Succeesful event at Seymour Field and Game facility at Avenel - both on and off the range.By Chalpat Sonti
They came, they shot, and win or lose they went away happy and contributing to our region’s economy.
That was the tale of the 486 shooters who descended on Seymour Field and Game’s range at Lambing Gully Rd, Avenel, for the Field and Game National Carnival and Australian Simulated Field Championship at the weekend.
It is the first time the two-day event, which attracted shooters and family and friends from all over Australia and one from New Zealand, has been held at the range — and it provided a mini tourism boom.
New national champion Adam DuRose in action at Avenel during the weekend.
There were about 1000 people at the event, with its proximity to Melbourne making it easy for city competitors to travel up each day.
All 46 Victorian Field and Game clubs were represented, while big groups came from Goulburn in NSW, Canberra and Flinders Island among others.
Field and Game chief executive Rod Drew said accommodation was booked out in Seymour, Nagambie, Trawool and as far away as Euroa for the event.
‘‘When people come away for the weekend for these events it costs them a lot of money,’’ he said.
‘‘On average they spend about $1000. They like to make a weekend of it.’’
Max Stevens of Mangalore is all concentration.
It is the biggest event held at the picturesque range since a state championship shoot in about 1993.
‘‘This club (Seymour) has put a lot of money into their facilities over the years.
‘‘They’ve got top class facilities and the room to run this sort of event. Some of our clubs are constrained by that.
‘‘This range is in a fairly remote area and they work with the adjacent landholders.
‘‘These clubs are strictly controlled as to their hours of operation and to make this work you have to work in with the neighbours.
‘‘Mitchell Shire Council have been supportive of us over the years too.
‘‘We had to get a number of planning permits for this range but they understand it’s an important activity in this area.’’
Sponsors also came to the party to the tune of about $60
‘‘It makes it the biggest prize pool ever of any event in (Australia). We’ve had very good support from the industry.’’
Field and Game, whose head office is in Seymour, has about 16
Many did ‘‘the circuit’’ with clubs at Greenvale, Benalla and in the northern suburbs of Melbourne offering plenty of competition for little travel.
Seymour Field and Game club secretary Jess Parkinson loads up for another attempt.
The weekend competition attracted about 30 female shooters and about 40 in the junior categories.
‘‘We do have quite a lot of families that shoot, it’s a sport growing in popularity and numbers are increasing.
‘‘It’s a good sport for people of all ages and we’ve even got one guy from Warrnambool going round shooting in his motorised wheelchair.’’
Each competitor shot 75 targets, with about 80
As busy as the field was, there was just as much action at the practice range, where competitors put money into a prize pool.
Local hope Chris Tingay ponders his effort at the Field and Game national shooting carnival near Avenel on Saturday.
■ A delighted Adam DuRose was crowned Field and Game Australia’s national champion on Sunday, scoring a record-breaking off-the-gun score of 142.
The 37-year old from Cheltenham was placed second at the end of day one of competition, having successfully shot 70 out of 75 targets on Saturday, before his 72/75 on Sunday propelled him to the top of the leader board to claim the title.
DuRose rewrote all the record books with his incredible score, which showed he only missed eight targets in two days of competition. The previous record score was 140, shot in 2008.
DuRose, who only arrived in the country seven months ago from England, needed 22 targets in the final round of shooting to claim an outright victory, and he didn’t disappoint, returning with an almost impeccable score of 23 to claim the title.
‘‘It’s very exciting, but unexpected at the same time,’’ he said.
‘‘This event was different to what I’m used to over in England. It’s nothing really alike in the sense that you wouldn’t have double barreled shots at a single target, it’s all pairs over there, but these targets were probably a bit easier than what I’m used to in the same sense.’’
Five-time national champion John Younger finished two shots behind on 140, while Brenton Irons took out third place on 139.
Melbourne’s Renee Birgan continued her domination of the ladies event, claiming this year’s title with a score of 131, five shots clear of runner-up Kelly Norris from Echuca. Birgan has been in red-hot form of late, having finished second in the World Championships just last month.
Exciting Rutherglen youngster Adam Shale took out the junior event (15 to under-18 years) with a score of 134, while Shepparton’s Alex Kalogerakis was crowned the sub-junior Champion (12 to under-15 years) with 109.
Promising 17-year old Jeremy Paglia, from the Mornington Peninsula, was the winner of Saturday’s Beretta Classic, incredibly missing only one target on his way to victory.
National Championship graded overall winners were:
High Gun - Adam DuRose, 142
AA-grade - John Younger, 140
A-grade - Stephen Sambell, 131
B-grade - Mark Carlson, 117
C-grade - Gary Jones, 104
Ladies - Renee Birgan, 131
Veterans - Ed Treadwell, 129
Juniors - Adam Shale, 134
Sub-Juniors - Alex Kalogerakis, 109
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