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Canadian championships

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Big Heap, Jul 3, 2009.

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  1. Big Heap

    Big Heap TS Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    CALGARY - In the world of Canadian trap shooting, 23-year-old Patrick Lamont just might be the Wayne Gretzky of the 12-gauge.

    "He's a machine," says Larry Desjarlais, one of Lamont's fellow competitors at the 54th annual Canadian Trapshooting Championships, underway just south of Calgary near De Winton. "And you know what's really great about him? He's a good kid. There's no arrogance about him whatsoever."

    Lamont is one of the favourites among 177 competitors gunning for trophies and cash at the Calgary Firearms Centre, a sporting clay shooting facility set in the rolling hills south of Spruce Meadows. The competition has attracted American and Canadian shooters ranging in age from their early teens to marksmen into their 70s like Irene Rowntree.

    For her, it's not about the competition, but the comradeship. On Thursday, she was on the shooting line with her husband, Bob, both longtime members of the Carstairs Gun Club.

    "We've shot from Athabasca to Tucson," said Rowntree, 73.

    "Yeah, but they never let us win," quipped Bob.

    Like many in their sport, the Rowntrees travel to events that seem more like social gatherings than competitions. At this week's championship, which runs through Sunday, motorhomes and campers line the grounds at the shotgun shooting facility, set on a hilltop with a stunning view of the city skyline. Run by the Alberta Hunter Education Instructors Association, the year-round facility also boasts a modern clubhouse and automated "trap houses" that launch clay pigeons with voice-activated commands.

    Lamont, a Brandon, Man., shooting sensation, last year became the first Canadian in more than three decades to win the Grand American Handicap at Sparta, Ill., where he was also the all-around champion, breaking 399 of 400 targets.

    He also placed third in a shoot-off between three competitors in the clay target division, missing on his 550th shot. The two other competitors were declared co-champions after hitting 900 targets, after which the competition was called off and a draw declared. It was the longest shoot-off in the history of the competition.

    With such dead-eye accuracy, pheasant should fear him. But Lamont, who has been shooting competitively since he was 12, says he's not much of a hunter.

    "What I enjoy is competition. My dad, he's the bird hunter," Lamont says.

    Trap shooting, an Olympic event, involves using a shotgun to shoot at a clay disc that is about 1½ times larger than a hockey puck from distances ranging between 16 and 27 yards, the standard international measurement in the 200-year-old sport.

    The discs, or so-called "clay pigeons," are launched in random directions at a set speed of 67 km/h by a mechanical device known as a trap.

    The sport consists of three disciplines: singles, handicap and doubles. In singles, competitors shoot from five positions at 16 yards. In handicap, shooters are assigned distances of up to 27 yards based on their ability, much like a golf handicap. In doubles, two targets are launched simultaneously, with the object being to break both targets.

    Desjarlais, who also sells shooting apparel and accessories, says the sport has difficulty attracting young shooters like Lamont, in the same way that hunting struggles with an aging demographic.

    "There are a lot of rules and regulations around gun ownership and it's partly the economy. It's not a cheap sport," Desjarlais said.

    Competition-level guns used by top shooters like Lamont can push $20,000 in value, but almost any shotgun can be used by less serious enthusiasts.

    It's also nowhere as easy as it looks, as one humbled journalist with a last name synonymous with firearms discovered on the practice range with competitor and shooting instructor Lloyd Smith of Outlook, Sask.

    Spectators are welcome and results can be found at 2009cdntrapchamp.com
  2. miketmx

    miketmx Well-Known Member

    Jan 29, 1998
    Thanks Big Heap, today Pat Lamont broke 100 in the Singles and 99 from the 27. Martin Lecuyer broke 98 from the 27 for Runner-Up in the Caps.
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