They may have been small in number, but the four-strong team of Kaituna Blenheim Rifle Club members that attended the recent NRANZ National Championships made their presence felt with a string of top placings.
The champs were staged at the Trentham Rifle Range, with its usual testing conditions. Despite several days of swirling, frontal fishtail winds with fast strength and angle changes the Kaituna members were to the fore, especially on the long ranges of 800, 900 and 1000 yards.
The Masefield Belt, the lead-up championship to the nationals, was won by Marlborough shooting stalwart Malcolm Dodson who scored 198.14 to take the coveted title from Clevedon’s Johan Du Toit on 196.22.
The national B grade title was taken out by Clinton Whyte, on 461.32, while David Dick finished fourth on 458.27. Both Whyte and Dick finished strongly at the last difficult 1000 yard distance to clinch their top placings, Dick top scoring the whole range with 48.3.
Teenager Jacob Morriss had a similarly strong finish at the last range to clinch second place in C grade on 452.23, just behind Te Puke’s Samantha Riddle on 458.37.
In the A grade championship Dodson finished second on 482.43, behind Australian David Black with 486.41 and ahead of Malvern’s Allan White on 481.55.
In the final 15-shot match at 900 yards to decide the Ballinger Belt, Dodson slipped back to third, Black winning the battle of the colours to claim the prestigious Belt from White.