More than 50 of the best Sporting Clays shooters attended the 2016 National Sporting Clays Championships that were conducted by SSAA Griffith Sporting Clays at its Dave Wallace Range on October 24 and 25. Competitors came from Sydney, Canberra, Temora, Bermagui, Cobram, Narrandera, Young, Melbourne, Hay and around the Griffith area.
The Championships consisted of 200 clay targets over two days that were set on two separate Sporting Clays courses arranged in the bush around the hilly escarpment at the Dave Wallace Range. Local members had set an excellent variety of different targets in a bushland setting, worthy of a National Championships and which challenged all the shooters. Not only do most of the targets present from within bushland, but the Griffith range is also quite unique with clay targets thrown down, up and along the cliff faces as well as having competitors shoot from towers. Visitors to the range for the first time often find this quite difficult, as they have generally not faced such targets before. The home ground advantage held by local shooters and regular visitors who are used to these conditions showed in the final results.
Local club members kept the shoot administration running smoothly while the traps were kept operational all weekend by two crews. The weather was mild, but lighting conditions often changed, as did the wind. Some competitors found the targets a little more difficult in these conditions and this was reflected in their scores. Sunday’s targets were a little more difficult and technical and quite a few shooters came off the course shaking their heads. These challenges didn’t stop some Juniors and Veterans posting some very credible scores that were equal to many of the AA- and A-grade performances.
The championships received generous sponsorship from Casella Wines and Liftek, Griffith, as well a major importer of clay targets and ammunition, Spartan Global. Yoogali Primary School P&C Association provided some delicious catering during the weekend with the Coffee Kart a popular inclusion.
Griffith shooter Shaun Krzus emerged as the National Sporting Clays Champion after overcoming some final jitters in the last two rounds to pull ahead of two other local shooters and win by three targets with a score of 155/200. Other winners on the podium were:
AA Grade: Frank Tagliapietra (Griffith) 152, Greg Allen (Griffith), 148, Adrian Emery (Griffith) 147
A Grade: Angelo Salamon (Griffith) 141, Peter Jacka (Hay) 137, Alf Gugliemino (Griffith) 135
B Grade: Grant McMillan (Griffith) 135, Peter Rea (Temora) 131, Reno Morganti (Sydney) 129
C Grade: David William (Young) 110, Rafe Toscan (Griffith) 106, Wally Pilosio (Griffith) 93
Ladies: Jan Jacka (Hay) 97, Mikayla Macartney (Hay) 96, Michelle Craig (Bermagui) 82
Veterans: Milton Cartwright (Temora) 144, Frank DiFiore (Griffith) 141, Bryan Hoyland (Cobram) 139
Juniors: Brandon Gugliemino (Griffith) 141, Sebastian Zanotto (Griffith) 118, Adrian Depaoli (Griffith) 94