Story & Photos by Johnny Cantu
he National Skeet Shooting Association’s World Skeet Championships were held at the National Shooting Complex September 27 through October 4, 2013. A number of memorable events took place and one incredible milestone was reached. Three new first–time World Champions were crowned at the World Shoot: Bailey Glenewinkel took the Doubles title, David Scott triumphed in the 12 Gauge Event, and Fred Tschantz garnered the crown in the .410 Event. Congratulations to these new World Champions!
The game’s all–time legend, Wayne Mayes, was honored with a ceremony that featured a special plaque laid into the walkway of the Shoot–off Stadium. From now on, every champion who takes his or her place on the winner’s podium will be standing on hallowed ground.
The incredible milestone I mentioned was reached by NSSA Hall–of–Famer and White Flyer’s National Sales Manager, Phil Murray. The milestone? Phil, with the 2013 World Shoot, attended his 50th consecutive World Skeet Championships! 50! I met with Phil during the Mini–World, and he looks ready to make another 50.
This year I asked Open HOA Champion and Lady HOA Champion, Mike Schmidt and Jo Ellen Collin, to give me their perspectives on the 2013 World. We hear first from Mike Schmidt:
“My experience in San Antonio was great. The weather was warm, in the 90s most of the time. It also was windy, but a good shooting wind straight into the field from the north or behind the field from the south (the skeet fields face north). This type of wind does not affect the targets nearly as much as a crossing wind, so the results were high scores — three 400x400s in the Mini–World and three 449s in the World Shoot.
“The competition was good. Shoot offs in the 12 and 20 gauge went into seven boxes. My personal shooting was good and got better as the week passed. I started out in the Mini–World Doubles with 100, only to go nowhere fast in the shoot off. Then I struggled through the next guns, only to see 100 in the 20 and again going nowhere in the shoot off. Then there was a glimmer of light in the .410 with a 100 and a Runner–Up win. Then it was back to disappointment, missing one in the Doubles and 12–gauge events in the World Championships. But breaking a 100 in the 20 gauge gave me my personal best year with the 20 gauge (1,797x1,800).
“I felt the pressure of shooting that day and was glad to be through it, only to be again disappointed in an early shoot–off exit. That night, I began to accept the reality I may not win a World Championship this year. I had a pretty good year of shooting but missed out on the 400x400s and needed to accept that this year was going to be just another rebuild year for me with my new Krieghoff, which has been very good to me. Then, the next day, it all came my way. I won the 28 for the second year in a row, and that felt really good. I just kept looking at the mistakes I had made in previous shoot offs and corrected them the way I thought I should, and it all came together.
“The next morning, I knew all was not lost and worked hard to shoot another 100 in the .410. This helped me find my way to the stadium field later that day and have a chance to win the World HOA Championship. I found myself tied with Todd Bender and Alan McCannon. Both are great shooters, and I knew it was going to take a bit of luck to win this one.
“The next thing I knew, I was very lucky. I won the HOA title in a short five stations of Singles! Then I finished up shoot offs earning Runner–Up in the .410 and 5th in the Champion of Champions. I also finished the World with a High–All–Around score of 548, for a Runner–Up win in that event after Champion Todd Bender’s 549. Todd had a very, very good World Shoot. He was out there toward the end of every shoot off. His performance was unmatched at this year’s World. He truly put on the best show of the week.
“As always, all the big guns were there, and they were busy. Seems to me a lot of Krieghoffs were bought or traded for. Good move, guys! They will not be disappointed; I certainly have not been. My Krieghoff has been a game–changer for me. But the best part of the week was the people. I really enjoy seeing everyone. I have found a lot of friends in my many years in the shooting game and will be looking forward to seeing them all again next season.”
Next, Jo Ellen Collin lets us in on her thoughts on the 2013 World Shoot:
“The 2013 World Skeet Champion–ship was quite an experience. I learned a valuable lesson at this shoot: Consistency pays off. “This was my ninth World Championship. I had shot 100s occasionally in the past at the World Shoot and had success at winning various events. I went into this shoot thinking I would need to shoot 100s in order to win an event. Instead, I shot 99s, 98s and 97s. Even though these scores were mediocre in my eyes at the time, they could all add up to a great win. Consistency paid off to yield the Ladies HOA Championship.
