Go shoot In Tauranga they said… It will be warm they said…
Well, it turns out that the hospitality of the locals can’t be beaten. To make us feel at home, they even put on magnificent Wellington weather – complete with frost, wind, rain, sun and hail.
We aren’t complaining – We had an absolute blast!
This is our first time on Te Puke range and as we rolled up, a delightful sight greeted us – sparkling sunlight, rolling hills and fluttering flags. As we gazed over the peaceful range in the glacial southerly breeze, we started to feel the tingles of excitement.
Due to a fresh planting of crops and respect for the wishes of the generous land owners, 300 yards involved a wee bit of an uphill walk. Never fear! There is a trailer for our gear!
We cheerfully packed our gear and Ralf onto the trailer, grabbed our rifles and meandered up the hill.
We spotted a space on a squad list and for once Vic was the first down of the two of us. The wind was coming from behind and wasn’t quite sure whether it was coming or going. A few nasty light shifts caught her out and all things considered, she wasn’t too unhappy with a 46.1 (a 50 would have been better obviously).
Jared fared similarly – a solid start with just a couple of bad shots.
Ralf always wants to be the centre of attention.
600 yards #1
We had a quick lunch and were re-squadded for 600 yards. Vic, being C grade, was down first ready for the first of many 15 shot matches.
The wind had picked up by now and although it was consistently from the right, the pickups and drop offs were fairly severe and would catapult you into the 4 ring or even the 3 if you weren’t paying attention. The angle of the wind meant that the buffeting (not to be confused with a delicious smorgasbord dinner) was pretty bad on occasion.
Unfortunately this is what happened to Vic. She had a hard time interpreting the flags and ended up clustered on the left. It is nice having shot numbers on the plot from the targets. You can see exactly the point where Vic realised that her whole group was too high and so brought it down (probably a bit too far to be honest)
Jared shot a solid group and would probably have scored more points if he had centred it…
600 yards #2
By this time the wind was a bit less twitchy and Vic was starting to get the hang of the wind. Well… sort of! Consistency is a thing right?
Jared had a much better go at it – just caught out by a couple of drop offs.
Vic finished the day in the lead for C grade, just a couple of points ahead of Jared who was clinging onto third in B.
Well… We wanted to practice 15 shot matches – it looks like our wish has been granted! Two more 600 yard, 15 shot matches to go. We are starting to feel much more comfortable with them.
600 yard #3
The shooting order was unchanged, so a balaclava-clad Vic was down to shoot first. With the wind coming straight off Antarctica and the icy sun bathing us in frozen rays, you could say that it was just a little bit nippy.
Despite now being in our faces, the gentle gale was similar to yesterday and Vic had a good handle on it. About three shots in, it started to rain.
Hang on… this wasn’t in the forecast! Despite being only a passing shower, it was very wet but Vic managed her ammo and shooting carefully and all the important bits stayed dry. She also made the most of her favourite conditions and scored five V’s in a row. Unfortunately the rain came to an end and although she kept shooting well, the magic was lost. All in all some very nice shooting which led to an excellent score and a very pretty group.
Jared, not to be outdone, started off with a hiss and a roar grouping tightly in the middle. Unfortunately, a 75 was not to be. An elevation shift combined with rising wind, threw him off his game and he ended up with a little less than expected.
600 yard #4
Last shoot of the weekend and we are both starting to feel it a little bit. 15 shot matches are hard on the body when you aren’t used to them.
There is not huge amounts to say about this one. The wind was quite similar but a little more gusty. By this time Vic had a system for the wind figured out… heaps and double heaps!
Jared had a much better shoot at this range. An excellent centre count.
We hung around to watch the finals and the weather decided to throw one last surprise at us… Hail! We consumed some well-earned malted beverages in the comparative warmth of the clubhouse and enjoyed watching other people get wet.
We did pretty well this weekend and had a lot of fun.
Vic won all the C grade trophies and was a couple of points ahead of Jared who was second in B grade. We are starting to think that Vic should move up to B.
It looks like Ralf approves.
Of course no road trip is complete without holiday snaps! (it took us AGES to get to Te Puke.)