Good evening all .303 enthuisiasts,
Normally in the competitions I shoot the match report is an obligation of the competitor who comes second. In this case I did not but was a close third! However I am thrilled to be able to write this report as Match Director.
On the weekend of 16/17th February Karori Rifle Club hosted the second Dick Travis VC shoot at Trentham and what a great competition it was. Although there was a clash with other shooting activities which lowered entries that did not detract from the good spirit of the event. The weather was fine with little or no wind and the scores were high.
Saturday morning saw the entrants file into Karori with their rifles and money. Geoff Collings did the scrutineering and Sam Stevenson took the entries. There were the usual introductions and a briefing on the Course of Fire and good conduct prior to midday.
1pm and we were at the 500 yard mound to listen to the Range Briefing by RO John Wilkins. That done the squads were formed and shooting was under way.
Karori was able to set aside two Longs targets for the DTVC, numbers 35 and 36 in the middle of the range. We shot alongside the Wellington Rifle Association members who were on either side competing in their usual club shoot with a mixture of target, FTR and F class rifles. Needless to say the range was looking better with the display of lovely historic ..303 rifles.!
The first squad started well with some great scores but all were eclipsed by the superb shoot of Nicole Mckee with her No 4 putting up an unbeaten 50.8 and making it look easy.
The second match started just as well and veteran ..303 shooter John Hand set the pace with a 49.3. This score looked as if it would fall to the inform Nicole who was shooting central after central until her wind adjustment knob fell off. This was a crisis as the rifle was rendered unusuable by this failure. However John Ball from Opotiki immediately came to Nicole's aid by loaning his P14 for her to shoot so she could complete the match. She did and adapted to the unfamiliar rifle well to score a 46.3
The 500 yard matches were a good warm up for most and saw some great scores, Duncan McKee top scoring with a 97.7
Shooting being over saw a hasty retreat to the Karori Club rooms for a cold drink and some .303 talk. Duncan was entrusted with the task of removing Nicole's sight assembly and fiting another. All before a well deserved beer.
Dinner was cooked and served for the visitors from Opotiki, Te Puke, Australia and elsewhere. We enjoyed the company of Graham Pask and his wife, Stuart Cameron and our special guests, whanau of Dick Travis.There is nothing like sharing a meal and a drink with like minded shooters after a day at the range.
Which brings me to a highlight of this years Dick Travis VC competition. Sometimes things happen that are most unexpected. After the Karori Rifle Club got the DTVC shoot off the ground last year there must have been some activity on the internet. Who should come across this but non other than relatives of Dick Travis himself. Noel Bockett made contact with the Match Director and made plans to come actross from Australia with his wife Denise. They picked up other relatives Rita and Keith from Auckland and they all turned up at Karori Rifle Club to watch the weekends shoot held in honour of their great uncle Dick Travis. Wow!!
Sunday saw shooters on the 600 yard mound at 9am. The conditions were perfect. Most shooters were able to shoot on little or no wind and there were some good scores to be had. In the end John Ball topped scored with a total of 97.4. Nicole was able to get new zeroes as she shot, coming up with a creditable 96.6
It was the 300 yard match that saw the winning score and also some remarkable improvement from two shooters. Sid Duncan tool it upon himself to assist the technique used by John Jordan loaning him a single point sling. A bit of instruction by Sid and John shot his P14 to a 47.2 being his best score of the competition. But Sid was not finished yet. He suggested Steve Bain use his shooting jacket. We all had a bit of a laugh seeing Steve get into this because he is a south paw. After a bit of adjustment he was ready to go and go he did. His best score for the competition saw him shoot a 48.5 in the first match (second only to Nicole) and a 47.3 in the second.
However none of this last minute improvement was going to head off John Ball who shot an emphatic possible of 50.4 in the last match of the day to win the Dick Travis VC Trophy and become the 2013 National ..303 Target Rifle champ. Well done John Ball.
Outstanding shooting and composure from Nicole; Generosity of spirit shown by John Ball and Sid Duncan; The stoic attitude of Stuart Cameron and Graham Pask; The eagerness to improve shown by Colin Brown, John Jordan and Steve Bain; The experience of John Hand. All this was on show at the DTVC 2013.
We all retired to the clubrooms for the prize giving. This was a particulary poignant moment for all parties. After the usual thanks to the RO, Butt Officer and markers were completed the Match Director had the pleasure of inviting Noel Bockett to step forward and present the trophy and prizes to the winner and place getters.
Auckland .303 enthusiast and author Roger Wadham had most kindly made available to the Karori Rfile Club a full colour edition of his wonderful book ' The 2012 Complete Book On Lee Enfield Accurizing' along with a black and white edition of the same as well as a CD.
The CD was presented to third place getter Duncan McKee. The black and white edition to second place getter Nicole McKee and the full colour edition to overall winner John Ball. John was also presented with the Dick Travis VC Trophy for winning the 2013 championship.
Results are on the Karori Rifle Club Website www.karoririfleclub.co.nz There were a large number of photos taken of this event and they should make it up on the site in due course.
We look forward to next years comnpetition most especially because it is being held at the beginning of the commemorative years for the Great War. 2014 should see a greater number of shooters at this event. Not only because it is a first class shoot with good competition at the historic Trentham range, but because this .303 championship is being held to honour one of New Zealands greatest soldiers who fought in that conflict - Dick Travis VC, DCM, MM and Croix de Guerre.
LEST WE FORGET
Best regards to all
The Dick Travis VC Trophy Results