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Top guns

Barbados emerge as regional shotting champions

Barbados recently hosted the first International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) Level III Regional Competition and emerged tournament champions with some outstanding displays of marksmanship in all categories

The competition branded Smoking Barrels’ Regional Stand Off, and held under the auspices of the Barbados Rifle Association and IPSC Barbados, included participants from countries such as Guyana, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago, all vying for the title of regional champions and regional team champions.

The IPSC discipline requires competitors to plan their course of fire. Competitors are faced with various stages that can be attempted in multiple ways. They are required to engage targets safely while on the move, in the fastest way possible while obtaining the highest score on the target. This is to be done within the parameters and stipulations of the stage. The discipline not only relies on speed and accuracy but encourages competitors to think strategically about how to attempt the stage.

The competition had 61 competitors and spanned over three divisions (Standard, Open and Production). Spectators were astonished as they watched regional teams at their best competing through 12 challenging stages. Kevin Grant, the match director, along with the IPSC Barbados management team, the National Range Officer Institute of Barbados, the Barrel Babies and United Artisans executed a world-class tournament that was recognized on International levels.

Barbados Production Team –– Charles Davis, Kevin Grant, Adrian Marshall.

Barbados Production Team –– Charles Davis, Kevin Grant, Adrian Marshall.

Forty-one shooters competed in the Standard Division. It was a tough weekend but Barbados’ Richard “Cordite Kid” Durant managed to hold onto third place with 782 points. Coming out of retirement was Barbados’ Geoffrey Browne placing second overall with a score of 870 points. Dominating the standard division was Barbados’ Rodney Clarke, placing first and earning the highest award IPSC grants to its competitors, the President’s Medal. Clarke has earned four President’s Medals for Barbados during his career in shooting.

Ten participants entered the Production Division and battled for the title of Production Regional Champion. Placing third in this division was Kevin “The Enforcer” Grant with a total of 796 points. Trinidad and Tobago’s Dale Singh edged out Grant and placed second with 797 points. Competing in production for the first time and dominating with amazing results was top shooter Adrian Marshall. With 1020 points Marshall opened an unassailable gap to ensure his victory. He was also awarded his first President’s Medal for Barbados. Marshall assured that this would be the first of many.

The Open Division was very competitive with ten competitors clashing at the dreaded Stage 4 –– Kryptonite Effect. Securing a third spot for Barbados was Shawn Rudder with 710 points. The Trinidadians showed their mettle here with Nigel Marchand storming past Rudder with 901 points. But that was not enough to compete with St Lucia’s top shooting athlete, Jean Renee Du Boulay. Boulay dominated this division with a remarkable 1034 points. He too was awarded the President’s Medal, making it St. Lucia’s first such award.

There were also prizes awarded for various categories such as ladies and seniors. In the ladies category placing third was new shooter Julia Jones with 271 points. She ran through her courses of fire securing her position and maintaining safety. Edging out Jones was Donna Barrow, another new female shooter, she placed second with 288 points. Winning yet another President’s Medal was Marissa Bradshaw. Bradshaw was victor of the female category, more than doubling the second place score with 580 points. This was the second President’s Medal she had won for Barbados.

The senior or over-50s division was very competitive. Nine competitors battled their way through 12 amazing stages. Barbados’ Cyprian John was third in this division with 545 points while Brian Armstrong from Trinidad and Tobago took second position with 578 points. Coming out of the closet once again was Geoffrey Browne winning the division and being awarded the President’s Medal.

Barbados ensured they kept the regional title by winning both the standard and production divisions. Various teams were sent to represent their country to compete for the regional champions. Clarke led the Barbados standard team that also included Ryan Best and John. Marshall led Barbados’ production team that included Grant as well as Charles Davis and secured the title of Production Regional Team Champions.

There was a category for newly certified shooters and the top five from that group were awarded. Stephen “Sneaky” Niles won the overall category with 481 points. In second place was Philip Allsopp with 476 points; Carl Douglas with 466 points was third; in fourth position was Jamar Eastmond with 455 points; and in fifth spot was Kerry Alleyne with 422 points.

Afterwards tournament organizer Grant expressed the hosts’ pleasure at having their regional counterparts on the island for the championships and promised there would be a Regional Stand-Off 2016 where it was expected even more countries would attend the competition.

Alastair Stewart (regional director of IPSC Jamaica), wife Tanya Stewart, Carters & Co. and Ellco Rental contributed greatly to the success of the regional championship.

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