The Bathurst Rifle Club’s 800 yard mound looked like Bondi beach on a hot summers’ day last Saturday as a plethora of tents, shade covers and beach umbrellas littered the area.
Everything was hot before the shoot commenced with barrels, bolts, stocks even ground sheets absorbing the oppressive heat. With a hot fishtail wind gusting in mostly from the northwest, conditions were much better suited to the beach than lying out on a dried up grassy knoll.
The two days constructing and calibrating the 800 and 900 yard targets was put to good use as virtually the whole of the 8x6 foot square target faces were used, shooters unable to confine their shots to the target centre.
That is until Nick Cock produced his embarrassingly good 99.09, so far ahead of all others he seemed to be shooting on a different range.
Cocks’ second stage 50.06 was a delight to watch as he mastered the intricacies of the wind and mirage.
Graeme Bright snatched second after his trigger malfunctioned which saw him have three starts in his second stage, but fortunately for him the conditions died as the stage progressed and 50.02 was a good result.
The theme of the day was the number of outer twos which crept onto shooters scorecards, but to avoid embarrassment no names will be mentioned as it was not only the lowly B graders who succumbed.
In F class the two Australian team members Geoff Willis and Jeff Eppleston warmed up for their Trans Tasman appointment in Wellington, New Zealand in February.
Both kept within the bull’s eye ring but had to concentrate long and hard to overcome the up and down wind variations.
Willis with a second stage 58.5 grabbed the lead by one point and held off Eppleston whose 57.3 was not enough even though he finished with a two super bull’s eye advantage.
Unwilling to risk offending, your correspondent will not add more detail of the shoot except to say that throwing the hands in the air in exasperation and rapid firing works occasionally but can attract disaster.
Cock won the Norman Rutherford Memorial Trophy by three points from Bright.
The next shoot is the T W Willman Cup over 900 yards on January 13, 2018