The 2014 National Championships began smoothly at the SSAA Para Branch in South Australia with the 10m Air Rifle Precision in the morning. Eight five-bull targets were stapled up and the tournament got underway. South Australia’s Alex Payne (U/18) took out the Precision event with a 397.21 followed by WA’s Matthew Boots with 394.18, while SA’s Jordan Robinson (U/15) was keeping the gap close coming in third with 392.18. The High Card went to Alex Payne (U/18, SA) with 100.07 and he also broke two Australian and two National Junior Records for the Junior High Card with 100.07 and Junior Aggregate with 397.21.
3-Positional Air Rifle also went off without a hitch with Jordan Robinson smashing six records: National & Australian Junior Prone with 200.16, National & Australian Junior Standing with 199.16, National & Australian Junior Aggregate with 598.43. Alex Payne also broke two more records: Australian & National Junior Kneeling with 200.10. Matthew Boots broke the National Aggregate Record with 599.38 and took out the match, with Rod Frisby only one point behind, which equalled the National & Australian Kneeling Record. Position winners were Jordan Rawlings in Prone with a 200.19, Jordan Robinson in Standing with 199.16 and Rod Frisby in Kneeling with a 200.18.
In the Air Rifle 2-Gun, two of three place-getters were juniors: Alex Payne in third with 990.46, Jordan Robinson in second by a few X-rings with 990.61 and Matthew Boots (WA) first, but only just, with 993.56. Position winners receive half a point towards the SSAA National Air Rifle Hall of Fame, match winners receive one point, and first, second and third place-getters in the Air Rifle 2-Gun receive three, two and one point respectively. A competitor must amass a total of 13 points to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and this takes many years to achieve. Only two competitors have been inducted since its inception in 2006: Rod Frisby (SA) and Matthew Boots (WA).
The NRA 3x40 Any Sight match was contested over the entire day, finishing at around 6pm. After the first two days of shooting, everyone was tired but looking forward to the traditional 4-Gun event starting on the Friday. The only record to fall was the National Kneeling Record to Matthew Boots. Top three for this event were Ben Kennedy (SA) third with 1161.45, Rod Frisby second with 1171.43 and Matthew Boots first with 1186.60. Position winners were Ben Kennedy in Prone with 399.27 and Matthew Boots in Standing with 389.16 and also in Kneeling with 398.18.
Position winners receive half a point towards the SSAA National NRA Hall of Fame, while first, second and first in the NRA match receive three, two and one point respectively. A competitor must amass a total of 10 points to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Only one competitor has been inducted since its inception in 2011: Matthew Boots in 2013.
Not having to cart all that gear around made the beginning of the traditional 4-Gun tournament a welcome change. Rainy conditions in the morning and some dodgy wind meant that shooters had to keep their eye on the wind flags a bit more and time their shots well.
Tony Andrews (SA) took out the Prone position with 198.08 and Matthew Boots won the Offhand with 186.01 and the Sitting/Kneeling with 197.07. In the juniors, Alex Payne was up there again, winning the U/18 with 565.07. He also broke the National & Australian Junior Aggregate Records and the National & Australian Junior Offhand Position Record with a 183.01.
Field Rifle Centrefire was the event of the day and five records were broken by one person. Sixteen-year-old Kiara-Lea Totton from WA broke the National & Australian Junior Standing Post Record with 95.01, the National Junior Sitting Post with 98.01 and the National & Australian Junior Aggregate with 377.02.
Conditions were good but a slight mirage at 200m had a few worried. However, the gods were smiling and cloud came over to completely eliminate the mirage just in time for the first shot in the Sitting Post Rest position. Position winners were Matthew Boots in Rapid Fire with 99.01, Rod Frisby in Offhand with 99.04, Matthew Boots in Standing Post Rest with 99.02 and Rod Frisby in Sitting Post Rest with 99.03.
Field Rifle Rimfire started off well with some good scores. Kiara-Lea Totton equalled the National Junior Standing Post Rest Record with a 95.01, while Alex Payne broke the National & Australian Junior Aggregate with 378.03 and also the National & Australian Junior Rimfire 2-Gun with 943.10. Position winners were Matthew Boots for Rapid Fire and Offhand with 98.00 and 99.03 respectively, Rod Frisby won Standing Post Rest position with 98.01 and Richard Wilson won Sitting Post Rest with 100.01.
At the end of the day, it was Matthew Boots with 392.07 taking the points for the Field Rifle Rimfire event. Third place in the Field Rifle 2-Gun went to SA’s Richard Taylor with 754.12, second went to Rod Frisby with 774.15 and Matthew Boots took out the top spot with a new Australian & National Record of 786.13. Position winners receive half a point towards the SSAA National Field Rifle Hall of Fame, match winners receive one point, and first, second and third in the Field Rifle 2-Gun receive three, two and one point respectively. A competitor must amass a total of 15 points to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The last day started out with a bit of wind, but not really enough to sway the bullets that were travelling out to 100m at just less than 3000fps. Some good scores were shot, but Matthew Boots proved to be too strong to to beat. He won all three positions with a 200.08 in Prone, 190.00 in Offhand and 198.03 in Sitting/Kneeling, and also broke the National Aggregate Record with a very respectable 588.11. The other records all went to Alex Payne for National & Australian Junior Offhand with 179.02 and the National & Australian Junior Aggregate with 551.04. Alex also took out the National & Australian 3-Positional 2-Gun Record with 1116.11.
Matthew Boots set a new 4-Gun National & Australian Record with 1954.42 to win the Championship for the fourth consecutive year, while Alex Payne set the National & Australian Junior 4-Gun Record with 1848.14 to win the Junior 4-Gun Championship. Alex also broke the Junior Rimfire 2-Gun National & Australian Record with 943.10 and won the Ron Bryant Junior Rimfire Championship.
Again, it was Matthew Boots breaking the National & Australian 7-Gun Record and Alex Payne breaking the National & Australian Junior 7-Gun Record to finish the Championships off. This tournament’s Champion is worked out on the traditional 4-Gun results. The 7-Gun incorporates the three added events of Air 10m Precision, 10m Scoped Air 3-Positional and NRA 3x40 Any Sight in order to work out selection for the international teams that will represent the SSAA & Australia at the Pacific Regional Shooting Championships and the NRA National matches in the United States.