Southland shooters shine at friendly tournament
Southland shooters performed with distinction at the South Island Clay Target Shooting Championships at their home range at the weekend.
Several Southland competitors featured prominently during the two days of action, with Mataura's Kelvin Gutsell winning the skeet high overall, Southland's Stuart Sutherland winning the single barrel and Gorge Road shooter Colin Waghorn taking out the ball trap.
Southland also claimed the shoulder-to-shoulder provincial teams' competition, with the side of Daniel Warnock, Boston Walker, Ewen Pirie, Stuart Sutherland and Phil Harraway finishing in first place on nine points, ahead of runners-up Bay of Plenty.
Timaru's Ray Everett was the standout shooter for the meet, registering the best high overall with 249.
Fellow South Cantabrian Craig Pilcher was second best high overall.
There was strong interest in the South Island championships, with 125 shooters, including 38 from the North Island, competing.
The Southland Clay Target Club's Oreti Beach base received a makeover for the championships, which included the addition of new equipment.
A $20,000 grant from the ILT Foundation ensured the improvements were able to be made, which Southland club president Jeff Munro said they were very thankful for.
Munro said the North Island shooters were very impressed with the facilities and he was happy the Southland weather was able to play its part during the weekend.
It was the first time Southland had hosted the championships in four years.
"It was an excellent shoot. We had a lot of positive comments," Munro said. "It was a very friendly tournament."
Munro said several of the young Southland shooters shone during the weekend, including Nightcaps' Hamish Bell, who represented the New Zealand under-21 team at the world down-the-line nationals in Wales in July.
The reigning down-the-line world champion New Zealand women's world teams match of Natalie Rooney, Sheryl Anglem and Wendy Hughan, also featured at the South Island championships.
- The Southland Times