Shooters ready for international championships

ON TARGET: Beaudesert Rifle Club president Mike Samuels and member Mike Willment practice precision shooting before the F Class World Championships in Canada next month. Photo: Hannah Baker
ON TARGET: Beaudesert Rifle Club president Mike Samuels and member Mike Willment practice precision shooting before the F Class World Championships in Canada next month. Photo: Hannah Baker

IT will be “war” between Australia and the United States when two Beaudesert Rifle Club members head to Canada for the F Class World Championships next month.

Experienced club shots Mike Samuels, of Park Ridge, and Pacific Pines man Michael Willment, said reconnaissance was waged earlier this year against their American counterparts at an international competition held at Arizona’s Phoenix.

The experience left both men confident Australia could defend its world best title in the F Open team heats at the championships.

While the pair’s fighting words are strong, Mr Samuels, who is the Beaudesert Rifle Club’s president, said the battlefield banter towards their competitors was all in jest.

“We are a very close-knit (international) community,” he said.  

“But we were spying on the American team.”

The experienced duo will compete as part of an 16-person strong Australian FTR squad at the world championships, with individual heats held as qualifiers for four-person team events.

Mr Samuels, who represented Queensland earlier this year at a national competition in South Australia, said any shooters who strayed above or below the bullseye in the individual heats would likely not make the cut for team events.

Bullets to the left or right of the target were acceptable for team selection, with wind a likely factor in their displacement

Mr Willment, who was ranked world number 16 following his outstanding performance in 2013 at the F Class World Championships in Mexico, said a wind coach would help team shooters line-up their target up to 900 metres away.

While the coach could help shooters adjust their aim for wind, Mr Willment said the team events had their challenges.

“You have to hold your position for a long time,” he said.

“There is a time limit of 90 minutes for four people to shoot 20 shots each at three different ranges, which are 700, 800 and 900 metres.”

For more information about the Beaudesert Rifle Club, visit beaudesertrifleclub.com.au.