Enslin family mixing it with the best shooters in the world
MANY shooters have heard the words "Camp Perry" spoken with a sense of awe and reverence.
After all, Camp Perry, Ohio, USA, is where all the serious competitive rifle and pistol shooters gather for best of the best bragging rights.
Why the awe regarding Camp Perry?
That's where competitors do superhuman things like hit 1000-yard distant targets with just 10-inch centre bullseyes, using only iron sights.
Camp Perry isn't about a single competition. It's the home of dozens of competitions, one of which wrapped up on August 14.
That would be the 2015 World Long Range Palma Championships.
Just prior to that was the National Rifle Association America High Power Rifle Long Range Championships.
Many top competitors from around the world entered events for plenty of trigger time opportunity.
What exactly is a palma match?
Palma matches date back to 1876. The original trophy for the Great Centennial Rifle Match featured the word palma. Apparently the ancient Latin translated to something like victorious, or perhaps glory. It didn't take long for the recurring team competition to become known as a palma match.
Nowadays, international palma matches are characterised by a few main things; .308 Winchester cartridges, 800, 900, and 1000 yard stages, and iron sights. International competitions put the emphasis on shooter skills instead of equipment optimisation.
Australia placed highly in the individual and team results with Ben Emms (AUS) taking out the World Long Range Individual Championship with a score of 669-77X. Matthew Pozzebon also from Australia winning the American High Power Rifle Long Range Championships.
Great Britain's team took top honours in the Palma Teams Match, while Australia's successes include gold in the American Directors match, silver in the America Match and bronze in the American Presidents match.
Wide Bay's very own top notch shooting family, Darren Enslin and Gillian Webb-Enslin, were two of the 26 strong Australian Senior Team representatives; and this year were joined by the couple's son Dean Enslin who competed with the Australian Under 25s.
Gillian has been involved with international competition since the age of 18. Darren joined her after the couple married and he made his debut at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Canada.
The couple is so happy that Dean is following in their footsteps.
"It's not about the winning; although a medal along the way is always a bonus. Being involved in a group or sport and being part of a team is an amazing experience," Gillian said.
For full results visit http://www.icfra.co.uk.
Interested in a shooting sport?
Find a club near you; visit http://www.nraa.com.au.