2018 Taranaki Championship
This was the Taranaki association’s 150th Championship meeting, the first inter-district meeting being held on the 27TH February 1868.
The prize money for that event was £12, but we were unable to come up with the equivalent in today’s money of about $25000! So the winner had to be satisfied with the Championship Belt.
Otorohanga turned on perfect weather for both days, with very little wind. The final day for the double 1000yd 15 shot matches was almost without a breeze, and most shooters completed their shoots using only 1 or 2 minutes of wind.
The weekend belonged to Johan Du Toit, from Clevedon who dropped only one shot for the weekend, and going clear for both long ranges.
Johan was chased hard by Ross Geange on the first day, but Ross was unable to stay the pace and eventually finished runner-up for the meeting, some 9 points behind Johan.
Johan picked up most of the medals and trophies on offer, so we can expect fierce competition from him wherever he shoots.
B Grade shooters traded the lead several times, with all 5 in the Grade having some success. The event was eventually won by Lee Houghton, another Clevedon shooter, with local Mark Lane close on his heels.
C Grade shooters also had close competition, with some of the newer shooters achieving good scores on the short ranges.
The grade was won by Dave Miller, closely followed by John Scobie as runner-up.
Notably, Barry Geange showed the others in the grade a clean pair of heels by winning both the 1000yd matches and the Longs Trophy. Great to see age is no barrier, and local knowledge helps!
Paul Neilson in FTR had a great weekend, and outscored the usually reliable Graham Piper by 7 points in the end.
The F Open boys also had close competition, with Paul Neal maintaining his high standards and edging out Iain May by a healthy 6 points.
We should make mention of a new Otorohanga shooter by the name of Ethan Thompson: This young chap is as keen as mustard, and while he has a way to go, he was unfazed by the fierce competition shown by the more experienced shooters in the lions’ den of the FTR group. We need more like him to have a go at this competitive sport.
All in all, a great weekend had by all: could have coped with more shooters, but we were up on last year’s numbers, so can’t complain.
Which club is next in line to achieve 150 years?
We have some commemorative cloth badges for sale at $10 if anybody would like one. Or two.
Taranaki Rifle Club