Plans are well on stream for the staging of the West Indies Fullbore Rifle Shooting Championship slated for the Timehri Rifle Ranges from April 20-27.
According to Guyana National Rifle Association’s (GNRA) vice-president Paul Slowe, arrangements are well advanced and the association is optimistic that the championships will be a success.
This year however, only Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and defending champions Jamaica will vie for honours.
Jamaica won the West Indies team championship in Barbados last year.
Slowe informed members of the media that Barbados and bermuda will not be a part of this year’s championships for varying reasons.
According to Slowe, Bermuda is experiencing problems getting their rifles shipped to Guyana and has opted out. He said since the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre (9-11) in the United States, security in the US has been tightened.
Another senior official of the GNRA told Stabroek Sport that Barbados cited the current crime wave in Guyana and has decided to opt out also.
Slowe said a strong representation is expected from Jamaica, while 17 marksmen will represent the Twin Island Republic. Guyana will be represented by a 15-member team.
Both Trinidad and Jamaica are expected to arrive in Guyana on April 20 and the two teams will have a practice shot at the Timehri Rifle ranges on April 21.
The individual competition will run from April 22-24, while the long range shoot will be held on April 26.
The shoot for the BWIA Cup will be staged on April 27.
According to Slowe, the team to represent the West Indies at the World Long Range Championship in Bisley, England, in July, will be selected at the conclusion of the individual competition.
The West Indies team will comprise 16 marksmen along with two coaches and an adjutant.
Slowe said the GNRA is getting valuable support from the traditional sponsors, and this year, the Office of the President as well as the National Sports Commission have pledged their support.
The cost for hosting the championship is over three and a half million Guyana dollars.
Support will also come from the Guyana Defence Force.
The Assistant Commissioner of Police is optimistic about the locals chances of victory. He said all the top local shooters are in fine form at the moment and much can be expected from national champion Ransford Goodluck and team captain Mahendra Persaud. “We are going to do ourselves proud” Slowe boasted.
According to Slowe, in excess of 40 rifle shooters will be vying for honours in the individual competition and a place on the West Indies team.
The championships will be divided into two categories - `O’ Class and `X’ Class. Persons who have represented their country before will contest the `X’ Class while those persons without international/regional exposure, will contest the `O’ Class (juniors).
The BWIA Cup will be contested over the 300, 500 and 600-yard ranges.
The long range championship will be shot over the 0 and 1000-yard ranges by teams of eight.
Slowe said he is not sure if the GNRA would be able to get the Singer Company to continue sponsoring the Singer Cup (long range), however, if the company opts out, sponsorship has been assured from another source.
Guyana are the defending Singer Cup champions.
For the duration of the championship, the Palma system will be used. Slowe explained that the Palma system is new to Guyana, but is used world wide and this will be the system at the World championships.
The respective team and individual winners will receive genuine Guyana gold medals while the second and third place finishers will receive silver and bronze medals.