Townsville Marksmen OPM and NQRA Kings 14-19 May 2024

A Shooting holiday Odyssey for Mark, Sam, Dmitri & Tim

Dmitri got up to Townsville early to provide ET support for the National TR Teams event in Townsville before the shooting for the mere mortals started.  The NQRA team provided Dmitri with accommodation on site in the ‘snake pit’.  Townsville range is very scenic but is renowned for less than friendly native wildlife with at least two known hospitalisations for snake bites occurring on the range.  ‘Dmitri’s shed’ as it became known was delightful – full of garden equipment, geckos, bats and the occasional Ross River Mossie.

Mark took his time driving up arriving on the Monday just in time to pick Sam up from the airport on Monday.  Mark was kind enough to carry some of Sam’s gear and some of Dmitri’s ammo.  They went early to wonderful accommodation on The Strand at ‘Magnetic Views’.  The cleaner was still cleaning the apartment, so Mark took Sam on a 12km walk in his new thongs.  Deep blisters ensued, and Sam is still walking with a limp.

Dmitri wanted to try the electric scooters that are ubiquitous in Townsville and for Sam to provide a lesson as he had used them on his last trip.

Unfortunately, Sam now exceeds the weight limit for the scooters so he could not provide the lesson. Scooter says “No”.  Dmitri did have a short trip by himself which he enjoyed.

The events were massive – bigger than anyone can remember – partly due to the TR Teams event, but also lots of southern staters wanting some winter sunshine and warmth.

175 entries in the Kings, with the Wilson only 10 or 12 less.

Weather was mostly hot and fine.  There was a shower late on Wed – but all Rosevilleans had finished by that stage.

Mark, Dmitri and Sam attended Townsville OPM.

The results were as follows:

Range Dmitri Mark Sam
700m 50.2 50.6 50.7- 1st in B Grade
800m 48.5 50.7- 1st in A Grade 50.3- 1st in B Grade
900m 50.4- 1st in A Grade 49.3 43.4
AGG 148.11 –4th in A Grade 149.16 – 1st in A Grade 143.14

Mark won the 800m match and the A Grade Aggregate.

Dmitri won 900m in A Grade and Sam won 700m and 800m in B Grade.

Well done, Roseville!

A late entry and traveler, Tim arrived on the Tuesday.  He had found a bargain flight on Virgin, but on arrival at the airport learned that the fare did not include baggage.  So another $240 for baggage – it worked out not as cheap as he first thought.  Travelling light with most gear taken by a friend from Malabar, Tim still needed some baggage.  After some effort finding the parking, Tim joined the others for a feed and maybe a glass of Shiraz.

Dmitri took the opportunity to move closer to the night life action on Tim’s arrival.  We call this move – ‘Dmitri moves from the snake pit to the flea pit’, as Tim and Dmitri’s shared accommodation was less than salubrious.

The Rosevilleans had pizza on the verandah of Magnetic Views on Tuesday night. The quality of the pizza was such that Dmitri and Tim thought that Mark and Sam were trying to poison them! The red wine was good though!

Wednesday night, we all ate at the C Bar on the strand – joined by Rob Sandlant and his wife Pamela – good friends of Mark’s from Victoria.

Friday night was meant to be Roseville steak night at the pub – but the queue for the bistro was out to the street.  After a search we found another pub and had meat and wine…all enjoyed with just a little wine spillage.

Sat night was a Chinese and Indian combo back on the apartment verandah.

Tim went home on the Sunday, and Sam, Dmitri and Mark went to the Longboard and had a lighter meal with some wine.  Another terrific venue.

Dmitri, Mark, Sam, and Tim attended for the Wilson lead up and the Kings.
Shooting was done on brand new HEXTA Targets and there was very little in the wind for most of the competition apart from occasional pick-ups and drop offs and the last 900m was tricky.

The results were as follows:


Range Dmitri Mark Sam Tim
500m 50.3 50.7 50.4 45.2
600m 49.2 50.6 42.2 46.2
600m 50.6-2nd 50.4 46.3 42.1
Day 1 149.11 – 2nd 150.17 138.09 133.5

Poor Sam put a shot on the wrong target at the first 600m! (only to keep the Club tradition of course).


Range Dmitri Mark Sam Tim
800m 49.4 50.5 49.6 40.2
800m 49.4 50.2 49.7 47.4
900m 48.7 0.00 48.7 43.1
Day 146.15 100.7 146.20 130.07
WILSON 295.26 – 3rd 250.24 284.29 263.12

After winning the OPM and going ‘clean’ on the 5 stages of the Wilson with his No 2 rifle, Mark decided to up the ante, and move to his first No 1 rifle with Bergers to hopefully gain some centres and finish in the medals.  However, this rifle had had its barrel removed and re-attached – with the front sight not so level. A less than desirable outcome ensued.

When Tim told Dmitri that Mark was not happy with his misses, Dmitri thought Tim meant that Mark was having marital difficulties, but realizing the confusion, Tim explained the difference between Mrs and misses! English is a difficult language.


Range Dmitri Mark Sam Tim
500m 50.6 – 3rd 49.8 49.6 47.2
600m 49.4 – 3rd 49.4 47.3 45.1
600m 49.4 48.4 46.3 43.1
Day 1 148.14 – 2nd 146.16 143.14 135.4

Comrade starting to flex his muscles.


Range Dmitri Mark Sam Tim
700m 50.8 – 2nd 49.6 50.6 45.1
800m 46.4 50.5 46.6 47.0
800m 50.6 – 2nd 48.5 50.5 – 3rd 46.4
Day 2 146.18 146.16 146.17 138.5

Comrade strikes again but with an unfortunate score at the first 800m.


Range Dmitri Mark Sam Tim
900m 48.4 47.4 49.2 42.2
900m 44.3 46.1 44.2 39.0
Day 3 92.7 93.5 93.4 81.2


Kings Aggregate

KINGS Dmitri Mark Sam Tim
Score 386.39 – 4th B 386.37 – 40th A 382.35 – 7th B 354.11
GRAND 681.65 – 4th B
636.61 – 41st A 666.64 – 9th B 617.23 – 21 B

Great results for Dmitri and Sam who both won Kings badges!

Dmitri, Mark, Sam, and Tim had dinner together on all but one night and it was a great experience to enjoy the camaraderie of the occasion.  While there may have been the odd glass of red, it didn’t seem to impact performance too much when shooting with a known rifle and on the right target!

Tim Walter and Sam Houston

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