April 17th, 2013

South African Team Wins Int’l High Power Championships

Story by Lars Dalseide for NRABlog
Protea is the top team trophy at the South African International High Power Championships. Named after the South Africa’s National Flower, the International Protea is shot over three ranges measuring out at 300, 600 and 900 meters. Keeping with the earlier team matches, it was South Africa that powered past England and the United States to claim the hometown title.

Photos by 2013 England Rifle Team
South Africa High Power Championships

Teams from South Africa, England, the United States, Wales and Ireland readied in the early South African sun for their 8:00 am start. “These are the smallest targets,” American shooter Anette Wachter explained on her website (30CalGal.com). “The winds were up and tricky at all meter lines.”

With twelve shooters per team gunning for a perfect match score of 1800, it started at 300 meters. England held tighter than the rest finishing with 597. Right on the Brits’ heels were South Africa at 595 and the United States at 593. That’s when South Africa made its move.

South Africa High Power ChampionshipsBut things changed at the 600 meter line. England dropped ten points at 600 meters. Both South Africa and the United States dropped five each. That left South Africa in command with a two point lead over the United States. The hometown advantage would be even more apparent in the final round (900m).

On the back of perfect scores from Bona and Brand, South Africa finished on top with final score of 1769.193. England was practically perfect at 900 meters to finish second while the United States ended up in third. “What a heart break,” Wachter wrote. “But we fought hard. Coaches Emil, Steve and Norm did a great job. The saying is that as a shooter on a team your only job is to pull the trigger. But ‘just pulling the trigger’ is scary.”

Parag Patel Wins Individual Honors
Though South Africa walked away with most of the team titles, it was an Englishman who won the overall individual championships. Mr. Parag Patel, a consultant surgeon at St. George’s Hospital in London, finished his South African tour as the tournament’s top shooter. Parag won the South African Championships, their most coveted prize which is made up of the Grand, the State President’s second Stage and the State President’s Final. As a reward for winning the South African title, he was driven off the range in a vintage 1934 Ford. Click Here to see Parag with the 2013 England Rifle Team.

South Africa High Power Championships

The tournament now complete, teams are all returning home. For some it’s an incredibly short drive and for others it’s an unbelievably long plane ride. All in an effort to keep in game shape for the next Palma Rifle World Championships in Camp Perry, Ohio.

South Africa High Power Championships