Simspon, Aliana McMaster top Proven Driftwood David East Memorial

Simspon, Aliana McMaster top Proven Driftwood David East Memorial

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Sunday, January 31, 2021

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Last Sunday, a large contingent of shooters journeyed to the picturesque Murphy Hill Estate, which overlooks the town of Ocho Rios, to battle for top honours in the Proven Driftwood David East Memorial Sporting Clays shoot.

In the end, defending champions Christian Sasso and Wendy McMaster did well, but failed to defend their titles.

Three-time national shotgun champion Sasso shot 96 out of a possible 100, but had to settle for the runner-up spot as the overall winner Craig Simpson also shot 96. The final placement was settled by way of long run.

Long run is used to break ties based on how the shooters perform on pre-selected stations. Normally, long run would not be used to determine the overall winner as they would have to shoot-off against each other and the shooter with the better score wins the top spot. But due to the novel coronavirus outbreak resulting in the need to reduce human-to-human contact, all ties were separated by long run.

Simpson was nevertheless happy for the win.

“It always feels good to win. We all want to win, most of us want to win. It's in my DNA to come out to shoot and be competitive all the time, and especially on these big occasions, these big-tier, big, top competitions.

“We all are hungry for this type of win, however, it's not all about winning. We also come out to see our friends and to chat and to have a drink and to talk about the birds that we didn't shoot. However, in these times with COVID in the mix we have had to set that aside and shoot and leave, and it takes away from the camaraderie and the fun of it, but it's the sacrifice that we have to make until these times are behind us,” said Simpson.

The Ladies' section was very competitive with 13-year old Aliana McMaster getting the better of her mother, the four-time national Ladies' shotgun champion Wendy McMaster by just one bird. Aliana shot 77 to Wendy's 76 after competing on the 17-station course. Marguerite Harris, 73, took the third spot in the Ladies' section.

“It's a big achievement for me and it took a lot of hard work and focus. It just shows how far I have come because last year at the Driftwood shoot it was the first big tournament. The conditions definitely could have been better and on my last station it started pouring rain, so that really affected me,” said Aliana.

She spoke about what it meant to her to beat her mother.

“It's a big accomplishment for me because I have always held her at a high standard, so now that I have done it twice it proves to me what I am really capable of,” she said.

According to club President Ian McKay, “We had to put in very strict measures.”

“We had the temperature checks at the gate, and we also had compliance officers who were patrolling the course to ensure that there was masking, that there was social distancing, that there was no gathering and things like that, to have a safe event.

“The other challenge, too, was given the fact that there was no interaction with the participants because the restrictions placed on us by MOHW [Ministry of Health and Wellness] is that only the participants can be on property, so our sponsor who stood by us, Proven, has been absolutely great in standing by us in sponsoring this event and our other sponsors who have been with us from day one,” said McKay.

Other major sponsor were Supreme Ventures Limited, Neveast Supplies and NCB Capital Markets.

The Driftwood Gun Club successfully staged its sixth sporting clays event, the last three being at Murphy Hill.

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