Grafton hosts shooting zone titles
EAGLE-EYED shooters will take aim at more than 24,000 targets this weekend as a local club hosts the Northern Zone Trap Carnival.
Rus Wesslink and his ‘tiny’ Grafton Clay Target Club will be home to some of the state’s most accurate marksmen when the four-category event gets the starter’s gun tomorrow.
Twenty clubs from Newcastle to Inverell and along the northern coast will take part in the biggest coup for Wesslink and his club for more than a decade.
The right to host the 100-participant competition is normally reserved to the region’s powerhouses.
“We are pretty chuffed to get it,” club secretary Wesslink said.
“It’s a fairly big coup for us because we are only small. This event is the biggest one in the zone.”
Grafton Clay Target Club has 40 members but that number could swell with an influx of newcomers to the sport after the zone carnival.
Assistance from neighbouring clubs will also help preparations for the event.
Local clubs from Yamba to Coffs Harbour will join Grafton in showing that the size of the gun does not matter.
“While we are running it all the other small clubs are helping out,” he said.
“This shows them that they can also do this sort of thing in the future.
“It usually goes to bigger club so it’s our chance to show we can handle a big competition as well.
“And anyone can come and shoot and if they are good enough they will make the state side.”
A zone representative side will be chosen from the weekend’s competition and Wesslink is confident his club will also have the troops to match it with ‘state-level shooters’.
The NSW Titles will be held in Wagga Wagga in October.
Wesslink tipped club weapon Tony Ryder to radar in on the Open Grade title after firing soundly in Guyra recently.
“It’s not uncommon for us to get a shooter in one of these teams,” Wesslink said.
“We do really well for such a small club. We will give it to them.
“We have got one shooter (Ryder) who will do very well.
“We expect to have more representatives in these teams.”
Junior shooters can nominate for free, which will be subsidised by the zone and clubs. Categories include handicap, double barrel, single barrel and points score.
“We do really well for such a small club. We will give it to them.”