Gales, Fractures & No Breaks

Irish National Silhouette Championships

It’s Monday morning and time to reflect on how our National Championships unfolded.

Gales, Fractures & No Breaks

The forecast was not looking good.  We had been warned all week of winds ranging from between Gale Force 5 to 8 becoming widespread throughout the country as the Tail End of Hurricane Katia began to make land fall and cause trouble on the Emmerald Isle.  Strangely enough we were experiencing summer temperatures topping 17 to 18 degrees celcius at the same time.

On the morning of Day 1 I woke up to the rustling of trees and displaced flower pots on the patio.  I had hoped that the winds would have abated slightly overnight so we could have a competition based on silhouette shooting ability.  Unfortunately that wasn’t to be so.

Heavily Exposed

The range at BRC Shooting Club is very heavily exposed to the elements and once conditions such as high winds take hold on the country it is almost impossible to read the conditions.  With the wind in the upper half of the range flowing one direction with the lower half winds twisting and turning in the opposite direction.

Pigs and Turkeys are always heavily affected once the gales come to play, while forever leaving the Rams in their shelter of dark shadow and calm.  Muzzles were continually whipped this way and that as competitors fought to bring some conformity to their shots.  Kentucky windage was impossible to apply as any type of strong hold on target for a split second was a tough call at times. Some competitors even ran out of time as they tried to wait out a barrage of gusts from all directions for a lull that seemed only to arrive after a ceasefire had been called, we had become puppets on a string with no quarter given, nature ‘called the shots‘ at this game.

At the end of Day 1 and the ‘craziness from Silhouette Fever’ looming as a byproduct of shooting in such unforgiving weather conditions, the scores were in.  Two competitors Mike Power of STS and Karl Dorney of BRC were leaps and bounds ahead of the trailing shots, they had been fortunate enough to catch a lull that the rest of us envied and wished we had been granted on our detail.  They now had a great platform to work from as Day 2 awaited their arrival.

On Day 2 the wind had dropped, although still a little tricky to read, it allowed the rifle hold to improve.  Chickens, Pigs, tricky Turkeys and the shadowy Rams down range began to give way to shots on target.  Competitors began placing scores within their classification ability as their heads began to rise and smiles were reborn with silhouette delight.

A New Dawn

As the final shots drew an end to the Championships, two new National Champions had ermerged.  With hearty handshakes and wide smiles the top honours and just as important the gold medals were secured by Karl Dorney taking the coveted Smallbore Silhouette Rifle Title and Mike Power taking a hard fought Smallbore Hunting Rifle Title. Congratulations to Both Karl and Mike, enjoy your Title.

All said and done, we live to compete another day.

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