Sport shooting has an ‘extreme’ sport and it is called practical shooting. Competitors have to move, lean, shoot, negotiate obstacles, run, shoot, reload, crouch, problem solve, shoot some more as they safely drive their bodies and guns through each of the stages as fast as their skills will allow. Every G.S.S.F. Practical Shooting
Match is made up of stages that seek to measure a shooter’s ability in all three elements of the sport and are coordinated under strict safety guidelines marshaled by experienced Range Officials. These matches in Guyana are held outdoors, in all weather, further testing competitor skills. Saturday 30th July, 2016 was no different as the federation members started out in horrific heat in brilliant sunshine, blue skies, facing 4 stages ahead of them to complete the scheduled match. Shooting was done under the USPSA Practical Shooting Handgun Rules at the G.D.F.’s Yarrowkabra Range.
With the three elements of practical shooting on their mind – speed, accuracy and power – competitors braved the draining conditions to tackle the dynamic stages. The first named ‘Left, Center, Right” required shooters to start with their heels touching a spot identified at the fault-lines. The Gun with magazine inserted, but chamber empty was holstered. Upon the start signal, shooters had to engage 4 classic targets and 4 steel plates from within the lines choosing to shoot from left or center or the right of the screens set up across the range.
The second stage named ‘Ready, Set, Go” required shooters to start in a stooping position with both hands touching the ground with the gun unloaded and holstered. This start position tested the fitness level and agility of shooters who upon the start signal, had to sprint a few feet away to one of the two barrels strategically located to retrieve their magazines and then engage the 10 classic targets and 2 steel plates. Some shooters cleverly placed magazines on both barrels thereby causing them to reload from the barrel directly in front their target.
Mid-afternoon, some deceptive clouds blew in via a steady land breeze and covered the surrounding range area much to the relief of shooters in line and on standby. This cooling down of things was shortly followed by a shower of rain while shooter Harold “Top-Gun” Hopkinson was making his run in the third stage (as shooting does not stop for rain). While his scores were recorded, a heavy downpour occurred which was accompanied by gusts of winds causing several targets to blow over.
Meanwhile one of the Federation’s tethered tents was hoisted downrange and destroyed. After a declared pause in the Match for an expected ‘blow-over’, severe lightening, and what was deemed a thunder and storm then made it un-safe to continue shooting so the Match was declared abandoned.
All the competitors present were consulted and it was then decided to compute scores in the first two stages to award the match. Members final impromptu fitness test was seen as those who were sheltering under the tent at the 4th stage creatively teamed up to return to the main tent.
They were seen lifting gear, props, refreshments and at the same time the entire tent in a huddled walk across the width of the range so as not to get drenched. Shooters considered the afternoon a memorable one especially those present being able to check off on their bucket list – surviving a freak storm.
Scoring was tallied by an official scoring software for the sport and managed by Stats Officers Dr. Pravesh Harry who
Released the results as follows:
Present at the Range to present the striking trophies to the top three Overall Winners in each of the two divisions: Production and Limited, was the Managing Director of Queensway Security Service, Mr. Mohamed Qualander, and Security Supervisor Mr. Desmond Phillips.
At the closing ceremony, thanks were extended by the G.S.S.F. President and Match Director, Vidushi Persaud- McKinnon to the Match Officials for ensuring the efficiency and high safety standards with which the match was run. She went on to thank the Match Sponsor: Queensway Security Service Inc. The leading security company located of
153 Regent Road and Oronoque Streets, Bourda Georgetown, has over the years continued to recognise shooting as a sport and Managing Director, Mr. Mohamed Qualander, who was present and participated in the Match with
158.2502 points which would have given him First Place in the Limited Division had he chosen to record his cores officially, commended the Federation for the high quality Match and gave his company’s commitment to fostering the continued growth of the sport in Guyana.
Persaud-McKinnon also conveyed special thanks to Harold Hopkinson for the un-hesitating offer of use of his props, steel target and other range equipment. The Federation also thanks Chief of Staff of the GDF, Brigadier Phillips, Colonel Doodnauth, GPF Commissioner Persaud, Asst. Commissioner Ramnarine, Commander Hicken, OC TSU Superintendent Dehnert, Corporal Dunn and the ranks of the Armoury and TSU.