To all the guys at Hull


By Tim Hubner

To all the guys at Hull,

Hope my mail finds you all well. Firstly I’d like to thank you for your continued support throughout this year. Secondly I’d like to give you a brief rundown of the 2016 and upcoming 2017 shooting season. The last year was filled with ups and downs, but I’ve got big aspirations for the year to come.

In December 2015, the annual Chairman’s cup was held at Altandiwe; eight of South Africa’s provinces as well as a team from Zimbabwe competed for the prestigious title. The event consists of the 3 top ATA trap, Olympic Trap, NSSA Skeet and sporting shooters of each province working as a team to win the title. Chairman Cup is South Africa’s most esteemed event of the year and has been running since the 1970s.

This event does not award individual achievements but recognizes each discipline respectively as well as the team as a whole. I have been part of the Free State sporting side for the last 9 years of which we won the sporting category 7 times. You’ll be happy to know that for the last 5years all the sporting contingent has been avid Hull shooters!  The Free State won the overall title for 2015, which we’ve only achieved once before in 2007.

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Two of my most memorable shoots for the 2016 season was the South African Championships in English doubles and the South African F.I.T.A.S.C Sporting champs. At the doubles I managed to set a new SA record of 197\200 and break a long standing SA record by 14 targets. In the sporting I successfully managed to defend my title of SA champion with an 8 bird margin!

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What made the 2016 SA F.I.T.A.S.C sporting champs so much more meaningful is that my good friend and student, Ettiene Bouwer (seen in the picture on my left) managed to grab the bronze metal competing against some of the best shooters in South Africa.

He only started shooting competitively in 2014 and has grown in leaps and bounds in that time! Michele Cicognani (seen on my right) is also a sponsored shooter that has been competing on the international circuit since he was a junior.

 

I’ve attached the article posted in our local clay target magazine in reference to the before mentioned South African record that I broke at the Doubles championship. 

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We had the privilege of competing against one of the best clay target shooters on the World circuit. He joined us for a local COMPAK-Sporting Grand prix earlier the year. Andras Szerdahelyi is sponsored by Gamebore Cartridges and is an ex-World Compak champion and Double European F.I.T.A.S.C sporting champion. Andras and I have got to know each other the last few years on the international circuit and I regard him as a fantastic shot and a great friend.  

What made the Grand Prix special for me was that both Andras and I managed to shoot a score of 195\200. This was a bit of “dejavu” as it was the second shoot off we had against each other. The first time was at the Estonian Grand Prix before the World Championship in 2015.  We also found ourselves tied on a score of 195\200. Unfortunately neither of the two shoot off’s ended in my favor, however, it will remain a highlight of my shooting career.


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In the last month we had the President’s Cup, which is the COMPAK equivalent to the Chairman’s Cup. For the first time since COMPAK’s inception, the administration decided to have an awards ceremony which was held the night before the shoot. Having been ranked 1st in COMPAK-Sporting in South Africa, I was presented with National colors for 4 out of the 5 years. I was, unfortunately, unable to make the Compak World Sporting champs 2016 held at EJ Churchill and thus didn’t get my colors for 2016.

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Please see the photo to the left from the award ceremony. The young man on the left, Gareth Booker, is also one of my students that I coached from a beginner shooter to a National team member.

An interesting fact is that 4 out of the 5 shooters in the photo only shoot Hull Cartridges. The fifth has recently moved to shooting Hull with a bit of persuasion. 

2016 was the first year since 2007 that I was unable to compete internationally, however, despite not being able to represent Hull globally, I have been actively promoting and advertising locally; on and off the shooting range.

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At the local competitions we try and advertise Hull and Fausti with the aim of improving the awareness around the brands, however, due to certain competitions being sponsored by other brands it hasn’t always been possible to put up direct advertising. I think that Hull may benefit from offering a sponsorship for a certain events as I have seen the benefit and exposure that some of the other ammunition brands are receiving by actively sponsoring competitions.

I am also actively involved with promoting the brand to the wing shooting community, as you know; I am an avid wing shooter myself and look forward to getting out in to the lands from November until March to do some Rock pigeon shooting.

