Monday, March 4, 2024

District rifleman in Australian team

Recent stories

Alister’s very much at home on the range

Alyssa Walker, The Buloke Times

Alister Lamour is a Charlton man who, according to some mates of his who wished to remain anonymous, “is impossible to dislike”. He is also an incredibly humble man and doesn’t like talking about himself.

This is unfortunate for him, because there are a lot of people who would love to hear about how he’s representing Australia in the F-Class Open World Championships in South Africa.

Oh, and he’s leaving to compete this coming Monday.

F-Class shooting is said to be “The” fastest growing shooting discipline in the world, attracting all ages and genders, due to its ability to provide its competitors of nearly any physical ability with an equal footing from which to compete.

(Or, rather, non footing, as the rifles are fired entirely from a prone position).

That’s not to say it’s easy.

Imagine trying to fire on a tiny target that’s sitting nearly a full kilometre (maybe more) away, across an open field.

What are the wind conditions like? How heavy is the ammo? Was your gun cared for properly? How fast can you reload – because, guess what? You’re competing against other people, so this is a test of both speed and accuracy now!

The Perfect Shot

There’s a lot that goes into taking the perfect shot, but Alister already knows the shot he wants to take. He’s had his sights lined up for years now.

All he needed to do was wait for the wind to die down before he could pull the trigger.

In F-Class, an extremely competitive person must have exeptional technique, outstanding and uniform handloading practices, brilliant wind reading ability, and well kept equipment.

In the heat of the moment, between expert opponents with good equipment, F-Class is, ultimately, a wind reading and handloading competition.

It’s a good thing Alister’s favourite part of shooting (most of the time) is the wind reading and reloading.

Those moments where the tension is so thick you can cut it with a butter knife, where the competition comes down to the wire – those moments are where Alister thrives.

Nerves

Nerves mean nothing to him in those moments, so it’s no wonder why Alister was chosen for the Championships.

“Besides, we got plenty more practice in, due to COVID,” he said, “so now it’s just a matter of getting the hattrick.” Said hattrick is one that has been six years in the making.

The F-Class World Championships, much like the Olympics, is only held once every four years – and also much like the Olympics, it was set back due to COVID.

“As a team, we were ready to compete, ready with planning, ready with our equipment and ready mentally… and then along came a very long period of being in limbo.” But limbo is over.

It’s all coming together now.

Other Competitions

Sure, Alister has been in other shooting competitions before; Bendigo’s Queen’s shoot is one of his favourites.

Even before he joined the Birchip Rifle Club, Alister could be found out on his farm, setting his sights on a target.

But he’s “never done anything like this before”.

Both the overseas trip and the world-class shooting, all of this will be entirely new for Alister.

He’d been to Bali once when he was younger, but that was it.

It’s not going to be any problem though; Alister is ready for the challenge.

Teammates

He jumped back into training with his teammates in February of 2022, and with a “pretty strong team” made up of “a great bunch of blokes” – who, really, feel more like brothers at this stage – Alister is confident they can face down the seven other competing countries, no problem.

In just two days, Alister will be meeting up with his F-Class family (made up of captain, Dennis Shallis; vice-captain, Albert van Wyk; manager, Janene van Wyk; master coach, Lowell Tillack; front coaches, Stuart Braund and Jason Mayers; shooters, Adrian Conlon, Adrian Siebel, Alister Larmour, Darren (Frog) Lowe, David Pearsall, Douw de Kock, Lewis Reynolds, Richard Bailey, Rod (The Champ) Davies, Tim Nugen; and the official armorer: LRP Solutions).

They will travel to Sydney to stay the night, then on Monday morning, the team will be hopping on a direct flight to Johannesburg, with sights set on the ex-military Gen. de Wet Range in Bloemfontein.

The entire near tonne of equipment and ammo is already waiting at Bloemfontein; the meticulous months of preparation are ready to be put into practice.

With the entire community of Charlton cheering him on – not to mention the whole of Australia – Alister’s sight is clear.

With the constant encouragement of the Birchip Rifle Club beside him, and the support of the Mallee Sports Assembly behind him, Alister’s aim is true.

Conditions are perfect, Al; all that’s left to do now is pull the trigger.

The Buloke Times 10 March 2023

This article appeared in The Buloke Times, 10 March 2023.

KEEP IN TOUCH

Sign up to the Australian Rural & Regional News newsletters

Manage your subscription

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

For all the news from The Buloke Times, go to https://www.buloketimes.com/