2022 Victorian Queens, Bendigo

While Sydney passed its mean annual rainfall of 1213mm, just over three months into the year and, with the Hornsby complex closed yet again due to rain, we had five RRC members in dry, dusty Bendigo to compete in the Victorian Queens and Leadup events.

Due to the F-Class state teams event in the preceding days the top F-Class shooters from around the country were present. In the Queen’s, there were over 212 competitors (138 in F-Class, 71 in TR, 3 in SH) that started.  A rare occurrence where TR was outnumbered by F-Class by nearly 2:1. The “COVID Queens”? Possibly. There was some attrition over the period as people tested positive or were close contacts. But the event went ahead.

For those not savvy with the Bendigo Wellsford Rifle range:

  • Bendigo uses paper targets, not electronic – so yes there were some challenges with the marking.
  • There are trees surrounding the range so the side flags are not always telling the whole truth. The flags down the middle of the range help, but they often don’t agree with each other – we hear “oh you were caught in the ‘washing machine’”. The butt’s flag is useful, except when it isn’t. The mirage is changeable, rather a lot, or it can be non-existent. So with all flags pointing in same direction how do you get a random 4 (a bird) out the opposite side? With all flags down, little mirage and the butts flag pointing down, how is it that you get a 4 (a bird) after a string of centres? It is Bendigo and it feels like for some shooters the markers must use a random number generator or just roll dice “here you go – let’s make that a 3”. But some do master it, like Duncan Davies in TRA who took out the Queens without dropping a point.
  • The event was not squadded so, with 12 on your board, it could be 90-120 minutes between shooters of the same discipline shooting at a particular distance. The scores at some distances reflected the diversity of start times and resulting variable conditions.
  • All distances are in yards and the competition was shot from 500yds (457 meters) to 1000yds (914 meters).

Without going into too many details, below we list the highlights of the 5 days where RRC members excelled:

  • Mark Buchanan (TRA) was the standout success from RRC. In the Leadup Mark scored 50-5 at 500, 50-8 at 500. He was 11th in Leadup out of 34 in TRA. Then in the Queens he scored 50-4 at 500, 50-7 at 500, 49-5 at 800, 50-4 at 900, 50-4 at 900, 49-6 at 1000. He was 6th on day 3, 7th in the Queens, 9th in the Grand Aggregate. Overall, Mark scored 97.98% for the Leadup, 98.74% for the Queens.
  • Tim Walter (TRB) – his notable scores were 49-3 at 500, 49-2 at 500, 48-3 at 500, 49-3 at 600. Overall, Tim scored 88.25% for the Leadup but did not finish the Queens.
  • Alan Patrick (FTR) – did not shoot the Leadup, but in the Queens his best scores were 60-5 at 500, 60-2 at 500, 59-3 at 600, 58-7 at 900. Alan was 5th on day 1 of the Queens out of a field of 33, and scored 96.81% for the Queens.
  • Eva Patrick (FTR) – across the Leadup and the Queens, Eva nailed the 500 yd distance scoring 58-3 at 500, 59-5 at 500, 60-7 at 500. Eva scored 93.76% for the Leadup, and 94.90% for the Queens.
  • Janet Beale (FTR) – her notable scores were 58-4 at 500, 60-6 at 500, 58-5 at 600. On day 1 of the Leadup she was 5th out of a field of 26. In the Queens, her best achievements were 59-5 at 500, 59-5 at 500, 59-4 at 800. Janet scored 94.90% for the Leadup and 95.32% for the Queens.

Congrats to our RRC members that bravely ventured to Bendigo. You each achieved something notable on a very challenging range. Special congrats to Mark for his badge winning placing in TRA.

Janet Beale

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