Waters claims Silver Medal and now leads by three
NORMALLY the weather plays a small part in target rifle shooting but in the second stage of the Guernsey Rifle Club Championship it was to prove the dominant factor.
Strong wind, and at times heavy rain during the first detail, ensured that it was difficult to hold on aim.
At 300 yards, Luke Malcic came out on top with a 49.06 ex 50.10 and he was closely followed by first-stage leader Rob Waters, just a single V-bull behind.
B-class Jeremy Witham did well to manage a 48.05 and maintained his lead for that class.
Multi-championship winner Phil Ogier was hit by the worst of the rain at 300 yards and his 40.02 took him out of the title race and was probably his worst score since he started shooting.
At 500 yards the rain eased off and Ogier showed his true ability as he top scored with a 50.05, but Waters was still going strong on 50.04 while Nick Branch and Malcic kept themselves in contention.
Up on the hill at the 600 yard firing point the wind increased and Malcic top scored with a 50.06 to give him a second stage score of 146.18 ex 150.30 and an overall total of 248.27 ex 255.51.
Branch had failed to find a maximum score but still finished on 146.10 for a total of 248.24, just three V-bulls behind Malcic.
Waters nearly stumbled at the longest range, but his 48.06 gave him the Silver Medal by a single point.
His 147.15 added to his top-scoring 104.10 from the first stage gave him a running total of 251.25 and a lead of three whole points in the run to the title.
Ogier could still come back at the leaders but being eight points adrift he will need the current top three to mess up badly in the final two fifteen round shoots. Peter Jory had a slip up at 600 yards with a 42.03 and dropped out of contention with a lowly 138.13 for a fifth place total of 241.22
Witham dropped to a 45.02 at 600 yards for a score of 141.10 and a substantial lead in B Class with a running total of 235.13.
Amy Woodland managed a 135.10, however, she is now six points adrift with a 329.15 total and will need a supreme effort in the final stage to catch the leader.
The final stage will be shot on Saturday afternoon and there are realistically just three marksmen in with a chance of taking the title.
While Branch already has several wins under his belt, both Waters and Malcic are seeking their first championship and with a three-point lead Waters must start as favourite.