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I have outlined my ethos below and believe that it aligns well with the branding and promotion of the Hull brand;

1.     Good sportsmanship on the shooting ground; excepting your loses as happily as excepting your wins.

2.     Respecting other brands of ammunition in the market. I don’t believe in bad-mouthing a competitor’s product. A superior product will always be reflected in the results; when Hull shooters do well, Hull’s sales do well.

3.     Helping your fellow shooter to the best of your ability. If you give someone sound advice about which products to use and honestly try to support them in improving their capabilities, I believe they will support you and your product.

I find branding is a great form of advertisement and a great point of conversation to someone who is not a competitive shooter. One of the strangest places I managed to find a client for Hull Cartridges was 20 kilometers out to sea on a fishing trip. As you know it is very seldom that you will find me not wearing a branded Hull cap, and on this trip was no different. The skipper of the boat noticed my hat and enquired as to what ammunition Hull manufactures, weather it was rifle or shotgun cartridges? I explained the whole Setup of Hull Cartridges in the UK and SA and with much excitement he inquired if Hull does any 20 gauge ammunition. Obviously my reply was that Hull is the most consistent importer of all gauges of ammo and would more than likely have stock. Six Months after our return from the fishing trip in Mozambique I had cause to popped into Entramarc and low and behold I bumped into the skipper of the boat buying some 20 gauge ammo for an up and coming pigeon shoot!

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 The Skipper of the boat is on the far left, his name is Fridell and he is now a Hull cartridge shooter.

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I have had a fantastic 2016 shooting season and am hoping to wrap the year up on a high with 4 major events before the clay shooting Calendar closes for 2016.

1.     We have our Free State F.I.T.A.S.C Sporting open in Vanderbijil Park this coming weekend. It has proven over the past few years to be a challenging event with some very tough and technical targets

 

2.     On the 12th and 13th of November, a first time event known as “South African ultimate Clay shooter”, will be held in Bloemfontein, This event has been very generously sponsored by a private individual. His idea is to shoot 75 Sporting clays, ATA trap clays, Skeet targets and universal trench targets and to combine all these scores to determine the best all round shooter in South Africa. I have been practicing my standard disciplines as well as my sporting to try and achieve this title.

 

3.     Sterkfontein shooting academy will be hosting the South African Compak sporting Champs on the 19th and 20th of November. It will see a huge turn out as this is always a premier event on the Compak SA shooting Calendar. As I have managed to win two of the three SA Champion titles this year, it is going to be an important event for me to try and achieve a hat-trick!

 

4.     Last but not least is our Chairman’s Cup is coming up again and will take place in Port Elizabeth on the 26th and 27th of November, were the Free State province, will hopefully, defend our title from 2015. The provincial sporting team will also be trying to make it win number 8 out of the last 10 years.

 

As for the 2017 calendar, I am hoping to continue supporting and participating in the local shooting arena and carry on developing and coaching local talent. I am very excited to shoot some international shoots and am currently considering the Word Championship in FITASC Doubles that will be held in San Antonio, Texas next year April.

The PAN-African competition will be held in Bloemfontein next year. There is always a good international turn-out and next year will prove to be no different. As I’ve competed in the grand prix which was held at the President’s cup I will be vying for the African Cup at this event. The PAN-African will also act as the first leg for me to qualify for the World Cup. The second leg will be the World Championship COMPAK-Sporting in Signes, France next year August.

My fiancé, Jandri, is getting back into the shooting and is also hoping to make the team for the World Championship. The last time we competed in the team together was in Portugal 2007 and I’m looking forward to hopefully being team-mates again next year.

I hope you guys will continue to support me in these upcoming events and that we can continue this working friendship. I have honestly appreciated the support and encouragement that you have given me so far. Without your support my rigorous training wouldn’t be possible as I truly believe that passion, dedication and hard work is the key to my success so far. I will be forever grateful for what you have done and continue to do for my shooting career.

Ps. Please send more hats, mine is well-worn!

Kind regards and best wishes,

 

 

Tim