Dragon Diesel 2017

9th Dragon Diesel Challenge

On Saturday 15th we saw the largest participation in this the 9th Dragon Diesel Challenge. The event attracted over 40 participants from the Australian Deer Association, Euroa Clay Target Club, East Central District Rifle Association and adjacent rifle clubs each competing for recognition among their clubs as “top shots”. A significant difference for this, the 9th Challenge, was the strong female contingent from the hunters including a guest appearance by the Honorable Steph Ryan MLA Euroa and Deputy Leader of the Nationals. Steph who joined in shot a credible 21 out of 35 at 300yards.


Above: The Honorable MP for Euro Steph Ryan MLA in the foreground shooting.

Ryan Mackrell

Another highlight of the competition was the number of junior shooters competing in the event. This made for a good contingent in the grade. Above Euroa Clay Target Club junior member Ryan Mackrell tries his hand at the 100 yds rifle event under the watchful supervision of ECTC President Iain Towers and ECDRA Range Officer Graeme Kerr. He certainly showed a lot of the target shooters how clay targets should be shot.

The format for the event was modified to reward those competitors who were true “all round” sportspersons, with events that represented the challenges of the Olympic Biathlon event (shooting off-hand at 100 yards distance), the Commonwealth Games target rifle event (shooting deliberately from the prone position at 300 yards distance) and the Olympic Trap Shooting event (shooting clay targets with a shotgun). The day started well for the target shooters with Dave Wallace (ECDRA) taking the 100yard and tying with Brian Houlihan at 300 yards with perfect scores.

While the “Old Gnarly” 303 challenge went to Wally Dergacz (ADA). The 300yard shoot marked the end of the rifle section and a chance to thank Rosco Davis for the excellent job he did in the butts. The scores showed that the Challenge could have gone either way at this point and time for lunch. Lunch included the special treat for those choosing to try Richie Timms superb game sausages that were cooked to perfection by Geoff James. After lunch it was onto the final and deciding stage of the Dragon Diesel Challenge, the clay target round. Tony Rollick (ECTC) won this event in spectacular style only missing one target.

With the shooting done it was time for a cuppa and a chat while the number cruncher's tallied the scores. The team competition was decided by the average score of all shooters completing all three events, and after a full day of shooting the hunters average score was 54.3 and the target shooters 53.7, the difference was in the last round with only 6 broken clay targets across all the participants deciding the event!

The individual winners were: The grand aggregate; 1st Wayne Stiff (ADA) 75/85, 2nd Matthew Frazer (ECDRA) 70/85, 100 yds; 1st Dave Wallace (ECDRA) 23/25, 2nd Bill Pemberton (ADA) 21/25, 300 yds;  Draw Dave Wallace (ECDRA) and Brian Houlihan (ECDRA) 30/30, “Old Gnarly” challenge (303 rifle competition) 1st Wally Dergacz (ADA visitor from Westernport Branch) 29/55, 2nd Graeme Kerr (ECDRA) 28/55 and clay targets; 1st Tony Rohlach (ECTC) 29/30, 2nd Rob Stackhouse (ECTC) 28/30. Andy Friedel (ADA) as he distributed the Dragon Diesel trophies along with the special Clay Target trophy confirmed, that the event had been a great success and again attracted active participation from both the hunters and the target shooters, improving skills, embedding safe practices and emphasizing the special responsibilities of being a licensed shooter. Graeme Kerr (ECDRA) responded by also acknowledging the significant contribution Andy Friedel had provided through weed control in preparation for the event and the advertising support from Ann Friedel Publishing. The 10th Diesel Challenge will be contested in Autumn 2018 and you can be sure the competition will be even more intense as the target shooters try to regain the Dragon Diesel team trophy.