Esperance Rifle Club battles tough conditions ahead of club championships

Final target: The final event for the 2019 season will be held on Saturday and Sunday, with members shooting all ranges to determine the winners of each division.
Final target: The final event for the 2019 season will be held on Saturday and Sunday, with members shooting all ranges to determine the winners of each division.

With all season events over, there is just one championship event to decide the 2019 champions for each division at the Esperance Rifle Club.

For the last two weeks of competition the conditions have been quite windy. The final stage at 700 yards saw a brisk frontal fishtail bowling up the range creating havoc for all concerned. The best score for the day being Ray Hurley with a gentle score of 109.6 in F Open, Leith Hill just 101.4 and Adrian Moffat 101.1 rounding out the top three positions for the elite squad.

Mike Welke came out for a play with his F Standard rifle and won the day scoring 107.3. Brian Bridges next in line scoring 106.4 and Terry Neville third with a score well below his average. Neville scored 97.1 from a possible 120 from his elevated table being buffeted by the wind, showing just how difficult it was. FTR saw numbers well down Steve Mortimer 105.3, Dalene Mortimer 97.2 and Ken Mortimer 87.2 with the wind moving their little 223 projectiles about in the fishtail conditions.

Graham Donovan managed an average 46.2 for his first dispatch but almost got them all in second time down, scoring a 49.3 from a possible 50. Hunter Class had Marcus Moffat in front scoring 95.6 followed by Kasey Nolan with 92.5, then Gerry Harp with 91.3 and Andy Nolan 82.2 rounded out the hunting class rifles.

Handicap winners for the day saw Gerry Harp win with 98, followed by Marcus Moffat 97, Graham Donovan third scoring 96 in the trying conditions. The best two scores from the last three outings had Andy Nolan on top with a massive 207, second place saw Steve Mortimer with 199 and Shane Mortimer third scoring 197.

On Saturday November 9, the club had a novelty day, shooting one dispatch over 700 yards and one dispatch over 800 yards onto the Silver Mountain electric target, controlled by wireless wi-fi senders to be caught on smart phones or tablet to watch the scores and position of the hit on the target. The conditions again breezy with a frontal crosswind creating havoc for the unwary. The best score for the day had Ellen Moffat with her F Standard rifle on top with 113.4, Brian Bridges next in line with 110.1, Steve Mortimer managed 111.1 with his FTR rifle, Marcus Moffat 98.4 and Gerry Harp 90.9 in the hunting class.

Leith Hill won the day in F Open scoring 110.6 followed by his mother Tracy Hill at her first ever try at shooting. Tracy showed great skill scoring 109.2. Adrian Moffat managed 103.3 and John Stuart 101.1. A couple of Black Powder men smoked the place up, Pat Wrigley scored 143 and Ken Mortimer pushed him all the way scoring 83 with the old muzzle loaders. Graham Donovan was pretty consistent in the blustery conditions scoring 48.3 and 49.4.

Saturday, November 16, will see members shooting from 700 yards, 600 metres and 600 yards. Sunday, November 17, 500, 400 and 300 yards to determine the Champions for season 2019. A barbecue will follow Sunday's events. Competition will commence Saturday at 1.30pm. See you on the mound. All members urged to attend.