NSWRA 148th Open Championships (The NSW Kings)


Two Roseville competitors (Mark Buchanan in TR-A and Janet Beale in FTR) decided to compete in the McIntosh (2 day leadup) at the picturesque ANZAC Rifle Range at Malabar. Day 1 was an early finish on a hot day after having shot 2+10 at 500 twice and 2+10 at 600 twice with 100 competitors across 10 targets. Too bad one of the Konsberg targets acted up with stray “1”s appearing, meaning first 4 people on Target E9 (Janet’s target) had to reshoot the first 500m over on F block on a hastily set up new target. On Thursday (2+10 at 700 twice and 2+10 at 800 twice) there was a bit of a southerly around lunch time that eased up in the afternoon.

On the 2nd day of the leadup Mark was on fire, scoring 50.8 @ 800m, 50.7 @ 800m and 50.9 @700m.  It is not surprising Mark came home with the Day 2 daily aggregate 1st place prize as he was the only one in TR-A who went clean for the day. Huge congratulations to Mark Buchanan who won the leadup in TR-A having only dropped one point. He scored 399.54 beating 2 other competitors (C Schwebel and M Shepherd) by one “V’. Talk about a close finish!  Overall, Mark came home with the McIntosh 1st place, and two 1st place range prizes.

Janet’s best placing was 4th on Day 2 of the leadup and two 2nd places (600m and 800m). It is easy to see that taking nearly 6 weeks off shooting doesn’t help! Proof: oops, Janet put a shot (it was a “6”) on the wrong target turning what would have been a 59-1 into a 53-1. This one mistake meant she came 6th in the McIntosh instead of 2nd (and, for the record, she would have come 3rd in the Grand aggregate instead of 6th).  Lesson learnt!

The NSW Kings

Eight Roseville competitors representing 4 families (Buchanan x1, Beale x2, Patrick x2, Russell x3) took on the heat of Australia Day at Malabar.  Roseville had 3 in TR-A (Mark, Adam and Alan), 2 in TR-B (Nigel and Paul), 1 in TR-C (Skye) and 2 in FTR (Eva and Janet).

I think the weather won the day.  It was very very hot, even the breeze was hot. Everyone tried umbrellas and plenty of water, but it got hotter, and hotter. The breeze kicked in a bit more, and then it got interesting. Everyone wilted in the heat but then the southerly buster lived up to its name delivering the cool change and reversing the direction of the wind. Alas, that meant three targets were broken in the strong wind, so the 600m shoot was paused for safety and resumed 2 ½ hours later and the 700m detail was cancelled outright. What an interesting day.  In the carnage of the day, our best Roseville placing was Skye Russell who, having retired from the first detail due to the extreme heat she managed a 2nd for one detail.

Day 2 of the Championships was completely different. The day started in a fine light hint of rain on a cloudy day courtesy of the previous day’s southerly buster. For the rest of the day, the cool change stayed put and the winds were far lighter but occasionally fickle. It can be hard to read the flags when they aren’t doing anything and there is no mirage yet the bullets are moving from the X ring to a 5 for no apparent reason. SOMETHING is happening. A puff? A whiff? Just enough to make a difference sometimes…or not. And sometimes the breeze was just enough and consistent to land a terrific score to too many people. Just ask people who scored great 50’s only to see their hopes and dreams dashed…try scoring a 50-8 and coming 14th (Alan) or a 50-5 and coming 37th (Adam) or a 50-7 and coming 24th (Mark) – Target Rifle A grade can be cruel on days like that. But we did have a range prize go to Paul Russell scoring 50-7 at 500m in TR-B. Well done Paul!

Day 3 was only 2 details at 800m. The sun had returned but without the big heat. Sun means mirage, but it wasn’t too bad. The early shooters had the advantage of the day as the wind continued to pick up successively every hour.

The most notable outcomes from the 3-day Kings competition for each of our Rosevilleans:

  • Adam Beale: 2 possibles, 6th on Day 3 in TR-A, plus 7th at 800m, won the ADF trophy
  • Mark Buchanan: 2 possibles, 8th in the Grand Aggregate TR-A
  • Alan Patrick: 2 possibles, best placed Rosevillean in the Kings (top half of the TR-A field)
  • Paul Russell: 2 possibles, 6th on Day 3 in TR-B, plus 6th at 800m, won the very unofficial Russell Family competition beating Dad (Nigel) and sister (Skye)
  • Skye Russell: 3rd on Day 3 in TR-C, plus 3rd at 800m
  • Janet Beale: 1 possible, 6th in the Grand Aggregate FTR
  • Eva Patrick: a pair of 59’s at 500
  • Nigel Russell: a 4th place at 600m and a 5th place at 800m

Maybe next year…..?

Thanks to Christian and Ross who showed up for club moral support on day 3. Also thanks to Phil Beale and Heather Beale for coming to watch Janet and Adam on Day 3.

Janet Beale

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