The shoot to win

The Na­tional Car­ni­val is big­ger and bet­ter, and now a tar­get event for the top guns.

Field and Game - - 2018 NATIONAL CARNIVAL -

2013 cham­pion An­thony Panetta spoke at the Civic Re­cep­tion hosted by East Gipp­s­land Shire Coun­cil prior to the Na­tion­als.

That same year he lost his fa­ther Vince, who had been his shoot­ing buddy and the rea­son he got in­volved in the sport.

He lost his way, lost fo­cus and even­tu­ally ear­lier this year, in­ter­est.

Com­pet­ing at the Na­tional Car­ni­val was the cul­mi­na­tion of a process to reignite his pas­sion for clay tar­get shoot­ing. “I re­dis­cov­ered the rea­son I loved the sport in the first place; it is get­ting to­gether with friends and break­ing tar­gets,” he said.

Par­tic­i­pat­ing just for the en­joy­ment meant that when­ever you crossed his path, An­thony had a smile on his face. “I was hav­ing fun, even in the wind, just try­ing to break as many tar­gets as I could; it is still fun whether you break five or 50,” he said.

An­thony said the wind meant the tar­gets pre­sented on the first day didn’t get the credit they de­served. “The tar­gets I shot to­day (Sun­day) were su­perb, as good as you will find at any shoot any­where.”

Past cham­pion Robert Hall said the course set­ters did a great job and even with the wind, scor­ing was still good. “I prac­ticed with Blake on Wed­nes­day and I knew he was on but Chris Brown and Nick Guerra were also very good; it is re­ally good for shoot­ing in this coun­try, we urge each other on,” he said. “Ground two was my favourite: I just thought there were some good long tar­gets there where you could get a good gap on the birds.

“This is the big­gest shoot in Aus­tralia now; every­body wants to win this shoot.”

Chris Brown said he re­turned to shoot the Na­tional Car­ni­val be­cause every­body was talk­ing about how good it was. “A lot of peo­ple I know shot last year and hear­ing about how good it was I didn’t want to miss out, you al­ways want to be a part of it when there’s 500-plus shoot­ers com­ing,” he said.

Chris said while the wind bought luck into play, the scores re­flected the qual­ity and depth of the shoot­ing ranks.

“It was just re­silience; every­body had some good luck and some bad luck, it was just about keep­ing your head down and work­ing with what you were pre­sented,” he said. “Blake Nankervis and Cameron Kivi­nen shot 96 and 95, that was crazy good shoot­ing in that wind.”

An­thony Panetta

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