Navy’s Chief Petty Officer Aviation Technician Aircraft Steven Atkins walked away from the Australian Defence Force Clay Target Association Interservice Carnival as the overall top shot for the sixth time in seven years.
At the six-day carnival, in Wagga Wagga, the top clay shooters from each service duked it out in the down-the-line (trap), skeet and sporting clay disciplines.
The best shots were selected in the combined services team.
Chief Petty Officer Atkins said the carnival included some tough competition.
“The standard of the association is through the roof now,” he said.
“Some of the shooters are shooting at the national and international level, so the competition was really tight.
“There was no clear stand-out shooter through the carnival. It was close right up until the last day.”
Chief Petty Officer Atkins qualified for the combined services skeet and sporting clays teams, as well as the state team for the New South Wales Skeet Championships.
The three interservice shields were closely contested, and the winner of the sporting clays shield was decided in a team shoot-out.
Australian Defence Force Clay Target Association President Major Peter Simmons said the competition helped to develop the sport of clay target shooting in Defence.
“Our representative teams are made up of five members who compete at the national titles in their discipline, as well as other national and international events.
The highest B-grade scorer will also attend the national events to give them an opportunity to experience a higher level of their discipline and develop their own skills,” he said.
“We also use the carnival to identify C-grade or new shooters who would be best suited to attend coaching clinics early next year with Olympic medallist Russell Mark, Commonwealth medallist Lauryn Mark and world champion John Younger.”