Melbourne Gun Club played host to an international clay target shooting event in Yering on the weekend of 4-5 January.
The shoot was a memorial event for well-known Italian Trap Shooter Roberto Scalzone, who sadly passed away in 2019 at the age of 57.
Roberto was the son of Olympic gold medallist Angelo Scalzone, who won the men’s trap event at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Angelo also competed on Melbourne Gun Club grounds at the 1973 World Championships hosted by the club.
Melbourne Gun Club was chosen to host the prestigious event due to the hard work the committee has done in installing a new layout to bring it up to international standards. The event was one of six to be held in Yering that attracted a crowd of 90 competitors.
The competitors represented a range of countries including Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Ireland, Lebanon, Malta, Sri Lanka, Portugal, Scotland and Italy. Roberto’s son Angelo (named after his grandfather) was present to compete in the event and to help with award ceremonies.
The gun club believes the 15 Olympians, including six time Olympic medallist Russell Mark, competing or spectating at the event to be a record for any Australian shooting event.
A power glitch in the area saw the event come to a halt on the Sunday morning, but the Melbourne Gun Club committee managed to get two of the layouts up and going with the use of generators to ensure the event continued.
Unfortunately despite their efforts, too much time had been lost and the event had to be cut back from the original planned 200 targets to be thrown down to 175 targets.
Leading the way to take the crown was 20 year old Mitchell Iles from Hurstbridge with a fine score of 167 targets hit out of 175. This gave Iles a four target victory from James Willett from Mulwala, Daniel DiPietro from Diamond Creek, Craig Henwood from Coldstream and Catherine Skinner from Mansfield who all scored 163 out of 175 respectively.
Iles’ impressive form continued as he went on to record a perfect 25 out of 25 in the final barrage to win the first Roberto Scalzone Tribute Cup. The winner of the cup each year will receive an invitation on the 6th and final year of the event to compete in the grand final barrage to determine the grand champion.
Full Results of the event were as follows
Overall Champion – Mitchell Iles 167 / 175
AA grade 1st – Daniel Di Pietro 163 / 175
AA grade 2nd – James Willett 163 / 175
A grade 1st – Jeff Tonna 160 / 175
A grade 2nd – Emma Cox 157 / 175
B grade 1st – Ashley Hawker 156 / 175
B grade 2nd – Georgia Pistone 152 / 175
C grade 1st – Cooper Reading 156 / 175
C grade 2nd – Rebecca Ryan 142 / 175
Barrage final – Mitchell Iles – 25 / 25
The Melbourne Gun Club will now host an Olympic Games selection event held Saturday 29 February and Sunday 1 March. This will be the third selection event from a series of four in total to determine the team to represent Australia at the Tokyo Olympics commencing in July.
Spectators are more than welcome to come along and entry is free to watch Australia’s best shooters try to book their spot on the team.
The club also hosts monthly come and try sessions which can be found and booked through their website: www.melbournegunclub.com.