Wild and woolly weather wreaks havoc at 700 yards

Only a desperate dozen hardy souls remained behind to take on the 700 yard challenge for what was the first stage of the Captain’s Trophy monthly competition at the Grafton Rifle Club range on Saturday. Those who decided to pull the plug, in the dangerously hot conditions, were right on the money, as the temperature out on the open range soared well into the forties. But for those who stayed, the worst was yet to come. With the rising, vicious, frontal fishtail wind flicking wildly from side to side, keeping all shots in the black [let alone the bulls-eye] was a very difficult task. As the afternoon wore on, the hot dry wind increased in strength and variability, so that scores generally decreased, with the second stage results being lower than the first. The shoot of the day would have to go to David Grundy. In his first stage he managed to fire eight of his string of ten into the six-ring, but managed to lose three points in the two errant shots to finish up with a very good 57/60 in the tough conditions. He was unable to repeat this feat in his second stage, but still managed to walk away with the Off-Rifle honours, and the Daily Aggregate in the F-Class division. In the Target Rifle division, the situation was just as chaotic, with the “top-shots” finding it hard to recall when they last received such a hammering. The best effort went to Peter Nielsen, shooting his T/R [optical] set-up, and topping the day with a 92/100, while Dennis Hilton managed an 89/100 to top the straight T/R shooters. Both went on to top the Daily Aggregate standings as well. All in all, it was a great test of character and fortitude, and I’m pleased to report that nobody threw in the towel. All hung in there, right to the end and in a twisted sort of way seemed to enjoy the challenge. The shoot next week will be from the 800 yard mound for the second stage of the Captain’s Trophy competition, commencing at 1pm. However, before that, we have the Presentation dinner, at the Vines Restaurant, on Friday night, so be sure to come along and enjoy this very pleasant night out, in the very best of company. And more still, let me remind you that the “sausage sizzle” will be on Saturday following the Rim-Fire morning shoot. Good chow for a good cause, so don’t miss out. Anthony O’Keeffe