Practical Shooters of Guyana were on Saturday 25th July, 2015 given a chance to display their Accuracy and Speed while managing Power, compliments of the Guyana Sport Shooting Foundation with the support of the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Defence Force.
It was another fun afternoon in the blistering sun at the G.D.F’s Timehri Ranges as new and experienced shooters alike showed up to test their skills against each other in four challenging courses of fire.
Built around safety, the sport simultaneously measures the ability of the competitor to shoot rapidly and accurately with a full power handgun in a fun, fair, and competitive environment.
The Match Director and President of the Foundation, Ms. Vidushi Persaud welcomed participants and spectators to the Match. She commended the dedication and hard work of members before she declared the match open. The safety element for this match was monitored by Guyana’s internationally certified Chief Range Officers: Michael Blake (Range Master) and Ryan McKinnon.
Scoring uses the competitor’s total points divided by the time it takes to shoot those points on the targets in each stage which results in a Hit Factor. The highest HF wins full stage points and the percentage difference in HFs is calculated and points are awarded to the other competitors against this. The shooter with the highest accumulated points from all stages in a match wins overall. All the stages in this match were designed to be dynamic, thus no set arrangement of the targets. Courses of fire in the sport are often designed so that the shooter must be inventive.
For example, the first stage named “Yoga without the Toga” consisted of 14 paper targets and 2 No Shoot or penalty targets. Misses on scoring targets or hits on NS targets would attract a penalty of -10 points per shot. The start position saw shooters having to be seated flat on a yoga mat with legs crossed. Once the signal was given to start, shooters had to retrieve their unloaded firearm, make it ready while moving to engage targets downrange. The shooters’ ability to move up-range safely was tested as they had to be cognizant of ‘the 180 rule’ then sprinting around walls to engage the remaining targets some of which were to be shot through open windows.
The second stage “Over Under” consisted of 6 paper targets and 2 NS targets. Competitors started backing the course of fire or facing up-range, on the start signal one had to turn around, retrieve the firearm from a table and engage 3 targets only, perform a mandatory re-load before finishing the stage. All except one shooter ended up finishing the stage shooting under the table.
The third stage “Zig Zag” was as the name suggested and consisted of 11 paper targets with 2 NS targets. Once again, the shooters’ agility and ability to quickly navigate through the mini-maze while deciding which targets to engage from where, while either moving or stopping at strategic spots to be able to see targets positioned behind hardcover walls.
The fourth and final stage named “Mad Dash” required the shooters to start seated on a chair with their heels touching the chair legs and hands on their knees. The unloaded gun was placed some distance away, on the start signal, shooters had to quickly dash to retrieve their gun, make it ready and engage the 3 paper targets and 2 falling plates, one of the targets could only be visible through an open port. This saw some competitors creatively moving to various shooting locations to try to gain advantage and cut their time down with less movement which ultimately created difficult target presentation.
As the sun began to set, it was once again the rapid Ryan McKinnon who carted off the First Place Overall trophy followed by the quick Ray Beharry in Second Place while seasoned trouper Mohamed Qualander finished in Third Place.
In a private interview, Mr. McKinnon expressed satisfaction with his shooting which led to him being victorious but noted that he is keeping a close eye on several upcoming local competitors who are showing notable improvements in the sport. He equated this to the fact that the G.S.S.F. supported by the GDF, provides range time so that members can attend frequent practice sessions, a norm since the establishment of the Foundation. McKinnon commented on the safety, frequency and quality of the matches being hosted by the G.S.S.F. noting that there is balance to the matches, which doesn’t allow for any one shooter to easily cart off top honours after winning any single stage, but rather requires competitors to be consistent throughout the match in order to be eligible for overall awards.
Scoring was tallied by the scoring software for the sport and effectively managed by Stats Officer Mr. Ray Beharry who released the results as follows:
Yoga without the Toga:
1st – 130 Points in 31.97 seconds = 140.00 Stage Points - Ryan McKinnon
2nd – 118 Points in 38.51 seconds = 105.50 Stage Points – Ray Beharry
3rd - 132 Points in 56.34 seconds = 80.66 Stage Points – Mohamed Qualander
1st – 54 P in 9.37s = 60.00 SP - Ryan McKinnon
2nd - 44 P in 9.95s = 46.04 SP – Joseph Chin
3rd - 56 P in 14.25s = 40.91 SP – Michael Blake
1st – 90 P in 19.05s = 110.00 SP - Ryan McKinnon
2nd - 88 P in 24.34s = 84.18 SP– Vidushi Persaud
3rd - 92 P in 26.76s = 80.05 SP - Ray Beharry
1st – 38 P in 8.01s = 40.00 SP - Ryan McKinnon
2nd - 23 P in 7.65s = 25.35 SP– Joseph Chin
3rd - 38 P in 14.03s = 22.84 SP – Mohamed Qualander
Overall match Results are as follows:
1st Place 350.00 Points - Ryan McKinnon
2nd Place 241.64 Points – Ray Beharry
3rd Place 213.21 Points – Mohamed Qualander
At the closing ceremony, special thanks were extended by the G.S.S.F. President, Ms. Persaud to the Match Officials, Chief of Staff of the GDF, Brigadier Phillips, Colonel Benn, GPF Commissioner Persaud, Asst. Commissioner Ramnarine, Commander Hicken, OC TSU Superintendent Dehnert, Asst. Superintendent Todd, Corporal Dunn and the ranks of the Armoury and TSU. She also thanked Woodpecker Products and Mrs. Luana Fernandes for the support and encouragement given towards the G.S.S.F. and for her kind donation of the remarkable trophies.
Ms. Persaud added that the G.S.S.F. is dedicated towards the further promotion of all forms of sport shooting for Guyana and will continue to stage Matches on a regular basis which are all open to experienced and trained practical shooters. She also expressed her enthusiasm on the growing number of persons showing an interest in handgun sports, an area which she noted Guyana is lagging far behind its sister Caribbean and South American nations. In closing she encouraged all to keep updated on the work of the G.S.S.F. via the website www.GuyanaSportShooting.com
In photo below: Some of the Competitors at Saturday’s Practical Pistol Match.