The 2014 SSAA National Action Match Championships were held at the Blacktown Pistol Club in New South Wales on October 26 and 27 in unseasonably hot conditions, with the temperature getting to almost 40C on the Sunday.
Competitors from all over Australia and New Zealand vied for the National Title. The 2014 Championship was won by Craig Ginger, with Glenn Land second and Jim Straader third, to produce a home range trifecta.
Craig also won the Metallic division, narrowly over Queenslander Nigel Gordon, who had shown great consistency over the weekend. Greg Van Borssum placed third.
The Open division and therefore the National Championships was won by Mark Blake from Victoria, who continued his excellent form from the latter part of 2014 to shoot a perfect score of 1920/1920 at the championships. “It was a tough two days with the match handing the balance between some of the best shooters in Australia,” said Mark after his win. “I now look forward to the preparation for the 2015 Bianchi Cup as part of the SSAA Australia Team.”
The Open division was hotly contested and although Mark emerged victorious, it was a very close race with only 10 points separating first and 10th place. Traditionally, the Moving Target event is the final event to be shot by the higher ranked shooters and the order of shooters is determined by their current score going into the final event in a deliberate attempt to build pressure on these competitors. Although six of these shooters were sitting on perfect scores going into the final event, and a number only two points down, a surprise emerged from the shooters in the other rotation. Ken ‘Chooky’ Fowles, a long-time senior shooter, had shot a personal best of 1918/1920 and was sitting in the box seat to take out the championships. As the High Master grade shooters commenced their final event, Chooky started to slide down the places in an unbelievable situation where a 1918 was not going to win the championships. Mark Blake, closed out the Moving Target event without dropping any points, however the others yet to shoot, including Craig Ginger and Brent Millard, from New Zealand, could still win on the X-count if they shot a ‘clean mover’. When the dust settled, Mark was victorious, with Brett Foster, Nigel Gordon, John Beck and Chooky all shooting 1918 and only being separated on the X-count. It was a great finish to a tough day of shooting.
The Ladies division, although not producing the scores the shooters were hoping for, was also a tight competition, with Cherie Blake winning the Ladies National Championship by only one point from the ‘comeback queen’ (ex Bianchi Cup and World Champion) Robyn Ginger. Tiffany Piper, from New Zealand, placed third.
These National Championships were the final shoot for selection of the 2015 SSAA Bianchi Cup Team. The team members include Mark Blake, Craig Ginger, John Beck, Steve Schrader and Cherie Blake. The 2015 National Championships will be in Adelaide and will include the Open, Metallic and Production divisions contended.
|Open Class by Grade|
|High Master||1||Mark Blake||480||45||480||42||480||29||480||48||1920||164|
|23||Greg Van Borssum||480||38||453||20||461||21||470||47||1864||126|
|Master||3||Greg Van Borssum||442||18||470||25||456||25||480||48||1848||116|
|Metallic Production Class|
|Sharpshooter||4||Greg Van Borssum||443||16||426||29||437||18||400||40||1706||94|