Tumut Clay Target Club officials have hailed the conduct of the 2021 Snowy Mountains Two Day Trap Carnival as a great success considering the weather forecast and uncertainty of travel for many with Covid restrictions in place.
72 competitors nominated for the weekend competition held on November 13/14 and more than 15 thousand targets were thrown during the three-event program.
And whilst competitor numbers were down, the quality of competition was right up there explained club President Lloyd McPherson.
“Perfect scores recorded in all events and the club handicapper upgraded almost 10% of the field,” McPherson said.
“Yes, whilst the weather forecast impacted numbers, the actual conditions saw many competitors record better than their average scores, it’s always great to see someone record a new personal best, and this was certainly the case over the weekend.”
Several competitors elected to camp onsite and some elected to take advantage of the clubs picturesque setting and remained longer than just the weekend.
A number had also arrived at Tumut early in order to take advantage of the fishing season.
It was great to see so many shooters and their families in town said Tumut Clay Target Club Secretary Adam Yan,
“It’s great for us and it’s great for our local businesses,” Yan said.
The larger field of competitors associated with the weekend compared to regular club competitions and the strength of the competition gave locals a real opportunity for personal best performances, and by the end of the weekend both Karina Thatcher and Mark Patterson had upgraded from C-Grade to B-Grade and Matt Gorman moved up from A-Grade to AA-Grade.
Junior member Cooper Clay also returned a personal best round of 24 from 25 in the handicap event and earned himself a position in the Tumut Team, which were runner’s up in the team’s section of the handicap match at 97/100.
Tumut is renowned for good targets and tough competition, and this is what competitors want.
“It’s good all round,” Yan said.
“It puts our locals up against the best and this ensures that we are getting the best competitive outcomes for everyone – locals and visitors alike.
“During the weekend regular visitor to Tumut Steve Gentle recorded is first ever 100/100, that is 100 targets without a miss.”
At trophy presentation each day Club President McPherson gratefully acknowledged the sponsorship assistance provided for the weekends’ carnival by local Tumut Businesses and Shooting Industry partners.
“Without this support a small club like Tumut would struggle,” McPherson said.
Mr McPherson also paid a special vote of thanks to groundsmen Bruce Mayo, for the excellent way the grounds and range were presented despite the wet weather experienced during the weeks leading up to the carnival.
The canteen ladies lead by Pat Green, Elizabeth Thatcher and Lynn McPherson were acknowledged for attending to everyone’s culinary needs over the weekender.
His final thanks were saved for committee members who were kept busy all weekend attending to marshalling duties, target supply, competition nominations and squadding and for Elizabeth Green who attended to the competition administration and kept the competitions on schedule.
Fleming takes out Snowy Mountains ‘Ton’ Champs
The signature event of the Snowy Mountains Carnival is the Snowy Mountains “Ton” Championship consisting of 100 targets double barrel, which saw only three perfect qualifying rounds of 100/100 and a further 4 returning 99/100.
Those to score the perfect qualifying round in the “Ton” were Tumut’s Grant Thatcher and Phil Green and visiting junior Rohan Fleming from Goulburn.
In the miss and out determination that followed, Rohan Fleming was quick to claim the 2021 Snowy Mountains “Ton” Championship and overall trophy when Green departed at the 16th target and Thatcher followed soon after at his 22nd target.
The minor place in AA-Grade was shared equally between Mark Dutton (Goolma), Wayde Hawkins (Cobar), Phil Body (Bega) and Damian Burt (Canowindra).
A-Grade grade “Ton” winner was regular Wagga visitor Garry Burton after he returned 98/100 in the qualifying round. The other A-Grade placings went to Steven Gentle (Wagga), Matt Harland (Cobar) and Anton Horn (Tumut).
B-Grade was also determined by “miss and out” determination between Chris Brown (Bega) and Max O’Dowd (Berrima) after both returned qualifying rounds of 96/100.
After eight targets it was Brown that claimed victory, leaving O’Dowd runner up.
The other B-Grade places went to Theresa Lonergan (Junee) and Tracey Glasson (Gemfields).
C-Grade was won by Bathurst’s Nick Harvey with a personal best score of 95/100, which also earned him a grad escalation to B-Grade” next time he competes.
The balance of C-Grade places went to Tumut’s Mark Patterson, Karina Thatcher and Matthew White.
Section prizes for the best Lady, Junior and Veteran were awarded after routine grade prizes.
Melisa Burt (Canowindra) earned the Ladies section prize. Drew Burton (Wagga) won the Juniors Section and John Maxwell (Deniliquin) won the Veterans section with a very good score of 97/100.
