
|Ross Hutchins||Vic||.3014||Paul Sullivan||Qld||.3379||Michael Huebner||Vic||.3628|
|Barry Tucker||NSW||.3061||William Greer||Qld||.3406||Milan Morrell||SA||.3643|
|Stuart Elliott||Qld||.3103||Milan Morrell||SA||.3407||Bill Jupp||NSW||.3686|
|Rob Carnell||NSW||.3103||Michael Huebner||Vic||.3501||Brendan Atkinson||SA||.3808|