It wasn’t quite the 30-odd kilograms worth of trophies they came back from Sweden with in 2015, but the haul Orange’s Pete and Dean Brus returned from this year’s WA1500 PPC World Championship with is just as impressive.
This year’s swag of awards tips the scales at a tick over 15kgs, Pete accounting for more than two thirds of that. While over the moon the duo is looking forward, already focusing on the next world championship in 2019. That’s mainly because it’s on home soil, they do have extra motivation though.
In 2015 the pair shot together for Australia, but they didn’t get that chance in Germany last month. While Pete represented the Australian team in both the pistol and revolver international team events, combining with Tasmania’s Chris Banfield, Dean just missed out on those sides this year. They did get to shoot together in the international club teams event again, representing Orange Pistol Club, but they’re desperate to don green and gold together on the world stage again.
“Germany was the Australian team manager’s swansong, so I asked Pete about whether I should maybe throw my hat in the ring for that or shoot on,” Dean explained.
“The answer from Pete was shoot on, try and work my way back into that Australian side and battle again together at that level.”
“I’d like that,” Pete said, saying he’d also have to work hard to maintain his place in the side.
“Because it’s in Australia I’d really like for that to, I guess, be the last hurrah for dad at the representative level.
“Personally, he’s my idol, he’s the number one coach in Australia and all the success I had in Germany and before that I owe to him, so I want to shoot with him for Australia again.”
That success in Germany Pete mentioned, there was plenty of it. He cleaned up individually, combined with Banfield for more awards and did the same once with his old man. Incredibly, he broke another record too, something he seems to do every time he picks up a gun. Pete became the youngest shooter to ever stand on a podium for an individual event. Amazingly, he did that three times. The 20-year-old finished second in the 1500 pistol with a score of 1487, third in the 1500 revolver with 1485 and third in the standard revolver 2.75 inch. In the standard revolver four inch, he came fourth overall and won his high master division as well.
“That standard revolver 2.75 inch, it’s pretty funny, we’re not actually allowed to shoot them in Australia. I borrowed the gun off someone else and came third,” Brus laughed.
“It was spur of the moment really, I borrowed one off an Austrian bloke and shot really well.
“They were gobsmacked when Dad told them I’m only 20. Last time I was the youngest to ever represent a country at 18, and now I’ve done this. It’s pretty cool.
“Honestly, as much as I said I wanted to win the goal was probably to finish top 10 in the individual events, so I did far better than that.
“Germany is the home of shooting, to be able to do that there I’m really pleased with.”
With Banfield, Pete also finished second in the international teams revolver and pistol. The pair shot 1186 and 1190, finishing behind the Germans in both by four shots and one shot respectively. “I’m absolutely tickled pink with the two of them,” Dean, who coached the Australian team, said.
“There’s a real sense of achievement for all of us. I was getting a bit wound up watching it all, they’ve come home with seconds which is fantastic but the pistol was just so close, it was ridiculous really. It was pretty to watch really.”
“It was unbelievable to watch, you just don’t see that in the world teams.
“But (German legend) Ralf Vanicek just shot one cracking score. His teammate didn’t shoot so well, but it’s a team event and it ended up being just one point the difference.”
“The Germans were absolutely red-hot, they won both the international club teams events too,” Pete said.
“Chris shot pretty well for this being his first world championship, he did well in the individual events as well.”
The mental stress of the international team matches did take its toll in a way, on both the Brus’. Straight after those matches, they linked for the international club teams revolver and pistol events. While stoked to finish second in the latter, the pair admitted to being pretty disappointed with their showing in the revolver competition. The Brus boys were defending their title from 2015 in that one, but shot 1183 to finish fourth. Granted, that was enough to win their high master division, but certainly not a performance up to their lofty standards. But, in some sort of silver lining, the world record of 1194 they shot two years ago wasn’t beaten.
“They didn’t get close,” Pete said of the winning team’s score of 1186. “But honestly, finishing fourth in the revolver was a bit disappointing. We shot the world teams in the morning and then had to shoot the club teams in the afternoon. At the end of the last day I was absolutely wrecked.”
“It was disappointing, we did make up for in the pistol at least,” Dean added.
“I was a bit wound up having the coach’s hat on in the world teams rather the shooting hat in the club teams, I probably wasn’t quite ready to be shooting to be honest. But you learn from these things.
“It was the first time that format has been put up in the club teams, new range, new conditions.” Dean also shot well individually, claiming a number of top 10 finishes.
“I was in the top 10 in both the pistol and revolver, I was six points off the pace but there was quite a few people (bunched together) on similar scores,” he said.
“I wasn’t too disappointed, but I did have the coach’s hat on a bit more than the shooting as I said. Those world teams events were the big ones. “It was a good trip, but now we’ll look to 2019.”