This year the Field & Game Australia National Carnival has expanded to include a new 100 target preliminary event on Friday, November 1.
The event will be shot over 15 stands and will be all pairs, both report and simultaneous pairs.
Event director Daryl Snowdon said the change to the format was simple arithmetic, travel, time and effort vs targets offered.
“Shooters want to shoot more,” he said.
The main event will be shot as normal on the Saturday and Sunday and shooters can add the extra event when booking their National Carnival spot.
“What we’ve learned from past National Carnivals is that people travel early and want to have a shot on the Friday afternoon and what has traditionally been on offer is a practice ground.”
With a shotgun start, squads will start on all 15 stands at 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm or 3 pm (you can nominate your time when you register) and all 100 targets will be shot over one two-hour round.
“They will get to see and shoot at targets on the actual grounds for the National Carnival but they won’t be the same as they confront in the main event over the next two days,” Daryl said.
“Some targets will be changed, the speed and/or trajectory may be different and certainly all the pad positions will be moved for the main event.”
Daryl isn’t setting all of the targets this year, but his years of experience as a setter and competitor leads him to suggest those shooting on Friday shouldn’t get too far ahead of themselves.
“If we were to allow shooters to practice on the National Carnival targets I don’t think it would be that much of an advantage anyway, in fact it could be a disadvantage,” he said.
“If you look at other disciplines they shoot the same targets event after event and year after year and people still miss. Quite often it can be a disadvantage, it can add pressure if you know what target is coming, especially if you had trouble with it previously, that’s what will be in the back of your mind.
“Competitors should take every target as they see them in the main event and shoot accordingly rather than have a preconceived idea based on what they saw the day before.
“As we saw last year with the wind, two days at that time of the year are rarely the same anyway.”
The shotgun start on all stands is designed to allow those who travel furthest to shoot a later time slot, but in early booking the 1 pm shoot is clearly filling fastest.
The extra full day extends the social element of the National Carnival and is also beneficial to the host town of Bairnsdale as shooters book extra accommodation and keep themselves entertained.
“We expect 250 to 300 people for the Friday event,” Daryl said.
“In the Unites States you can regularly go to events and shoot 500 plus targets and we have people flying interstate and driving long distances to shoot 150 targets. We decided to offer some additional value and more incentive for the people to do that to support the National Carnival.”