The Fausti /SA Wingshooters . Christmas Shoot

By Neil Harmse

The Fausti / SA Wingshooters Association Christmas shoot, to be held at Hippo Creek Shooting Centre situated at Vanderbyijlpark, was scheduled for the 15th November 2014. The Fausti agents Entramarc (Pty) Ltd, provided two Fausti Conrad shotguns to be raffled on a limited ticket basis and the proceeds would be donated to the Wingshooters Youth Training Shooting Programme, to promote the future of the sport with the young shooting enthusiasts.

Over 120 guns registered to shoot on the day, which is more than most CTSA, COMPAK Grande-Prix, or National Competitions. It was going to be a very busy day and needed careful control and organising. Thanks to Andre Van der Westhuizen and the team from Wingshooters, everything went off smoothly and the day was a great success.

The day started off overcast and showery, and as registration was to be from 08.00, we all wondered if the shoot would have to be cancelled. The weather was just not playing with us, but the shooters, always optimistic, bravely entered their names in the various teams and were determined to sit it out waiting for the rain to clear. Coffee flowed freely to warm the hearts and souls and a wary eye was kept on the clouds, looking for that patch of blue sky which would give us hope. There was talk of postponing, and setting another date early in the New Year, but the die-hards advocated waiting until at least 11.00 before making a decision.

Miracles… at 10.30 the clouds broke and there was hope that the shooting could begin. Guns were unpacked and the teams moved off to their allocated starting stations.

Entramarc, the Fausti agents had arranged that Station 3 was to be a 28 gauge ONLY shoot, and for this they provided a Fausti Conrad in 28 gauge, and sponsored Hull ammunition for the teams to try this little known and underrated gauge.

For some of the shooters it was the first time they had handled a 28 gauge, and some had never seen one before, so shooting this gun was a novel experience for the majority of entrants. Everyone was pleasantly surprised at the fast and easy handling of the gun, and the effectiveness on the clay targets launched for them. Quite a few of the men had wives and girlfriends with them so the ladies also had a chance to try this great little gauge, and were surprised at the light recoil and pleasant handling. It looks as if some guys will have to dig deep into their pockets for a new present for their ladies. Many of the seasoned shots also enquired about this great little Fausti 28 gauge, and are looking at this as a welcome addition to their collection.

The Hippo Creek range offered a challenging selection of shots from the various stations including a 50 meter tower which simulated pigeon shooting at its’ most challenging. As the last two teams were completing their final shots, the thunder clouds rolled in again, but fortunately they managed to complete their rounds and get to the club house as the heavens opened and the rain came down with a vengeance.

Inside the club house the atmosphere was comfortable and everyone had a chance to socialise, discuss the days’ shooting, talk about shots missed and whatever wingshooters and sportsmen find dear to their hearts when sharing a good day with kindred spirits.

By this time, with a few sips of that special amber liquid, or whatever the fancy, under the belt, everyone was looking forward to the fabulous lunch spread that Jim van Zyl and his team had prepared for the crowd. And what a spread! Roast beef, pork, lamb, chicken, potatoes, and salads. Something for everyone’s taste, and topped off by ice-cream and chocolate sauce for desert. Quite a few belts had to be loosened a notch or two.

After lunch the call was made to gather ‘round for the prize giving, and there were prizes for almost every participant. There was even a prize for the worst shot, who shall remain nameless, a case of ammo to get more practice!

Then came the moment all had been waiting for..: The draw for the two Fausti shotguns which had been supplied by Entramarc for the raffle. The numbered disks were placed into a leather cartridge bag, to keep in with the spirit of the day, and given a good shake to mix the numbers well.

Tim Hubner, the current World Champion, was called on to do the first draw. As he stepped up, there was a hushed, expectant silence, and the first gun went to the lucky number #48, held by Dr Neil Hayward of Claremont, Cape Town.

For the second winner, one of the ladies was asked to draw, and the second lucky number was # 104 held by Henry Playne of Saxonwold, Johannesburg.

Hearty congratulations to both winners, may you use your Fausti shotguns for many years with pride and pleasure. Good shooting to both winners.

Finally to end the days’ procedures, the proceeds of the raffle, a cheque for R34,000 .00 was handed over to Andre van der Westhuizen, CEO of SA Wingshooters , by Athol Murray of Entramarc (Pty) Ltd. This donation will be available for the Wingshooters SA Youth Training Shooting Programme, to help young upcoming shots who hold the future of the sport in their hands.

Hearty thanks must go to everyone involved in making this day a great success, and with the hope it will become an annual event to look forward to in the shooting calendar.