Zaidie overcomes challenging Knolford course
The sprawling Knolford Polo Ranch property, situated in Riversdale, St Catherine, provided a stiff test for shooters at Sunday's Spectrum Systems-sponsored Jamaica Skeet Club Sporting Clays Challenge.
A meandering stream and lush foliage offered a serene contrast as a constant and vibrant wind made conditions all the more challenging for more than 100 shooters - 20 of whom will be travelling to Florida tomorrow to compete in the Gator Cup (Seminole Cup) tournament - who turned up, shotguns in tow, for the competition.
When the smoke cleared, it was Geoffrey Ziadie who walked away with top honours with a score of 86, three more than Ian Bank, who tallied 83 points for second place.
Though disappointed with his final tally, Zaidie, who will be shooting in the AA category at the Gator Cup, welcomed the challenges presented by the 14-station course.
"This was a nice warm-up for what I am going to see (in Florida). It was a great opportunity to come here and deal with the same situations," Zaidie told The Gleaner. "The breeze made it a little bit harder, but all in all, I think everyone had a great time and I was up for the challenge.
"On this course, I thought 90 would have been a respectable score. I think I should have shot 90," added Zaidie, who shared that he fires approximately 200 rounds per month in practice.
Olympic hopeful Shaun Barnes (82 points) walked away with A Class honours, with Gerry Chin (78) taking the B Class crown. Jordan Thwaites (71 points) was the best shooter in C Class, while D'Andre Simpson (74) and Ryan Duquesnay (67) were tops in the D and E classes, respectively.
Denroy Boboran was tops in the Hunters Class with 60 points, while Laila Azan was the number one female shooter on the day, with 52 points.
Brandon Reid's 81 points gave him top honours in the Junior category, while Matthew Josephs, with 72 points, finished in the number one spot in the Sub-Juniors section.
Jamaica Skeet Club president Khaleel Azan was extremely pleased with the turnout - the largest in five years - pointing to the sport's increased popularity and his satisfaction with the course and competition.
"The participation in this shoot was way better than we expected. We were anticipating that about 80 persons would've come to this shoot, but we ended up with over 100," Azan said. "The sport has started to grow tremendously from last year, and this year, in particular, we have noticed that it has taken off to another level."