Sasso, Wendy McMaster still national sporting clays champions

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

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Just under 100 shooters trekked to Tru-Juice Estates in St Catherine last Saturday and Sunday for the Jamaica Skeet Club's national sporting clays 200-Bird championship, including defending champion Christian Sasso, nine-time champion Ian Banks and six-time champion Shaun Barnes.

At the end of the two-day shoot, and the Super six shoot-off, it was Sasso who successfully defended the coveted championship crown by 15 birds ahead of runner-up Zachary Chen. Sasso shot 95 and 84 to end with 179 and then shot another 15 from 25 in the Super-six for a total score of 194 to be crowned the highest overall winner. Class B shooter Chen, who just moved up from the junior ranks, shot 89 and 74 in the main round and then 16 from 25 in the Super six to end on 179 overall.

Eight shooters had the six best scores therefore the Super Six shoot-off was contested among eight men — Sasso, Chen, Robert Yap Foo on 163, Ray McMaster on 160, Bruce Duquesnay on 159, Cameron Phang Sang on 152, Todd Lazarus on 152 and Ian Bankz also on 152.

Sasso was very pleased with winning the national sporting clays championship. “It feels good. It feels really good. I was more focused on the national champion but to come out on top always feels good, so I am happy,” he said.

He added: “The weather was hot so you had to stay hydrated. Yesterday's course was really good, like on an international level. Today's course was the same, was a little bit tougher but everybody has to shoot the same bird.”

The course conditions were just as challenging for the female shooters, as they had to battle the same weather conditions as well as a course so large that the competitors has to drive to the various station rather than walk as they normally do.

Wendy McMaster, who had a phenomenal year winning several shoots, picked off 144 birds over the two days. She faced competition from talented shooter Toni Barnes with 119 and Renee Rickhi with 109, among other female shooters.

McMaster felt good about retaining the ladies' championship after winning her fourth championship overall. “I am very happy. I am extremely happy and also I shot very well this weekend,” she said.

She encouraged the female shooters to improve their game and give her greater competition. “The ladies actually need to step up their game to come near to my level. Honestly it's a very hard sport, its a disciplined sport. You have to really practise a lot, especially in the areas that you are weak on, and that is the way you have to go to excel to reach to the goals that you want to reach.”

Jordan Samuda, president of the Jamaica Skeet Club, was pleased with the outcome of the championship. He said that “overall, it was a fantastic two days. We had some challenging targets, both day one and day two, but in terms of numbers we had 100 participants on Saturday and we had just shy of that on Sunday. We look forward to next year.”

He had high praises for Sasso, McMaster and the class winners as well as the juniors who continue to outshine the seniors in various shoots.

The top three shooters in the various classes were: A Class — Robert Yap, Foo Ray McMaser and Bruce Duquesnay. B Class – Cameron Phang Sang, Najeeb Haber and Mark Desnoes. C Class – Todd Lazarus, Craig Davis and Dominic Simpson. D Class – JJ Ralston, Rajhir DaCosta and Anthony Desnoes. E Class — Justin Samuda, Zachary Josephs and Ryan Lue. Juniors — Roman Tavares-Finson, JJ Ralston and Mark Desnoes. Sub Juniors — David Wong and Ryan Lue, and Hunters or beginners — Richie Rerrie, Kevin Chin-Shue and Gregory East.

The 16-station course was set by Greg Chung and the Jamaica Skeet Club's resident course setter Oneil Brown, on the very large Tru-Juice Estates in St Catherine.


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