2021 Taranaki Championship results
The 153rd Taranaki Champs were held in Otorohanga during the weekend 20/21st February.
We had 21 shooters each day, which is about what we had last year just before lockdown, but we are grateful to those who did turn up just after the latest Auckland lockdown was cancelled. We did have QR codes etc available, and we managed to keep social distances, and no shooters were seen hugging their scorers after a good score!
Mark Lane did a “fine” job in organising the weather gods. There was heavy fog both mornings which held up the start for half an hour before the targets became apparent, but after that it was bake-you-brain stuff for both days.
There was a convivial atmosphere on the Saturday evening at the clubhouse for those camping there. Others went to the Otorohanga Club for a meal.
There was some discussion on the viability of this shoot, and whether it would be held next year. Taranaki are keen to continue, so long as other clubs support the event, and that Otorohanga is happy to host it with us.
We are grateful to Rob and Helen Morgan who travelled up to help with the organisation of the shoot. This was much appreciated, particularly on the Sunday when an early finish allowed plenty of time for shooters to travel home.
With such fine weather, and little wind, scores were predictably high in all grades, and there was close competition all round.
A Grade was closely contested by Johan Du Toit (Clevedon) and Ross Geange(Otorohanga), with both achieving high scores over the weekend. André Doyle made up the balance of the A Graders and matched the other two in his Grade at the 500 & 1000. Only one point separated Johan and Ross on the two day aggregate, after Ross went clear in the shorts on Saturday.
B Grade competition was equally close with several shooters making their mark. The major contestants were Lee Houghton (Clevedon) and Mark Lane on his home range. Lee was the eventual winner taking out the two-day aggregate again for the second year.
C grade, like the A Grade, had only three shooters competing over the two days. Only 4 points separated them at the end, with Alan Drake edging out John Scobie by two points.
Graham Piper was the winner in FTR after his only rival, Ming Gu, retired after the first day.
The four shooters comprising F Open had a real battle. Paul Neal is usually up there at the top, but had to retire after the first 1000 on Sunday leaving Shane, Steve and Damien to sort it out. Damien won 4 of the six ranges, so was a convincing winner dropping only 11 points over the weekend.
The new grade of FPR was easily won by Tony Barnes. His only other competitor, Gavin Wang, retired after the first day. We hope to see more competitors in this grade next time.
A very satisfying weekend, and thanks to all who took part either in shooting or organising. We hope to see you all next year: bring your mates!