Explorers OPM 20-21 November 2011

Roseville Rifle Club Members traveled afar with generosity in their hearts, ammo in their bag and equipment aplenty. Members, no not just any member, but our esteemed Captain Adrian Bonanni, Ross Webb, Phill Hodder and Alan Patrick drove that great distance from Sydney to Lockhart in the Riverina. A glorious geographical location with a bit of rain, mud, wind and wind. Wind from the left, wind from the right, wind from the front and no wind. But rest assured there was wind, and did I mention mirage, but we’ll get to that later. And have you ever been on a range with 5 targets but number 5 never appearing and when was target 1 ever called zero?

The countryside looked a picture and after so long in lockdown it was a pleasure to escape the city and head south to regional NSW.

Well, the generosity of all shooters was clear from the start. Following the tradition of that intrepid group who unselfishly shared as many shots as possible with their fellow competitors in Armidale our group did their best, but the wind would not let that overwhelming generosity be shared. It did not matter what we tried the shots remained on the target. But then that is what happens when wind blows here and there and then no where and then repeats itself. So, it is my melancholy duty to let everyone know that we failed to share a shot with any other competitor. To this extent we apologise but the silver lining is everyone had a remarkably great time and full scores were recorded

From the moment the first shot was fired we progressed through five ranges. There was 500, 600, 700 800 and 900 yards not metres. The mounds were new, and the range had been repositioned to ensure full compliance with all sorts of rules and problems. This unfortunately meant they (we) have lost a 1000 yards range.

Day one on Saturday saw 500 yards given a good workover. Adrian posted a solid 75.6, Phill a credible 73.8 in TRA, Ross Webb an 81.4 in F Standard B and Alan an 87.7 FTR. This was almost Ross’s first competition. Conditions were testing with wind and a bit of rain.

Second match at 600 yards – The Lockhart – saw Phill and Adrian tussle with conditions posting scores that did not show how hard they tried. Both competitors tried to share shots but did post a the odd 3 and 4’s. Ross showed how to put in an X in the middle of his shoot just to show Adrian how it was done and finished 4/7 for the day. Alan finished the day with an 87.6 which concluded with a 4th for the day 5 points behind.

The weather was always on everyone’s mind for day 2 but before that Explorers Club put on a great dinner and presentation on Saturday night with the day’s award for wins announced. TR always seems to take the highlight and the shoot off for target rifle between father and son Jim and Mitch Bailey could not be determined so the result was finally announced after a darts comp between the two happened in the Lockhart Ex-Servicemen’s Club. Jim won conclusively. Jim scored a 25 off 3 darts and Mitch put up 18 off 3 darts which only draws us to the conclusion both should stick to long range target shooting.

Day 2 saw commencement before 8.30 am as we had three ranges to get through with about 74 enrolled competitors.

At the 700 yards range – The 61st Battery – was conducted in cloud and sun with a mirage to make a grown person cry. The wind went a minute one way and then a boil and then the other way all in a flash with everything in between including sun, cloud, global warming symptoms soon to be thrown at us. But our intrepid group were not giving up. Phill posted a 47.3 to jump to 16th and Adrian a 48.3 for 14th place. Ross in F standard B stamped his mark with a 48.0 to place 3rd just to show everyone how it is done. Alan shooting FTR posted a 58.6 to head off 9 others to place 1st at this range. Alan was clearly not in a shot sharing mood.

At 800 yards – The Ex Servicemans – saw the jockeying between TR shooters was tough. Phill was not to outdone and put up a well earned 49.4. Adrian posted 44.3 but he was just trying to share his last two shots being Captain. Ross in FSB made sure his 46.0 kept him competitive. His first shot was again another sharing opportunity gone wrong and his 2 was not good enough to share with anyone else. Alan was toweled up with a 56.3 leaving him at 7th and his last shot although a valiant attempt to share with his nearest competitor was not good enough for them to accept.

At 900 yards – The Explorers – the weather was hot, the wind was taxing, and the 4 intrepid members had their heads down, their butt’s up and were ready to attack this always difficult country range stage. Phill and Adrian went neck and neck. Phill put up a very good 48.6 (13/22) and Adrian a 47.3 (15/22).

Ross Webb made his mark with a 54.0 (2/7). A great result.

Alan shot a 54.2 (4/9) with more 5’s than he cared to remember.

Day 2 AGG saw Phill with 144.13 at 14th, Adrian 139.9 at 19th, Ross with 148.0 at 2nd and Alan with 168.11 at 2nd.

The Grand Aggregate gave us the final picture after a taxing two days, 2 cars, one caravan and four keen competitors shooting in a part of heaven’s own country.

On a final note all competitor’s worked well together, the target system delivered it’s best to deliver the results expected including phantom shots which made us appreciate home on the range.


For all the results go to https://www.results.nraa.com.au/explorers-rifle-club-open-prize-meeting-2021-nsw-results/

But here is all you need to know.

Phill Hodder TRA – 289.30

Adrian Bonanni TRA – 283.18

Ross Webb FSB – 310.7 and 4th

Alan Patrick FTR – 342.24 and 2nd.

Adrian Bonanni

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