2024 Inverell RSM OPM

Dmitri and Phill decided to spend the Easter Long Weekend at Inverell for their annual OPM. They both went there last year and really enjoyed the experience. Phill left from Sydney and Dmitri travelled south from QLD after doing some important Hex Systems work.

The guys arrived in time on Friday to have a practice at 600y. Phill had arrived a little earlier and spent time getting his campsite set up with his new camper trailer. Dmitri had a dilemma to work out. According to the NRAA Grading he was B Grade, and he was considering entering that as he knew there were lots of ”Hot Shots” competing in A Grade, including the Picton’s (fresh from their South Africa Palma and U25 campaign), and some bloke that just won the Tas Kings! But when he found out that there were only 2 C Graders entered and they would have to compete in B Grade, he unselfishly decided to go in A Grade!

Dinner that night was served at the campsite consisting of marinated chicken and pan-fried potatoes, and the guys enjoyed relaxing and solving the world’s problems.

Saturday’s course of fire was a double 600y then a 15-shot match at 500y. The morning started off cool with little wind. Both guys took advantage, Phill shot a credible 50.7, and Dmitri a 49.5. As the day progressed the wind and mirage started to play up. Phill didn’t have his spotting scope, so Dmitri graciously let him use his. This was very helpful as often the flags were still or pointing in opposite directions, but the mirage seemed to be true. Dmitri was unlucky in the last 2 details, dropping 1 point in each. Phill realized that his recent luck wasn’t holding up, nor was his mental game and dropped 3 and 4 points. Dmitri finished in 5th for the day, and Phill dead last!

Dinner that night was at the well-appointed clubhouse. Various Inverell and Armidale members cooked a magnificent feast of beef, chicken, lamb, vegetables and salads. Virtually all the competitors stayed and enjoyed the great food and company. A fun time was had by all.

Sunday dawned and the Easter Bunny had paid a visit, dropping off Easter eggs to all that stayed on the range! Sunday’s ranges were a reverse from the day before, with a double 500y then a final 15 shot match at 600y. The boys started off well with Dmitri shooting a 50.6 and Phill 50.5, and for the second stage they both dropped 1 point. By the last range Dmitri decided that using his spotting scope would be an advantage as the conditions dictated it, he finished the stage shooting a 73.4. Unfortunately, Phill ran out of puff and grit and decided to retire near the end of the match.

Dmitri finished the comp in 5th place, which was very commendable considering the caliber of shooters there. This made his decision to enter A Grade the correct decision.

Dmitri decided to leave for home that afternoon before the presentation. Soon after his journey began, he realized that Google Maps probably needed some enhancements, as it led him down some scary dirt roads in the middle of nowhere. Also, his decision not to fill his car with fuel before he left made the trip more worrying than it needed to be. But not to worry, he found a very helpful farmer in the middle of nowhere that directed him to the nearest fuel station before he needed to use his reserve jerry can of fuel. Phill left the next morning after packing up camp. Google Maps also led him in a similar direction, but he persevered and finally made it home, albeit with a bent jockey wheel handle after going through a deep dip on the dirt road.

The annual OPM at Inverell is a must. The club members are very friendly and accommodating and it’s always a fun time, put it in your calendar for next year.

Phill Hodder

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