SEVERAL Wingham Rifle Club members recently travelled to Lithgow to compete in the 89th annual Blue Mountains Open Championships.
The championship was run over one day with shooters competing in two matches at 500 yards in the morning and one match at 600 yards after lunch.
Temperatures were high and the conditions on the mound were blistering however a reasonable cloud coverage helped to keep the mirage manageable for most shooters.
Sixty shooters travelled from as far afield as Broken Hill, Dubbo and Bendigo to compete in the championship including five members from Wingham.
The Wingham group consisted of Barry White (target rifle) and F standard shooters Ean and Declan Heaney along withe Christina Adams and Duncan Robinson.
Shooting conditions for the two 500 yard ranges in the morning was fairly consistent and produced some excellent scores across the board.
However, that all changed after the lunch break when competitors moved to the 600 yard range. By this time the sun had burnt off the cloud cover increasing the mirage and producing sweltering conditions on the mound, which was not helped by a gusting, inconsistent wind blowing in every direction.
Many shooters found their excellent scores of the morning were a distant memory and the challenging conditions were reflected in scores across all disciplines.
However, none of this fazed Barry White, whose form is red hot at the moment.
Whilte was on the podium at every stage to finish the day with a resounding win in target rifle B-grade, posting a score of 146 with 10 centres.
Ean Heaney shot an excellent first 500-yard match with a score of 59 with two centres in F standard B-grade and was the winner in the aggregate of both 500 yard ranges posting a combined score of 117.7. Unfortunately, the third match at 600 yards was not as kind to him.
On the other hand Declan Heaney shot well and was very consistent throughout all three ranges. His scores were 58.2 and 58.2 at the 500 yard ranges and 54.2 at the 600 yard range.
Declan took home the third place win in the overall aggregate for F standard B-grade, posting an overall score of 170.6 and has now advanced to A-grade.
Christina Adams and Duncan Robinson shot consistently throughout the day both finishing on the same score of 160, however on this occasion Duncan took home bragging rights with eight centres over Christina with three.