PORT Macquarie Rifle Club members Mal McKenzie and Mike Chad took aim in challenging conditions, but still came back from the City of Sydney Open Prize Meeting on the weekend with some success.
Erratic wind and rain hampered shooters, who competed in two 500m and two 600m events on the first day, before three 700m events the second day.
McKenzie shot an incredible 348 from a possible 350 to finish seventh out of 100 competitors at Anzac Rifle Range, Malabar.
His score included 41 central bullseyes.
McKenzie was thrilled with the result on Wednesday.
“I’ve worked very hard on it [shooting],” he said.
While the wind definitely challenged competitors, Mackenzie the rain could also make things tough.
The wet conditions made the flags heavy.
“The flags weren’t showing a true reading,” McKenzie said.
He’s only been target shooting for three-and-a-half years, making McKenzie’s achievement all the more remarkable.
“Compared to some of the other competitors, it’s a very short period,” he said.
His background is hunting, which McKenzie has undertaken for years.
He’s hunted since the age of 14, and he’s now 47.
“When I first started, I knew nothing, but I thought I knew a fair bit,” he said.
He has worked hard on the development of his rifle in that time.
“You develop it for accuracy,” he said.
“It all comes in a package. You can’t just pick it up off the shelf.”
Chad is the club’s armourer, and has given McKenzie a hand with that task over the years.
“He’s helped me a lot there,” McKenzie said.
Chad wasn’t as thrilled with his shooting performance on the weekend.
He finished with 136.38.
“He’s the star of the show, I’m not,” Chad said, referring to McKenzie’s efforts.
“I shot reasonably well.
“There were fickle winds, and changing quite dramatically.”