Lone bullseye decides title
JUST one bullseye decided the national F Class open shooting championships held at Mackay's Mt Vince Rifle Range over the past two days.
The South Australian team of five shooters got up with 1164 points, six ahead of North Queensland in the competition involving 180 shooters from all over Australia, and held in Mackay for the first time.
"That six points is not much, it's just one bullseye over two days of shooting," competition director Gordon Duncan said yesterday.
"The standard is very high and improving all the time. Each time these matches are held the record gets pushed back further and further."
SA were led by captain Richard Brand, and included Paul Jansza, Michael Willment, Dave Zerbe, Stuary Brand, and coach Phillip Bradshaw.
NQ's team was John Lorimer, Ian Wood, Stephen Lazarus, Dale Christie and Jim Blomfield.
A F Class Standard competition was also decided, and was won by the Queensland team of captain Bernie Mace, Daryl Barlow, Greg Balderson, Nick Williamson, Rod Prayle and coach Peter Hill.
Duncan, competitions director for the National Rifle Association of Australia, said the competition required a high standard of concentration over long periods.
"You feel like you're absolutely worn out, mentally drained by the end of the day," he said.
"It's a very mind-oriented sport."
The shooters use the most advanced equipment available, which Duncan said had changed enormously since he started shooting decades ago.
"When I started shooting you could buy an outfit for 10 pounds," he said.
"Then it went up to $70, $200.
"Now you can get yourself well-equipped for $5000."
He said the competition, held every two years, was so well presented at Mt Vince that he was sure it would return to Mackay soon.
It was held in conjunction with the annual North Queensland Queens Shoot competition, which attracted 166 shooters and was won by Jake Stauwer from SA.