2017 SSAA Western Australia Field Rifle and Scoped 3-Positional State Championships
The 2017 WA State Championships were held in Geraldton for the first time in September. It marked the 30th anniversary of the Geraldton club and it was rather fitting that the initial state titles which the club hosted boasted the very first discipline that members of the club shot all those years ago.
Thirty-odd competitors from as far North as Karratha and as far South as Port Bouvard all converged on Geraldton for three days of shooting and socialising.
Mother Nature threw a few misfires at the gathering throughout the weekend with the weather changing seemingly almost every minute at times from downright atrocious to quite pleasant for a while. The competition started with Field Rifle Centrefire as David Malcman set the high scores rolling with 97.03 in the Rapid Fire followed by Matthew Boots winning the Offhand by count-back with Veselko Talajic on 95.01 and also taking out the Standing Post Rest with 96.01. Gavin Geldenhuys clinched the Sitting Post Rest with 97.01.
The day belonged to Boots with a total of 379.06 but under-18 Keigan Williams was another star performer, resetting two junior state records in difficult conditions.
In order to utilise time and numbers effectively with the 10 bays at Geraldton, the program was altered slightly from previous years with the Scoped 3-Positional Centrefire being shot on the same day. This meant that with only two details in both Centrefire events, the competition would finish at a respectable time as opposed to the three-four details in the Rimfire events. Boots seized the lead early with 197.06 in the Prone but Malcman came back with a vengeance in the Offhand with 184.02 and Graham Bunter in the Sitting/Kneeling with 194.01. By the end, it was Malcman with a total of 569.07, who wrapped up the event. Amid much socialising afterwards, the amazing cooking efforts of the club’s caterers were second to none, with some excellent meals served up.
Sunday saw the Field Rifle Rimfire event get underway in relatively fine conditions. Talajic was the first one on top of the page with 93.00 in the Rapid Fire, Boots took out the Offhand with an impressive 98.03, Talajic copied in the Standing Post Rest also with a 98.03 and rounded off the day with a top score of 382.06. However, young Williams was again the one who people were watching at the end, snaring the Sitting Post Rest Position with 100.00 and setting two junior Australian records.
The Field Rifle 2-Gun Championship was claimed by Talajic with 757.10, followed by Boots with 755.13 then Williams with 754.08. It was a really close contest with all three competitors gaining points towards the WA Field Rifle Hall of Fame.
The final event was the Scoped 3-Positional Rimfire where Simon Thomas took out the Prone position with 196.03; unfortunately, it didn’t last long with Boots finding his mojo and sealing the Offhand by more than 10 points with 189.04 in windy conditions. But he lost it again in the final position with Bunter shooting 193.06 Sitting/Kneeling. By the end Boots, with 573.18, won the match by a clear 10 points.
In the Scoped 3-Positional 2-Gun Championship, it was a tight call between first and second with Boots grabbing the top spot by only two points with 1134.28. Malcman came in second with 1132.12 and Talajic was third with 1097.12.
The 4-Gun Championship was also close with second and third placed only four points apart after 204 competition shots and a possible score of 2000. Boots walked away with the top spot for an unprecedented 10th year in a row with 1889.41. Malcman was second with 1858.20 and Talajic third on 1854.22. Williams triumphed in the junior division with a new state record of 1839.18 and also won the junior Rimfire 2-Gun with 928.12. Matthew Galanty came in second with 849.06 and Cody Joiner third with 707.02.
Meanwhile, comments from all the competitors kept coming in about how good the action had been and how tasty Mary’s cooking was, even as they were driving out of the gate.
Thanks to all the competitors for making the trip to Geraldton and let’s hope you will drop in and visit when you venture back that way.
A huge thanks goes out to all the volunteers who made themselves available to help over the weekend either on the range or in the kitchen. Organisers could not have done the job without you.
10m Precision Air Rifle (Off Rifle)
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