The range was excellently prepared with good weather conditions for Silhouette Shooting on the first day. The 2016 EP Champs thus started with a bang. Then the three Free Staters arrived… with the wind!
Pannetjie and Piet immediately had a go at Lever Action Rifle, Piet kicking Pannetjie’s butt with his own .357M Rossi. This awoke the tiger in Pannetjie as for the rest of the competition he took first place in every event that he shot, equalling one record, making breakpoints for SB & BB Rifle and becoming the Victor Ludorum. The moral of the story: If you want to beat Pannetjie, do so with your own firearms.
Early Saturday Benninghoff welcomed all, especially the visitors from Free State, and the juniors from Volkskool. Beyers Cronje handled the prayer.
"Participants were too scared of shooting 39s due to the hefty financial penaltiees"
Saturday’s weather was great and produced the best scores. Sunday morning started with excellent weather, but the fresh afternoon wind was a sign that we should not practice this sport on a Sunday. Monday morning was rainy which made it difficult for the open sight events. Fortunately, it subsided quickly.
Wynand took honours in Field Pistol with a 51 aggregate − the only one to make breakpoint. After beating Pannetjie, Piet took on Annette in Field Pistol, but came off second best. Annette seems to be tougher than her husband. SB Handgun was again ruled by a junior (Droogte), taking first place in Rollie, Production and Unlimited, setting a new junior record in Unlimited as well as the junior aggregate. The coach (Skietmuis) followed in second place. Fortunately, Annette was here to take honours in the Standing event (21), saving face for the seniors.
Big Bore & Small Bore Rifle was ruled by Pannetjie (because Piet upset him) using a .308 Musgrave for Big Bore and an Anschutz for Small Bore. Only one junior (Chillie) got within four points in Small Bore Light Rifle − he also made the junior national breakpoint. In the other three events, nobody got close to Pannetjie.
The Small Bore Rifle competition for juniors was severe with Boesman taking honours, Trigger second and Pypie third in SB Light Rifle. In SB Rifle Silhouette, Duppie took honours, Boesman was second and Pypie third. Riaan blamed the ammo for missed shots, but Boesman managed to prove otherwise. In SB Rifle Light Open Sights, the competition was fierce. Pannetjie with a Mauser and Annette with a Krico both shot 25, but the shootoff was a non-event as Pannetjie had to leave early and thus won on countback.
In SB Rifle Silhouette Open Sights it was quite different with first place going to Droogte with 30 (Brno), well ahead of Pannetjie in third place. Boesman was second with 25. Droogte set another junior record. These two events will soon be the most popular events in our sport.
The Air Pistol events gave new life to silhouette shooting. Gary (fines master) showed how to shoot Air Pistol Production Standing with a CP1. It should be renamed “Bonsai” due to the teeny-weeny targets. Most shottists on the wrong side of 50 cannot see the targets and it is almost impossible to spot and call the shots. The juniors ruled the Air Pistol Freestyle event with first place to Duppie using a Webley, second place to Christelle and third place to Munnik. Fortunately, the seniors made a comeback in Air Sport Pistol with Benninghoff first using a Zoraki, Gary second and Andries third.
Christelle was the first junior with an excellent 21 using a Cobra. Stiaan Janse van Vuuren was the sole under 14 brave enough to take on the bonsai targets. Callie equalled the Air Rifle Spring Loaded record (31) with a Gamo and the juniors came second (Marco with 27) and third (Boesman with 25). Christelle also used a Gamo and was again the first junior. Looks like she has had enough of the junior lads.
Pannetjie used an Air Arms to equal his own record in Air Rifle Production Standing (30) and again the juniors challenged the seniors with Droogte second (26) and Boesman third (18). Amongst the juniors the scores were very close with Popeye (Christiaan Scheepers) first, Marco van Eck second and Gerhard Botha third. Popeye is still under 14, but decided to take the under 21 juniors on – well done! In the Varmint Rifle event, Pannetjie held nothing back and took revenge on Piet. They both used a .222 Krico; wonder who it belongs to? In the SB Veteran Rifle event Adie had a lonesome battle – where did the other veterans from the EP vanish to?
It was exciting to see so many youngsters this year. Their enthusiasm is awesome. Thanks to supporting teachers Beyers Cronje and Benninghoff Siebert our sport has a great future. Gwenda again prepared the salads for the braai. Many thanks to the caterers for keeping us fed at very competitive prices. Forty one competitors were squadded for 307 events, making this another successful competition.
Thanks to our visitors from afar and Ockert and Anthony who greatly supported this competition by doing long stretches of Range Officer’s duties. Thanks also to Wynand van Jaarsveld and Danie Strauss for providing hardworking assistants, and to those who prepared the range on Thursday.