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Australia Defends World Champion Fullbore Target Rifle Shooting Title

Mar 25, 2024 | Announcements, Competitions, International Teams, NRAA News, Team Updates

Australian Rifle Team members are World Champions in Team Fullbore Target Rifle Shooting for the second time in a row.…

Australian Rifle Team members are World Champions in Team Fullbore Target Rifle Shooting for the second time in a row.

Australia successfully defended the Palma Match trophy, won at Trentham, New Zealand in 2019.  The Palma Teams match competition is held every 5 years and in 2024, the match was fired at Bloemfontein, South Africa, on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd March.

The 25 person Australian Team included 16 firers, wind coaches, a master coach, team captain and manger. Scores were extremely high in the relatively calm conditions.  Each firer completed six 15 shot stages over 700m, 800m and 900m. Australia had won the World Championship on three previous occasions (1979 in NZ, 1988 in Australia and 2019 in NZ).

Australia set a new record on the first day, but only held a narrow lead of two points over Great Britain.

Scores at the end of Day 1

Wind conditions were calmer on the second day of competition, which led to high scoring and several new records being set. After five of the six distances were completed, Great Britain and Australia were tied on points. At the final 900m range, the Australian shooters held their nerves to take the win by 4 points. 

Australia’s board at the end of day 2 – final day of the Palma Match

Four Australians recorded maximum possible scores in the match with Brett McCauley of Canowindra, NSW setting a new benchmark with 450 points and 73 centre bulls from 90 shots. 

Team Captain Darren Enslin was delighted that Australia was able to defend the title won in New Zealand in 2019, stating: “After Great Britain had dominated for several matches, Australia is now the new international benchmark for Target Rifle team shooting!”

Aggregate Scores out of a possible 7,200 points: Australia 7,172, Great Britain 7,168, South Africa 7,153, USA 7,149, New Zealand 7,031, Canada 6,946, Germany 6,683.

What is the Palma Match?

The Palma match is the oldest and most prestigious Target Rifle shooting competition and dates back to the 1870s. It is a two-day competition for the Target Rifle Teams World Championship. Teams from Australia, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA competed over distances of 700m, 800m and 900m each day. The Palma Match was competed for by a large team of 16 shooters split into four squads each under their own wind coach, who was responsible for making sight alterations to allow for the constant wind changes across the range. A Master Coach controlled decisions on wind changes. The Team Captain and Manager controlled the firing point procedures. 

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