National Fullbore Captain Mahendra Persaud and team, just back from the West indies Fullbore Shooting Championships, held in Trinidad and Tobago described the competition as the most challenging of all, with the competitors subjected to the use of old ammunition.
It is customary that teams are able to practice using competition ammunition but this was not the case since the ‘Hornady Match Ammunition’ never arrived from the United States of America (USA) as it was still awaiting State Department approval.
This was told to the competing teams by President of the West Indies Fullbore Shooting Council (WIFBSC) Norris Gomez prior to the start of the championships.
The teams (Barbados, Jamaica, debutants Antigua & Barbuda and the visiting London Middlesex Rifle Association 5-man team) were further told that they would be getting Military “TZ” ammunition made in 1983/1984 for practice sessions.
When asked how much ammo was required by the Guyanese to establish their zeros, Persaud told Gomez that they needed at least 2 sighters and 7 at 300 and 600 yards. “Monday May 11th should have been Zero day but it never happened.”
Commenting on the use of the old ammunition, Persaud said, “The visiting captains were very upset at this development and expressed their disappointment and disgust in no uncertain manner.
It was pointed out that a decision had been taken 12 years ago that only quality ammunition would be used at WIFBSC competitions, and to give shooters ammo 25 years old was not in keeping with normal practices. Even the promised military ammunition never materialized, despite the assurances of the Trinidad Rifle Association (TFA) captain. We left the ranges without firing a shot.”
By competition day Tuesday May 12, the shooters were anticipating the start of practice sessions, but ammunition was still not available. “The TRA agreed to give us 5 rounds of Hornady match ammo from their stock to shoot at 300 and 600 yards.
We then had to make a decision to reverse the programme – shoot the 4-man team match arranged by the visiting LMRA followed by the Short Range Championships on Wednesday and Thursday respectively, then the Individuals.”
Persaud disclosed that against normal practices, Guyana was allotted targets instead of being allowed to draw for them.
“Both of our teams – ‘A’ comprising Persaud, Ransford Goodluck, Richard and Dylan Fields and ‘B’, Dane Blair, John Fraser, Ryan Sampson and Claude Duguid were allotted the #1 Target which on that particular day had many disadvantages especially at 300 yards where the wind was rebounding off the bamboos and seemed at times to be going in the opposite direction to the rest of the range.
Despite the challenges faced, Guyana, through excellent team shooting, were able to win the Short Range Championship, holding off the host team Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica by 5 points, thanks to 49s’ with 8 and 3 V’s respectively from Goodluck and Fraser along with 48:5 from Captain Persaud. Guyana finished on 374: 34 V’s to total 1139:105.
Trinidad finished on 1134:99, Jamaica 1134:85, Antigua &Barbuda 1075:78 and Barbados 1066:73.
After it became clear that the Hornady ammunition would not have arrived in the Twin Island Republic before the end of the championships, Persaud said that a few top shooters, namely himself and Goodluck from Guyana and John Nelson from Jamaica, opted out of participating in the individual competition protesting, the use of the sub-standard ammunition.
Guyana’s Ryan Sampson (450:33) was the best local finisher, placing 6th overall followed by Dane Blair (444:35) in 10th position. T&T’s Carl Awong won the championship with a grand total of 456:39.
Grand Aggregate of the 10-round individual competition shot at 300, 500 & 600 yards
Name Country Grand Aggregate Position
Carl Awong T&T 456:39 1st
Jose Nunez Jamaica 452:34 2nd
Andrew Wilde LMRA 451:42 3rd
Ric Melling LMRA 451:40 4th
Norris Gomez T&T 450:34 5th
Ryan Sampson Guyana 450:33 6th
Justin Lall T&T 448:38 7th
Dick Winney LMRA 448:31 8th
Jennifer Cousins Barbados 446:28 9th
Dane Blair Guyana 444:35 10th
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