Australian Nationals 2018 – A hot competition!

The Australian Nationals for 2018 has been fought and won at Lewis Park, Knoxfield, Melbourne on Saturday 10th March. It was an unrelentingly hot summers day, reaching a maximum 35c at 5pm. The parched field, covered in part by tough grass and gravel, radiated heat against legs, arms and faces. It was especially difficult participating in the running events like Endurance, Fast Catch and Trick Catch. Seasoned players persevered and played on while others retired. The last half of Aussie Round, the final event of the day, was voted out of the competition as all competitors were overcome by heat and there needed to be time for the Hunting Stick event.

West Australian Roger Perry once again is Australian Champion, coming 1st in two events – Endurance and MTA. It was a consistent, well sustained and accurate performance from Roger, who in his sixties, out-performed competitors nearly half his age in the searing heat, which would have caused many people his age to give the day away. Roger Perry is the best known thrower in the Southern Hemisphere, beside Rob Croll, both of whom have a long history of fighting hard at World Boomerang tournaments.

There was solid performance from other West Australian’s Grant Perry, who came 2nd, and Matt Barker and Nick Pritchard who finished equally in 3rd place. Chris Johnson, who has not been competing for long, finished in a very respectable 7th place with consistently good results in many of the events. Seasoned throwers Rob Croll and Dave Richardson from Victoria and Simon Bollen from South Australia did as best they could despite injuries. Rob Croll had a blazing round of Fast Catch, finishing 2nd place with 30 secs, only two seconds off winner Nick Pritchard, who got the 5 throws back in 28 seconds.

The above Australian throwers were joined by the lady competitors Chrissie Metzakis, Leonie Metzakis and Angie Perry, who made a good effort in Accuracy, Aussie Round, and Trick Catch, with Chrissie achieving women’s champion of the day. The Nationals also had the pleasure of welcoming Paul Bryden, who threw with masterful grace and control in Accuracy, Aussie Round, and Hunting Stick. Paul was a pleasure to watch. Luc Bordes, who participated in the Nationals 2017 event in South Australia, also competed this year and performed like many of the French boomerang masters, with excellent control in Fast Catch, Accuracy and Trick Catch. In sum, a very tough competition due to the intense heat, but an ultimately rewarding and exciting one nevertheless.

Here are the top 8:

1st: Australian Champion – Roger Perry, 2nd: Grant Perry, 3rd: Nick Pritchard and Matt Barker, 5th: Luc Bordes (France), 6th: Rob Croll, 7th: Chris Johnson, 8th: Dave Richardson

Event Winners:

Trick Catch: Matt Barker (81!), Endurance: Roger Perry (36), Accuracy: Nick Pritchard (69), Fast Catch: Nick Pritchard (28s wind), Aussie Round: Grant Perry (78 1 round only), MTA: Roger Perry (37s)

In the Hunting Stick event, the former World Champion Rob Croll demonstrated his mastery by striking the Skippy target with a blow at the 20m, 30m, and 40m marks. Matt Barker finished 1 point behind in second, with a strike at 30m and 40m. Simon Bollen, who has an excellent arm for swinging the Hunting Stick gave the target a bullseye blow at the 40m mark.

Hunting Stick Top 3:

1st: Rob Croll, 2nd: Matt Barker, 3rd: Simon Bollen

At the AGM, it was agreed that Hunting Stick should be incorporated into the Australian competition events. It is the oldest event but possibly one of the most challenging and it is an exciting re-introduction to the sport of boomerangs, where you will see competitors using large authentic throwing sticks.

Many thanks to Rob Croll who worked hard to organise the event in Victoria and to Kelly and Angie Perry, who recorded the scores and performed other administration to make the day possible.

More results and photographs will follow in the forthcoming Boomerang Bulletin.

Here are just 3 of the photos caught on the day:

Photo 1: From Left

From Left: Luc Bordes, Nick Pritchard, Matt Barker, Roger Perry, Grant Perry

The Nationals Competitors standing beside the “Skippy” target with their Hunting Sticks.

The action! During the Aussie Round event.


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