Lockhart Fundraising OPM

Ross and Adrian support our U/25 Australian Rifle Team – Lockhart Fundraising OPM.
The date was set for the Explorers Rifle Club in Lockhart to host a fund-raiser to support our U/25 Australian Rifle Team as they prepare to head to South Africa next year for the Long Range Championships – the weekend of the 20th and 21st of May 2023. The Lockhart Rifle Range is a lovely 900 yard rifle range in the heart of the Riverina – south east of Wagga. The township of Lockhart is a must see for anyone travelling through the area – with old post and rail shop fronts lining the main street and plenty of murals and art installations – it really is a pretty as a postcard. Better yet the 900 yard rifle range is one block back from the town centre so it makes it easy to head into town for a relaxing dinner or a couple of refreshing drinks after a day of shooting.

Mal Sharp rocked into the Commercial Hotel for Friday night drinks and dinner

Ross and Adrian needed no further encouragement and so they hitched up the A-Van and headed south on Friday the 19th of May. The weather was mostly fine on the drive and after leaving at 10:30am they pulled into the Rifle Range at 4 oçlock with just enough time to set-up the campsite. Then is was off to the local pub for dinner – and who should roll up to the bar? None other than Mal Sharp and his wife Donna who were down from Lyndhurst for the shoot. The four of us shared a lovely Friday evening meal and a couple of beers, and then it was back to the campsite for a good nights sleep.

Saturday morning was time to relax in sunshine – with nothing more to do than read the paper, and listen to the local radio which was going around the grounds with the latest AFL competition up-dates. The friendly fold at the Explorers Rifle Club showed up and set-up a BBQ at the 900 yards mound and provided a sausage sizzle lunch which was most welcome as the wind had come up and it was getting a bit cold. After lunch the 800 Yards Bisley match commenced – with 19 shooters being grouped into 3 shooters – and the target system set to the Bisley Match scoring format. The competition was 2 stages of 2 sighters and 15 counting shots. Adrian was grouped with two F-Open shooters and this was somewhat of an advantage because when they drifted out of the 6 ring – it was a good warning to watch what the flags were doing. For those who don’t know how a Bisley match is run – the 3 shooters each take turns to fire their scoring shot – with the shooter who has just shot scoring for the shooter about to fire and the third shooter getting ready to fire their shot. Each shooter has a 45 second time period to fire their shot or else they have a point deducted from their score. Adrian and Phill Hodder had recently been practicing this type of shooting on the Hornsby range – and so the approach to the match and the set-up for it was familiar. This experience helped a lot – in managing the match and making sure that a good shot was fired in under 45 seconds. The wind was tricky at 800 yards with a head on wind swinging between 11:30 and 1:30 – so you needed to know your zeroes.

The 800 yard Bisley match – wind flicking between 1:30 and 11:30

At the conclusion of the Bisley Match it was good news for the Roseville members – who both placed in the medals. Ross Webb won F-Std B-Grade with a score of 72.2 + 79.1 = 159.3 and Adrian Bonanni came second in TRA with a score of 72.5 + 74.2 = 146.7.
The presentation of prizes was held before dinner at the Lockhart Ex-Services Club where Scott Brindley thanked everyone for coming and congratulated the winners.

Roseville takes home medals!

After a good Chinese meal at the Club – it was back to Range for a couple of drinks around the fire and then a good nights rest.

Winners are grinners – Emma Brindley presents Ross Webb with his trophy.

The next morning saw around 40 competitors show up for the U/25 Australian Rifle Team fund-raiser OPM. The programme started at 700 yards for 2 x 10 shot matches and then back to 900 yards to finish with a 15 shot match. Buoyed by the success of the previous day – Ross Webb started brightly with a 51 at the first tricky 700 yards. Adrian had a couple of low shots and posted a 47.1 getting caught on the wind once. At the second 700 yards the wind picked up and started swinging making it tricky (and cold). Ross posted a 45.1 but still placed 3rd in FSB, and Adrian had a 46.4 getting caught on a couple of occasions. No possibles were scored in TRA which was an indicator of the conditions.

Back at 900 yards in the afternoon – and the wind swung through 180 degress and started coming in hard from the left, with gusts. This really challenged the competitors – but Ross held his nerve to come 2nd at 900 yards with a 77 nearly winning the match. Adrian had a target failure as the Silver Mountain targets failed to record his sighters – and when moved onto the neighbouring target with no change to sights – he shot a inner 4 at 3 oçlock for his first scoring shot. There were a number of target failures experienced at the 900 yard match – which put a downer on what was otherwise a good competition.

In the end Ross was the stand-out for Roseville taking 3rd place in FSB and coming 2nd at the 900 yard match. He was presented his prizes and the grin on his face says it all. The money raised from the U/25 Australian Rifle Team Fund-Raiser will help our fellow Club members Adam Beale and Pat Jacombs get to South Africa next year for the World Long Range Championships – and we wish them all the best.

Caption: Winners are grinners – Emma Brindley presents Ross Webb with his trophy.
If you want a good weekend away – get down to the Explorers Rifle Club Open Prize meeting later this year. You won’t regret it.

Adrian Bonanni

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