Chase Hayes Final Round 2019

Chase Hayes Long Range Pennant

Squalls disrupt the final Round of the Chase Hayes memorial pennant shoot. Rain and squalls with winds  over 35kph winds greeted the East Central District Rifle Association’s team and the teams from the  four other clubs as they gathered at Karramomus rifle range for the final stage of the Chase Hayes memorial shoot over 1000 yards  last Saturday. 

Chase Hayes 2019w

The weather was so bad that there was serious consideration of deferring the shoot.  The shooting program for most clubs is very full over the spring season and deferment was a very difficult option so instead the start was postponed.  Almost an hour and a half after the regular starting time it was decided that the weather was improving and the shoot got underway.   The coaches were frustrated as they tried to keep tabs on a wind that a variation of 1kph would result in a movement of up to 200 mm on the target.  With the wind swinging 90 degrees and gusting in strength more than 20 kph scores were never going to be high. The shooters had to do their best to keep the rifle dead still as the, now very cold, wind buffered them first one way then another.   Precision shooting under these conditions?

Captain Neal Hambridge reminded the ECDRA team that this was their chance to grab a podium finish on the day and improve their standing the Chas Hayes long range pennant. With the return of Graeme Kerr and having a full team, hopes were high until the first shots were fired. Then the reality of the challenge of the shoot hit home as the first shots for each of the shooters was more likely to be a miss than a hit.  

David Wallace posted the highest score for the ECDRA for the first stage with a  53.3   At least 5 points down on his usual performance.  Paul Watkins was the most unlucky as he hit some very difficult conditions.  The only comfort, and we use that term carefully, was that the other teams had similar score boards with Josh Weaire from Nagambie top scoring over all for the stage with a 57.4. Considering that National Team members were included in the shoot, and posting similar scores it confirms just how difficult the conditions were.

There was no time for a stop between stages and the shoot continued to ensure that it was complete before the light failed. With “improving” conditions the coaches jobs were not easier, however the scores improved ever so slightly. For the ECDRA David Wallace took the second stage with a 53.2 and Josh Wearie from Nagambie was top score again for the stage with 55.1.  

The final outcome of the Chase Hayes trophy is yet to be worked out as the scoring is not an easy job with many variables such as shooter class, grades and handicaps.

The Avenel shield was also finalised at this shoot and the results gives the Avenel Shield to Nagambie with 19 points followed by Shepparton / Nathalia 16, Karramomus 15, Katandra 12 and ECDRA 10.  Congratulations Nagambie as the Avenel Shield is an off-rifle completion with results corrected to allow for the variation in there different classes.  Nagambie has been consistently good all year and are deserving winners of the Avenel Shield.  This shield was donated to the Goulburn Valley precision long range target shooters by the Tehan family in the 1950’s for team shooting and has be recently revived by Graeme Kerr from the ECDRA into a trophy befitting the current styles and classes of team target shooting over ranges from 300 to 1000 yds.