McKinnon, Latchana and Qualander victorious at El Dorado year-end shoot
Local practical shooters displayed their speed and accuracy as they competed for top honours at the Guyana Sports Shooting Foundation’s (GSSF) year-end match last Sunday.
The competition at Camp Stephenson, GDF Timehri Shooting Range, was sponsored by El Dorado Security Service of Lot 136 Young Street and comprised four challenging but fun stages.
The match was conducted by Match Director Vidushi Persaud-McKinnon, who declared it open.
Shooters participated in three divisions, namely Limited, Production and Open. Each division had its unique requirements and restrictions, as prescribed by the USPSA (United States Practical Shooting Association).
Since each division has its own regulations, the shooters do not directly compete with each other across divisions. As such, prizes were awarded to the top three in each division.
As is customary with a GSSF event, strict adherence to firearm safety was followed. Match Director Persaud-McKinnon noted that all four stages were holiday themed and encouraged a rapid-fire shooting style.
She commended stage designer Imam Baksh for designing the stages and for the props he personally worked on to transform the range into a festive atmosphere.
‘Christmas Present Ambush’ was the fastest stage. The shooter started holding a gift box with their backs to the targets. Upon the start signal, he/she then turned and engaged all targets from a holster draw.
Four paper targets were at close range with a steel plate sitting above a small Christmas tree at medium range.
The paper targets each required two hits in the center A-zone for maximum points, a task made harder because it was partially obscured by ‘hard cover’ paint (shots in the paint do not earn points and are considered to have been stopped short of the target).
Given the small number of targets, a fast draw was essential for doing well.
The stage, ‘Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot’, featured nine paper targets hidden on the ground behind barrel obstacles and four distant mini-popper steel targets.
Upon the start signal, competitors needed to move down a winding path, shooting from within the fault lines while leaning left and right to find the best angles to see the targets around the obstacles and hit their ‘turkeys’.
The best performers on this stage were able to shoot accurately while moving and turning smoothly, as indecision cost valuable time.
For ‘New Year’s Chimes Ring Twelve Times,’ shooters were required to knock down 12 steel mini-popper targets arranged in three clustered arrays of four each.
The targets could be engaged in any order, but each cluster had to be engaged from a different shooting area, so competitors needed to move quickly between shooting views and then rapidly settle into a stable shooting stance once they got there.
The stage also tested firearm handling as it required retrieving the firearm safely and quickly from a resting position on the top of a barrel and performing a speed reload before engaging each new array, using magazines that were also set down on the tops of barrels at separate sides of the stage.
A few steel targets refused to fall when first hit, forcing follow-up hits to earn the points, much to the frustration of the shooters and the amusement of the crowd.
The longest stage was ‘Boxing Day Duck and Weave,’ with 10 paper silhouette targets and two falling steel plates and required the shooters to start in a boxing stance set back three metres from the shooting areas, with their firearm loaded and holstered.
At the signal, shooters would run forward and engage the targets in any order. The main shooting challenge forced shooters to engage four paper targets through low ports.
The restricted movement and vision created by the small openings made shooters bend and twist to get a good firing angle at the targets beyond, which required two shots each.
The right side section of the stage featured ‘speed trap’ targets, which used No-Shoot penalty targets to partially cover the paper targets.
The reduced target area forced shooters to take their time aiming or suffer a 10-point deduction for each hit on the No-Shoots.
The left side array paper and steel targets were separated by a vision obstacle to force shooters to use footwork and sideways movement to engage them all.
Shooters’ reaction to the day was overwhelmingly positive, with many praising the fast-paced and instinctive nature of the shooting created by the stages.
When the smoke cleared, the competition results were promptly computed because of the use of electronic scoring methods by way of a special application called Practiscore under the efficient eye of designated Stats Officer for the day, Dr. Pravesh Harry.
Match results were announced as follows:
1st Place – Ryan McKinnon (325.0000 Points)
2nd Place – Pravesh Harry (204.1082 Points)
3rd Place – Vidushi Persaud-McKinnon (147.8643 Points)
1st Place – Rajiv Latchana (283.6327 Points)
2nd Place – Satya Dayaram (262.6409 Points)
3rd Place – Lancelot Khan (239.0757 Points)
1st Place – Mohamed Qualander (313.7305 Points)
2nd Place – Dallas Thomas (225.5197 Points)
At the presentation ceremony at the Range, Alvin Holladar, Chief Security Officer of El Dorado Security Service, delivered remarks on behalf of El Dorado security Service and congratulated all the winners and the Foundation for a job well done.
He opined he was particularly pleased to see the high level of shooting and the emphasis on safety. Holladar and Marwin Layne, Senior Supervisor of El Dorado Security Service, presented trophies to the winners.
The GSSF would like to extend its sincerest gratitude to the management and staff of El Dorado Security Service for the kind sponsorship and support of the Foundation’s year-end competition and for supporting the shooting sports in Guyana.
El Dorado Security is now the exclusive dealer for Slovakian firearm manufacturer, Grand Power, and their premier X-Calibur pistol, which looks and feels like many of the High Power/CZ-75 guns currently vying for the competitors’ trophies at sport shooting events.
Range Master for the day and Vice-President of the Foundation, David Dharry, noted that the past year has seen a revival of GSSF activities after the pandemic restrictions and the Foundation has been busy recruiting and training new members in safety and fundamentals.
He praised the efforts of the Instructors and coaches who have conducted multiple training sessions in 2022. Training for shooters will continue in the new year and no firearm experience or ownership is required to join.
More information about GSSF is available at www.GuyanaSportsShooting.com.
Meanwhile, the Board of Directors wishes to commend the Match Director, Range Master, Stats Officer, Range Officers and the shooters for ensuring an efficient event. Special thanks also to the Guyana Defence Force Chief-of-Staff Brigadier Godfrey Bess, Commissioner of Police Clifton Hicken, Deputy Commissioner of Operations Ravindranauth Budhram, OC Mr. Lowenfield, the ranks of TSU and the Guyana Police Force, the media and GSSF members for their support in promoting practicalshooting locally.
Thanks also to Rajiv Latchana and the management of Aquafina. (GSSF Press Release)