Belmont 2022 – Nationals (19th – 23rd Oct)

Marcus and Comrade relaxing.

Queensland’s Belmont Rifle Range was the home of the 50th National Rifle Competition comprising the President’s Match (leadup) and the King’s Prize. Four stalwarts from Roseville made the trek north – Mark Buchanan, Dmitri Kazakov, Adam Beale and Janet Beale.

Mark & Dmitri decided to go early and attend the Natives Prize Meeting prior to the Presidents & Kings. Mark departed early Thursday morning stopping off at Ballina for the night as he is getting a bit long in the tooth to be able to match Dmitri’s record driving time of 8 1/2hr to Brisbane. Saturday we commenced at the shorts with limited success with his trusty rusty Angel. Mark brought three rifles with ammo to suit each however using the Barnard with a Benchmark at the long ranges on the Sunday saw a comeback to end up 4th overall. Dmitri’s “special” 16,000 round barrel don’t work wonders finishing.

On the Monday Comrade & Mark went for a drive to the Cleveland area having lunch at the Redland Bay Hotel. Mark started going downhill from there with expected long Covid however it turned out to be just a short flu as he regained strength towards the end of the week. It didn’t help his scores in the Presidents either as he left his raincoat at home.

There was a poignant moment as a minute of silence was held and a “parting shot” for Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II prior to the start of the official competition.  The shot was completed by Benn Emm’s who was the previous National Queen’s winner.

Queensland’s tag line of “Beautiful one day, perfect the next” missed the mark in 2022. This year it should have said “cloudy one day, cloudier the next” or even “rainy one day, nearly flooded the next”. Mother Nature had an ironic sense of timing that made life very interesting for the participants and the competition organisers. While the President’s Match went ahead as scheduled with 7 details over 2 days, the King’s Prize, which would normally be a longer 10 details over 3 days became a modified 5 details over 2 days with fewer shots delivered per shooter than in the lead-up. Yes the final day was totally cancelled too….see the severe weather advice that was broadcast to all the phones.

However, the competition did proceed under amended SSR’s that allowed for tents to be used for the competition should there be inclement weather. And those tents were certainly used on both days of the shortened King’s competition.

So how did our Roseville stalwarts fair? Not as well as any would have liked. This time our standout performer was Dmitri.

Dmitri Mark Janet
Dmitri (TRA): 96.8% accuracy in President’s match with 2 possibles, 98.1% accuracy in King’s match, 14th place. No shots on wrong targets this time! Mark (TRA): 96.5% accuracy in President’s match, 2 possibles, 96.9% accuracy in King’s match Janet (FTR): did not shoot the President’s match, 95.3% accuracy in King’s match….oops she made the wrong load for the 210gr projectiles so they didn’t group well Adam (TRA): 96.5% accuracy in President’s match, 3 possibles, 94.7% accuracy in King’s match

Despite the weather, despite the lack of prizes for our Roseville stalwarts, it was good to get out of Sydney and try out the longer distances again. Congrats to Steve Negus from Canberra for winning the King’s prize. Can we recommend the trip to Belmont? Yes but only if you have good rubber boots, a sense of humour, and a Bunnings umbrella!

The results are available: The President; The Kings Prize; The Presidents + The Kings Prize Grand Agg.

Thanks to QRA for the photos

Janet Beale, Mark Buchanan

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