Juniors out shoot top gunners in Savannah Hunting Club Sporting Clays

Friday, May 10, 2019

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The Savannah Hunting Club Sporting Clays Tournament returned to the Jamaica Skeet Club's calendar after a 15-year hiatus at the picturesque Mount Plenty Estate, Walkerswood in the garden parish of St Ann, last Sunday.

Two juniors — David Wong and Nathan Chin — 13 and 14 years old, respectively, outshot the top gunners in the island to take the top two spots in the tournament. This makes it the first time that two juniors were topping any senior sporting clays competition in Jamaica Skeet Club's history.

A massive field of 133 shooters took to the 17 stations, which were generously spread across the vast expanse of land comprising several hills and valleys with lush greenery all around. The shooters had to pick off 100 birds or targets on a very sunny day.

At the end of the shoot, numerous competitors surrounded the scoreboard as the scores were entered and it became clear that sub junior David Wong (88) and junior Nathan Chin (87) had out-shot the island's top gunners. They were roundly commended for their outstanding performances by several shooters.

Wong said, “I feel very amazed, very shocked to be honest, because during training and all I did not expect in two years to become the youngest shooter to win the highest overall in a competition.” Wong also said that “it was very vigorous, endless; Uncle Khal, he ensured that he taught me the right things, all the proper stuff to become a champ.”

He spoke glowingly of the mental training that he got which he expects to help him in all areas of his life to be the best that he can be.

Three A Class shooters — Greg Chong, two-time national shotgun champion Christian Sasso and Ray McMaster ended on 85 each. This led to a very competitive shoot-off among them. Chong picked off five of eight targets, while Sasso and McMaster had four each.

Chong bagged A Class champion while Sasso and Master had to face another shoot-off. They both got six from eight and had to do a third shoot-off to determine the second and third positions. Sasso prevailed to take second place after hitting five targets to McMaster's three.

Two of the 10 lady shooters — Toni Barnes and three-time national shotgun champion Wendy McMaster — both posted 67. They also had to engage in a shoot-off in order to determine the Ladies champion. Barnes was first up on the station and picked off two of the eight targets, while McMaster picked one. Barnes walked away with the top spot, followed by McMaster, while Renee Rickhi, 65, was third.

The top three in the various classes were: B Class — Zachary Harris 85, Ryan Chen 83 and Robbie Subaran 77; C Class — Alex Cunningham 85, Ricky DuQuesnay 81 and Cameron Pang Sang 80; D Class — Mark Benjamin 81, Toby Hugh 80 and Anthony Desnoes 77, E Class — Cody Delisser 70, Gordon Bucknor 62 and Edward Zacca 55; Hunters or beginners — Justin Samuda 69, Carlton Davis 65 and Bradley Wright 62; Junior — Nathan Chin 87, Toby Hugh 80 and Cameron Pang Sang 80 (determined by long run based on scores at a pre selected station); Sub Junior — David Wong 88, Richard Todd 70 and Noah Azan 53.

Two shooters who won their classes were promoted to higher classes. Cody DeLisser moved up to D Class, while Justin Samuda moved to E Class from Hunters or beginners class.

The course setters, nine-time national shotgun champion Ian Banks, who is also the president of the Savannah Hunting Club, and Oneil Brown were commended for a perfect mixture of creative and challenging targets.

Banks said that the club's shooting range in Portland was in disrepair, hence the reason for the competition being out for 15 years but now that that Mount Plenty Estate is available to the club, the competition will become a permanent fixture on the calendar.

Jordan Samuda, president of the Jamaica Skeet Club, was very pleased with the result, especially the record-setting juniors winning the tournament as well as taking the runner-up spot. He said, “It brings me no ends of joy as the youngest president of the Jamaica Skeet Club to announce the youngest HOA (highest overall) in the history of the Jamaica Skeet Club with David Wong. All in all, I am overjoyed. I can't tell you how happy I am. I think it's a great start to our new committee with me as the new president. The venue has been fantastic. The venue was beautiful and overall it was a great day.”

Coach of the juniors, Khaleel Azan, commended Wong for his performance.

“We have always said that one day soon a junior or a sub junior would win a shoot and that's what we have been working for and today David, his shooting was textbook. Yesterday when he came to the club we worked only on pre-shot routine and that's what he did today because I know technically he was strong, so all I worked on was his mental game. I am very, very proud of him. He is very focused and I think this is the way he is going to be in life. I am really overwhelmed and happy with his performance today to have a HOA — the first time by a sub junior.”

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