“I kept telling myself in the .410 to ‘Never Give Up,’ words my friend Ellen Nelms told me several years ago. It paid off. Thanks, Ellen!”
As most of you know, one of the greatest skeet shooters of all time passed away this year. Wayne Mayes was truly a great shooter and a great friend to the shooting community. Some of his closest friends gave him a 21–gun salute prior to shoot offs and the award ceremony Friday evening. The ceremony commemorating the plaque honoring Wayne was quite moving. There was not a sound from the crowd, and several were visibly moved by the experience.
The Briley “wand” (as we call them) voice releases were being used at the World Shoot, as well as other shoots around the United States. I have used them quite a lot but always seemed to see them out of the corner of my eye. For that reason, I have not always chosen them, but if my squad wanted them, I always agreed. Many referees in the World encouraged shooters to use “the wand” because they know how difficult it is to manually pull perfect targets consistently for each and every shooter. At the World Shoot, one of our squad members, Richard Funk, pointed out where it should be held, and that made all the difference in the World (a little pun). We asked the referee to always hold on our right side, and that did the trick for me. I love “the wand” now.
If you have ever shot at the National Shooting Grounds in San Antonio, you will know where the Dirty Dozen is located. When it rains, it can get quite muddy, and you grow several inches just from the mud that can accumulate on your shoes. This year when it rained, I was quite pleased straw had been put down on those muddy walkways to keep the slipping and sliding, as well as the overnight height adjustment, to a minimum.
The 12 Gauge Event at the World Shoot seemed to be a hot topic among the shooters. A few years ago, in an effort to end the shoot one day earlier, the 12 gauge was changed to 75 targets for an East event and 75 targets for a West event, with 150 targets for the Overall 12 Gauge. When I first began shooting, the 12 Gauge Event was held over two days, with 125 targets shot each day, and it was divided into the East and West. Shooters had three opportunities this year to post great scores — the East event, the West and the overall 12–gauge event of 150 targets. With shooters finishing up at about 6:00 p.m., you can imagine how late the shoot offs could run.
Shoot offs for the overall 12 gauge come first, then the West 75 perfect scores, followed by the East 75 perfect scores. Since I did not shoot a perfect 150 or perfect 75 in the West event, my shoot off was called at about 9:45 p.m. I thought about all the opinions I heard about having the 12 gauge go back to 250 targets and even my own thoughts about shooting 12 gauge on one day but shoot 125 rather than 75, which would mean only one shoot off, rather than three. But I don’t know, maybe that made me a tougher competitor to sit for three hours waiting for my shoot off. It certainly gave me plenty of time to think about it!
I came to really appreciate the staff at the World Shooting Complex. They were there in the morning before shooting began each day to load and set up targets, and at the end of the day they were there to clean up and set up for the following day. In addition, they helped ensure the shoot offs ran smoothly, and I just explained how long the shoot offs could run. Great team of workers!
This was the best World Shoot I’ve been to. Lots of lessons were learned about shooting, dealing with distractions, focusing on targets, setting targets in the wind, etc. If you’ve never been to the World Shooting Complex in San Antonio, you should check it out. It is open to the public.
Thanks to the champions who gave us their perspectives on the 2013 World Skeet Shoot. For the complete list of winners, please visit www.mynssa.com. See you at the 2014 World Shoot!
12 Gauge Event Presented by Beretta
20 Gauge Event Presented by Browning
|Champion||Paul Giambrone III||100|
28 Gauge Event Presented by Krieghoff
.410 Gauge Event Presented by Remington
Doubles Event Presented by Federal
HOA Championship Presented by Kolar
|Lady Champion||Jo Ellen Collin||441|
|Lady Runner-Up||Cassie Douglas||440|
|Lady Third||Lindsay Plesko||440|
HAA Championship Presented by Winchester
Champion of Champions Presented by White Flyer
|Champion||Paul Giambrone III||100|