BLAKE Nankervis is aiming for the world stage.
The Geelong-based competitor is celebrating after winning the top class at the Sporting Clays Australia national championships at Laang on Sunday.
Nankervis hit 188 out of a possible 200 targets across the three-day event to collect scratch grade honours.
He defeated Adam Durose, Jack Gibbs and Cameron Kivinen who finished tied for second with 187/200.
“This is the first big part of the selection criteria for the Australian team, so we’ll see how we go next year,” he said.
Nankervis said he was thrilled to perform strongly in a high-class field.
“I can’t believe it yet, to be honest, it’s still a long way until it settles in,” he said.
“It means the world really. You train all year for this sort of thing and to go up against the guys that are here and compete against them and beat them, it’s pretty special.”
Nankervis will now turn his attention to major competitions in Ireland and England next year.
SCA membership and media director Peter Carey said Nankervis was part of a record field which contested the three-day competition on the outskirts of Warrnambool. He said it was a pleasing result for a tournament, which moves each year, in its 42nd campaign.
“We’ve attracted 377 competitors from all Australian states and the ACT,” Carey said. “There’s a contingent from New Zealand, New Caledonia and Singapore and it augers well for another fantastic competition next year.”
Carey said the Laang range was the ideal spot to host a big tournament.
“This is the third time Laang has held the national championship and back in 2009 they actually hosted the world championships here, so they’re well versed in putting on a great event,” he said.
“Weather-wise it’s been fantastic, which has been conducive to some fantastic scores.”
Moyne Shire mayor Mick Wolfe said the council was happy to support the competition which provided a boost for the south-west economy.
“We contributed financially to support the event without any hesitation from council,” he said.
“We realise it stimulates the local economy during the event, before the event and after and people go back and talk about the area and the attractions to it.
“We are right behind this event and look forward to it returning in the future. I am sure our report to the council will instill confidence if we’re fortunate enough to get the event again.”
Other winners were Mick Keirl (A grade), Phillip Nelson (B grade), William Wright (C grade), Ron Rhook (seniors), Alan Backman (veterans), Bryan Rafferty (masters), Brittany Melbourne (ladies), Mathew Wilesmith (juniors), Xavier Russell (sub-juniors).