Bob has national championships in his sights
BOB Blacklock's sights are locked and loaded as he aims for national selection. The experienced shooter has won state titles and held national records, but an Australian cap has eluded him.
This weekend, the Junction Hill resident joins about 80 of Australia's top shooters at the Rimfire Benchrest Association Nationals at Brisbane.
"It will be a big show," Blacklock said. "It's the first qualifying shoot for Pan-Pacifics in 2017 and the last qualifying shoot for the Australian team."
If selected, Blacklock will shoot at the World Rimfire Benchrest Championships at Brisbane later in the year.
Last year, the national squad of nine shooters contained four from the Northern Region, including John Radford from Coffs Harbour and Joy Harrison from Armidale. On that occasion Radford won two gold medals in world record fashion at the world championships held in France.
The 76-year-old's recent victory at the 2014 Queensland RBA Rimfire Benchrest Championships suggests he's on target to retain his place in the team.
Meanwhile, Blacklock finished ninth at that event and is currently bordering on selection.
"John Radford should be in the side again," Blacklock said.
"For me at the moment it's very on the edge. If I do all right and shoot up around my best, I might have a chance. But if you drop one or two points per card, you can say goodbye to it all."
Grafton's John Matthews will also shoot at Brisbane.
Blacklock said a big 2015 was in store.
"The first ever money shoot is going to be held, like they do in America," he said. "If that doesn't get everyone out of the woodwork, I'd be surprised.
"I'd like to get to it just to say I was involved in the first one."