The Snowy Mountains “Ton” is certainly the signature event of the weekend and is always the last event conducted, however the support events of a champion of champions’ medley and handicap teams match on day one certainly brings the best out of all competitors, said Yan.
The champion of champions medley was the first competition of the carnival and consisted of 60 targets, being 20 double barrel, 20 single and 20 point-score for a medley total of 100.
In the difficult conditions two competitors returned perfect rounds of 100/100, being Bega’s Charlie Smith (AA-Grade) and Tumut’s Anton Horn (A-Grade).
In the miss and out determination, scores were equal until the very last target of the bracket whereat Smith claimed victory with a perfect score of 125/125, leaving Horn as runner-up on 122/125.
The AA-Grade placings went to Ben Woodhouse 199/200 (Wagga), Damien Burt 198/200 (Canowindra).
Woodhouse, Burt and Rohan Fleming (Goulburn) all returned qualifying rounds of 99/100.
The A-Grade competition was won by Tumut’s Matt Gorman with 99/100. Steven Gentle, Garry Burton (both Wagga), and Mick O’Dowd (Berrima) shared the A-Grade minor placings.
Max O’Dowd (Berrima) was winner in B-Grade, five points ahead of Tracey Glasson (Gemfields), with Alex Hawkins (Bathurst) and Drew Burton (Wagga) a further one point behind.
Tied scores in C-Grade ultimately saw Nick Harvey (Bathurst) claim victory over Tumut’s Mark Patterson after both returned qualifying rounds of 89/100.
Karina Thatcher and Kerry White took the final C grade places.
The final event of day one was an individual’s handicap and club teams Match over 25 targets.
In the individual’s section of the competition, nine competitors returned a perfect qualifying round of 25/25, including three competitors from the maximum handicap penalty mark of 25m and two from the 24m handicap mark.
Perfect rounds belonged to Mark Patterson (15m – Tumut), Steven Gentle (19m – Wagga), John Gray (19m – Bega), Matt Harland (20m – Cobar), Damien Rowett (24m – Boorowa), Wayne Storer (24m – Downside), Wayde Hawkins (25m – Cobar), Damian Burt (25m – Canowindra) and Bradd Kidd (25m – Wagga).
In the miss and out elimination that followed to determine placings it was eventually a competition between Harland and Gentle as they were the only two to pass the 50/50 milestone.
At the 74th target both missed and then Gentle missed again at his 75th, leaving Harland a second opportunity to claim the SMT Handicap Match, which he did.
Run in conjunction with the handicap match was a club team competition wherein the best four scores from each club were tallied at the conclusion of the qualifying round to a total of 100.
Cobar Club enjoyed a single target victory over Tumut 98 to 97.
Cobar was represented by Matt Harland, Wayde Hawkins, Arthur Turner and Peter Hoise.
Tumut team members were Mark Patterson, Cooper Clay, Kerry White and Phil Green.
Over the course of the carnival, weekend competitor scores are added together in their quest for the covenanted High Gun awards.
This year the program totalled 225 points and despite difficult weather conditions, well set targets ensured scores were to a very high standard indeed.
Damian Burt (Canowindra) topped the weekend 223/225 to claim the SMT Overall High Gun Award, a single point ahead of his nearest rivals, Charlie Smith (Bega) and Rohan Fleming (Goulburn).
Fleming was ultimately declared winner for the AA-Grade High Gun on 222/225.
Wagga visitor Steven Gentle won A-Grade High Gun with 220/225
Max O’Dowd (Berrima) won B-Grade High Gun with a score 210/225.
Bathurst’s Nick Harvey scored a very impressive 207/225 in winning the C-Grade High Gun.
Section High Gun Awards winners were Ladies, Tracey Glasson (Gemfields) 202/225, Junior, Drew Burton (Wagga) 199/225 and Veteran, John Maxwell 212/225.
President McPherson concluded the carnival weekend by highlighting that the weekend event was a rousing success,
“Competitors come to Tumut looking for good targets, tough competition and country hospitality – and that’s exactly what our Snowy Mountains Two Day Trap Carnival has once again provided,” McPherson said.
“It’s great to be able to showcase Tumut Clay Target Club and the region and at the same time reward our sponsor partners and competitors with a successful weekend.”
The Club is next in operation on Sunday December 12 when hosting their annual Christmas competition commencing 9am for 10am start.
There will be a 60-target medley, 25-target handicap and a novelty pairs event.
For further information on Tumut Clay Target Club, readers can contact President Lloyd McPherson on 0427 482 327, Secretary Adam Yan on 0437 312 803 or Phil Green for licensing on 0400 265 814.