More than 530 competitors and their families spent the weekend in Bairnsdale for the shooting the Field and Game Australia National Carnival.
The event was hosted for the second year running by Bairnsdale Field and Game, providing a significant injection into the local economy.
For the first time the National Carnival extended to three days, with a 100-target preliminary event on the Friday, which was won by champion shooter, John Younger.
The preliminary event included a super shoot off, which pitted the winners of each grade against each other under handicap conditions. Star junior shooter, Mark Du Rose, was the eventual winner.
The main 15-target national championship was held over the weekend with 100 (four rounds of 25) targets on Saturday and 50 targets (two rounds of 25) shot on the Sunday.
Three close friends, Chris Brown, Blake Nankervis and Anthony Panetta, pushed each other the whole way.
Chris shot an incredible 146/150 targets for the weekend, pipping Blake by a single target with Anthony a further target back in third place.
“Everything gelled and I just kept backing myself to get it done,” Chris said.
“You see high scores and could be forgiven for thinking that the targets must have been a bit easy, but hell no, there were massive challenges out there.
“It was just that the targets were so well presented you had the best chance to shoot them.”
For the first time Field and Game brought in an external target setter in Peter Hall, who has vast experience setting grounds for national and international events.
“All the way around the ground you could just see the thought and hard work that had gone into the setup. At the end of the day we are all here to shoot and be entertained and that’s what we got,” Chris said.
Bairnsdale Field and Game president, Mick Crane, said hosting the largest shoot in Australia back-to-back was a big challenge.
“We are blessed with a great pool of members who are always happy to step up and volunteer. We also had great support from Sale Field and Game who provided volunteers to run one ground,” Mick said.
“To go back-to-back is amazing, our volunteers have just been tireless.”
The income from the carnival will help the branch retire debt on its impressive clubrooms, which are also used by the wider Bairnsdale community.
Field and Game Australia chairman, Bill Paterson, praised the branch for delivering another great event.
“We’ve been striving to make this the Melbourne Cup of clay target shooting and Bairnsdale has really helped us down that path,” he said.
“We want to get more and more people into shooting simulated field and the quality of our major events is a key part of that.”
PICTURED: Competitors, Scott Collins, Phil Thompson and Andrew Tangusso, were ready to hit the course for the 2019 2019 Field and Game National Carnival at Bairnsdale Field and Game.