Bairnsdale Field & Game’s carriage of last year’s National Carnival was universally applauded but for those competitors backing up this year, don’t expect more of the same, expect even better.
Reg Biggs, Bairnsdale’s treasurer and one of the driving forces behind the event said a lot was learned from 2018 when the branch accommodated six grounds and hosted more than 500 competitors.
“We are making some minor changes to the layout including to expo site,” he said.
“We re doing more work to the road network to make it easier for people to get around the grounds and we are also working on a campsite a couple of kilometres from the ground which we will confirm.”
Reg said the event was a big undertaking, even with the experience of last year, but the members welcomed the addition of a Friday preliminary shoot.
“We were happy to take on the extra event on the Friday; it is a very exciting initiative and will appeal to a lot of shooters,” he said.
Practice grounds will be open on Wednesday and Thursday for those who want to travel early and shoot for longer.
As for the wild winds that made the first day of the 2018 event difficult for everyone, Reg isn’t making any promises. He wields a lot of power and influence in Bairnsdale, but not that much.
“There’s an old saying, as the days get longer the winds get stronger, so that is out of our hands,” he said.
What they can control is dust, and a lot of suppression work has been done to minimise the impact of any ill wind.
As for the Bairnsdale members, Reg said they are keener than ever.
“We are getting a lot of support from our members like we did last year, we had a lot turn up for the pre-Nationals briefing we held to kick off the build up.
“East Gippsland Shire Council and the community in general is right behind the event having seen the success of last year,” he said.
“Places in town like the Bairnsdale RSL couldn’t believe how busy they were.
“Because we have the Melbourne Cup races at Bairnsdale Racing Club on the Tuesday we hope a lot of people stay and make it a decent break for the whole family.”