Craig Simpson dethrones Benjamin to take top spot at Jackson Bay Sporting Clays, Aliana McMaster continues her winning streak

Craig Simpson dethrones Benjamin to take top spot at Jackson Bay Sporting Clays, Aliana McMaster continues her winning streak

Craig Simpson and Aliana McMaster were the top shooters last Sunday at the Jackson Bay Hunting & Fishing Club in Jackson Bay, Clarendon. Simpson, who secured 91 points,  had nothing but praise for the venue and the targets, while giving his victory speech.

While acknowledging that it was more challenging than he had expected, that didn’t stop him from putting in the mental work it needed to win. “The wind made it more challenging than you would expect, but still, there was something there for everybody. You had a mixture of targets, some of which were of international standards, testing the best of us. I’m happy that I came out on top,” he said.

Aliana McMaster, who scored 86 points, won the ladies section ahead of her mother, Wendy McMaster, with a score of 83, who was dethroned last year as the five-time national female champion. It was all love and support for the mother-daughter duo, as Wendy shared that at one point, she sensed that her daughter was withholding and she had to have a pep talk with her.

Wendy, after accompanying her husband to several bird shooting events in support before he took up clay shooting, said she eventually decided it didn’t seem that hard and she could try it too. She eventually ‘dragged’ her children into it.

For Aliana, while she has no recollection of the exact moment she decided to take up the challenge, she said being exposed to it eventually led to that decision. “To tell you the truth, I was just tired of watching. I was like, I’m going to be here anyway; I might as well participate. So that’s how I got into it, and I think it was maybe the following year that I did my first lesson”.

Fast forward to the 2024 event, and the duo both stated that they are not competing against each other; in fact, they are each other’s biggest supporters. “I’m not competing against my daughter; I’m really competing against all the men in the C class; she competes to win her class,” Wendy, who ended up in the third spot in the C class, shared.

Although, with a smile, she said when Aliana just started “to whop her bottom,” it was a little bit of shaky ground as she thought, ‘Looks like this girl plans to give me a run for my money!” She had no fear, as she said her victories made her proud.

Aliana quickly dismissed the rivalry as she stressed how much she admires and supports her mother in the sport. “I am her biggest supporter.”.

The day was an overwhelming success, and president of the Jackson Bay Hunting and Fishing Gun Club, Sean Clacken, shared that there was a big improvement from last year, with over 150 gunners participating. They also did things a little different for this year’s event. “We created our own trophies; they are all made of wood and have clay on them,” he informed, giving credit to the creators, Chris Lee and Woodman 876.

He also shared that improvements were made to the course as the gunners wanted a shorter walking course, which he informed was ‘easier but trickier’. “We wanted to facilitate those young to the sport, but at the same time give challenges to the more experienced,” he informed.

Sable-Joy McLaren, Senior Manager of group marketing for First Rock Group, title sponsors for the competition, is thrilled with the success of the event. “We’re very pleased with this year’s staging of the competition. The incredible talent and sportsmanship displayed by all the participants made this a great experience.” She continued “It’s actually FirstRock’s second year sponsoring the event, and this time around we supported in a more expansive way, by including other members of our Group, Ultra Financier, Century 21 Jamaica and Optimum Distributors.”

Among the other winners for the day were Liam McConnel with 79 points in the Hunter category, Brian Kong with 83 points in the C category, and Chad Ziadie with 91 points in the A category.