Manson gunning for IPSC treble

TWO DOWN, ONE TO GO: Gisborne pistol shooter Aaron Manson with the South Island IPSC trophy he won in Dunedin, adding it to his North Island crown he won in Whanganui. His sights are now set on the national champs and completing a treble. Picture supplied

PISTOL SHOOTING

NORTH Island International Practical Shooting Confederation IPSC title . . . tick.

South Island IPSC title . . . tick

And now for the big one — the International Practical Shooting Confederation New Zealand crown.

Gisborne shooter Aaron Manson will be chasing a unique treble when he competes at the handgun nationals in Rotorua later this month.

Manson followed up his success at the North Island champs in Whanganui with first place in the South Island champs in Dunedin.

“This (the nationals) is the only one I have never won,” said Manson, who was fourth last year in Rotorua.

“I’ve won the North Island and South Island titles twice. It would be amazing to have the three major titles in a year but after getting the first two it only gets harder, as no one will sit by and let you get three.

“They will all be training hard to win and half the field are overseas shooters.”

Unlike the NI champs, when Manson had to come from behind on the last day, he led the SI champs from the first stage and ended up with a 100-point buffer.

“It was one of the best matches I’ve shot in a while,” said Manson, whose partner Natalie Hawes was second in the open women’s and C grade divisions.

“Natalie had to use a Chaos (pistol) loaned to her by my sponsor Gun Supplies after her pistol was broken at the North Island champs,” said Manson. “She was only able to get in a small amount of practice using the unfamiliar pistol so she was pleased with her placings.”

The champs got off to a bad start for both before a shot was fired.

“We arrived in Dunedin but our bags of sports equipment didn’t arrive with us, so we had to go back to the airport in the afternoon to retrieve our gear.

“The weather for the first day was overcast to start with and colder than we are used to. Our second stage for the day was full of penalty targets. Only two or three of the 19 shooters shot the stage clean — no misses and no penalties.

“This stage set the tone for the rest of the match, especially for me as I shot it clean. That meant I could keep pushing, knowing I had a small lead. I was close to the start of the shooting order and thought if I could set good times and high points, the others following would have to keep up and that might force mistakes.”

The second day of competition was overcast with pending rain.

“The day started off the same as day one,” Manson said. “I was first-up on stage 12, which had a couple of moving targets.

“I wasn’t sure of the timing of them after our three-minute walk through a stage like this. It is better to be down the shooting order a bit so you can figure what other targets you can shoot after activating the moving targets before they become visible to be shot.

“I had a plan for the stage but it went out the window. Sometimes the pistol just knows where it wants to go and you just run with it, which paid off and I won the stage. For the rest of the stages I was in the top three on each one — my new Chaos was flawless all weekend.”

Manson had to catch an earlier flight home than Hawes so missed the prize-giving.

“Natalie sent me the results through while I was waiting at the airport. I knew I had won but to be so far ahead on points was a great achievement against our top shooters.”

Manson’s elation turned to disappointment when he arrived home and opened his gun case.

“My gun sight was smashed to bits. Air New Zealand won’t cover the damage to my sight but they have started an investigation to find out how the damage occurred.”

PISTOL SHOOTING

NORTH Island International Practical Shooting Confederation IPSC title . . . tick.

South Island IPSC title . . . tick

And now for the big one — the International Practical Shooting Confederation New Zealand crown.

Gisborne shooter Aaron Manson will be chasing a unique treble when he competes at the handgun nationals in Rotorua later this month.

Manson followed up his success at the North Island champs in Whanganui with first place in the South Island champs in Dunedin.

“This (the nationals) is the only one I have never won,” said Manson, who was fourth last year in Rotorua.

“I’ve won the North Island and South Island titles twice. It would be amazing to have the three major titles in a year but after getting the first two it only gets harder, as no one will sit by and let you get three.

“They will all be training hard to win and half the field are overseas shooters.”

Unlike the NI champs, when Manson had to come from behind on the last day, he led the SI champs from the first stage and ended up with a 100-point buffer.

“It was one of the best matches I’ve shot in a while,” said Manson, whose partner Natalie Hawes was second in the open women’s and C grade divisions.

“Natalie had to use a Chaos (pistol) loaned to her by my sponsor Gun Supplies after her pistol was broken at the North Island champs,” said Manson. “She was only able to get in a small amount of practice using the unfamiliar pistol so she was pleased with her placings.”

The champs got off to a bad start for both before a shot was fired.

“We arrived in Dunedin but our bags of sports equipment didn’t arrive with us, so we had to go back to the airport in the afternoon to retrieve our gear.

“The weather for the first day was overcast to start with and colder than we are used to. Our second stage for the day was full of penalty targets. Only two or three of the 19 shooters shot the stage clean — no misses and no penalties.

“This stage set the tone for the rest of the match, especially for me as I shot it clean. That meant I could keep pushing, knowing I had a small lead. I was close to the start of the shooting order and thought if I could set good times and high points, the others following would have to keep up and that might force mistakes.”

The second day of competition was overcast with pending rain.

“The day started off the same as day one,” Manson said. “I was first-up on stage 12, which had a couple of moving targets.

“I wasn’t sure of the timing of them after our three-minute walk through a stage like this. It is better to be down the shooting order a bit so you can figure what other targets you can shoot after activating the moving targets before they become visible to be shot.

“I had a plan for the stage but it went out the window. Sometimes the pistol just knows where it wants to go and you just run with it, which paid off and I won the stage. For the rest of the stages I was in the top three on each one — my new Chaos was flawless all weekend.”

Manson had to catch an earlier flight home than Hawes so missed the prize-giving.

“Natalie sent me the results through while I was waiting at the airport. I knew I had won but to be so far ahead on points was a great achievement against our top shooters.”

Manson’s elation turned to disappointment when he arrived home and opened his gun case.

“My gun sight was smashed to bits. Air New Zealand won’t cover the damage to my sight but they have started an investigation to find out how the damage occurred.”

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