Sporting Clays shooters from around New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland attended the Sporting Clays National Championships, which was hosted by SSAA Shepparton on September 21 and 22. Over the two-day, 200-target event, competitors were presented with a wide variety of challenging targets on two excellent Sporting Clays layouts, which the host club had skilfully set up within its grounds. Using a number of natural and constructed features, the targets were well presented and there to be taken in the fine spring weather, but competitors had to work hard to post good scores.
While there was only one perfect round of 25 shot on the first day by Nathan March, four more were achieved on the second day by Bart Brighenti, Grand Sandford, Noel Lillis and Nick Guerra as the targets were adjusted and competitors became more familiar with the local conditions.
At the end of the 200 targets, Victorian shooters Nick Guerra and Peter Hall were tied with 179 targets each. For the shoot-off, the target distance and speed were increased to test these two very capable shots and to decide who would be National Sporting Clays Champion. Nick Guerra put in a world-class performance in the 25-target shoot-off and broke all 25 targets to record a perfect score, with his opponent just falling short by three targets. This thrilling shoot-off kept all spectators enthralled to the very last target and is one that will be long remembered by everyone who witnessed this superb shooting by both competitors.
The Championships were generously sponsored by the SSAA, IntoShooting and Gamebore Cartridges, and Casella Wines. The Championships were well organised and capably run by SSAA Shepparton, with the traps, office administration and catering working very efficiently over the weekend to make it an enjoyable experience for both competitors and spectators alike.
The Victorian Team of Peter Hall, Robert Hall, Lee Mariott, Nick Guerra and Eddie Magee convincingly won the shield for the State Team Shoot with a score of 876. Local shooter Travis Tait was the winner of the SSAA swag.
Competitors finishing with a podium place were:
National Sporting Clays Champion: Nick Guerra (Vic) 179
AA Grade: Peter Hall (Vic) 179, John Younger (Vic), Noel Lillis (Qld) 176
A Grade: Andrew Dundas (Vic), 164, Alf Gugliemino (NSW) 159, Greg Allen (NSW) 157
B Grade: Bruce Monks (Vic) 157, David Lillis (Vic) 150, Zac McSweeney (Vic) 135
C Grade: Robert Morland (Vic) 128. Justin Badoco (NSW) 124, Casey Jacka (NSW) 119
Ladies: Kelly Norris (Vic) 162, Krystal Butler (Vic) 137
Veterans: Eddie Magee (Vic) 170, Max Cavanagh (NSW) 161, Bill Eagle (Vic) 160
Sub-Juniors: Tristan Chandler (Vic) 150, Thomas Cundari (Vic) 120
Juniors: Brandon Gugliemino (NSW) 132, Harry Willie (Vic) 104