After a break of many years, there was the familiar ring of bullets on steel across the PPLA ranges at Little River for the 2015 SSAA Victorian Steel Challenge State Titles. A total of 78 competitors had the option to shoot the match over March 28 and 29 as a 1- or 2-gun event, a few choosing to go for two guns in the one day.
Open, Standard and Production divisions were all represented in good numbers, as well as a handful of revolver shooters. Twenty-four of the registered competitors chose the 2-Gun alternative and started their match on Saturday. The early, cold opening made for some slower than expected strings, but as the day warmed up, so did the trigger fingers and the hot shots started to show what they could do.
Victorian Brodie McIntosh continued his dominance in Standard gun and although disappointed with his match time of 104.08 seconds, he was a clear winner over Damien Curtis on 116.65 seconds and Jonathan Loftes in third place on 118.03 seconds.
The battle in Production proved to be equally compelling, with Andrew Moss winning thanks to a time of 136.33 seconds from match organiser Robert Josipovic on 143.46 with Llija Trajcevski third after clocking 152.15 seconds.
Open division has seen a good rivalry at the top level of late. With the State Titles up for grabs and a loss at the National Championships, McIntosh had a point to prove. His time of 88.19 seconds saw him prevail over rival Curtis on 95.87 seconds. Loftes put in an outstanding result with 117.39 seconds for third place shooting his iron sight gun.
Frank Tait, shooting in Open revolver, claimed the division with 166.40 seconds, while Matthew Vider was the clear winner on 146.26 seconds over the other eight shooters in Metallic Sight revolver.
So with double wins, McIntosh took out the 2-Gun title as well as his twin state championships. Two second places made Curtis runner-up and a pair of thirds put Loftes next.
PPLA always hosts great matches at its world-class facility, with plans underway to hold regular events, so stay tuned. Robert J and Scott H deserve special mention for their organisation of the match. Thanks also to Greg M and Bill C for taking care of canteen duties, and to the PPLA committee.