Thrilling FITASC finale
1000 shooters took part in the four-day competition across eight layouts, which they attacked in different orders, at the Northbrook Sports Club near Chicago. At the end of the first day, Giuseppe Calo, Jari Rajala, Zach Kienbaum and Gebben Miles were leading with 49, with Ben Husthwaite close behind on 48.
Next day, Miles pulled out a lead of one target over Rajala and Calo (97), and Mark Marshall took over as the leading Brit with 96. Husthwaite (95) wasn’t out of it, but a 22 ex 25 had cost him dearly.
The lead changed again on Saturday, with Jari on 145, but Miles and Calo were close behind on 144 with Husthwaite and Marshall just another target adrift.
Mark Winser was rapidly climbing up the ranking and George Digweed was just three targets off the lead, but he faded on the two toughest layouts on the course, Caesar Guerini and Beretta, where he scored a 20 and 22.
Jari could do no better than a 19 and a 21 so it was game over for him, while Calo put in 22s to finish on a mighty 190. Marshall dropped just four but it wasn’t enough and he finished on 189.
Will Fennell, Husthwaite and Miles all had a mathematical chance of taking the win but it would require a superhuman effort to get the job done.
Will got close with a 49 but it was Gebben who led the host nation’s charge, carding a pair of 24s on Remington and Connecticut Shotgun to lead with 191.
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Meanwhile, Ben was already out on the course, pushing hard for a 193, but dropped three to finish equal with Guiseppe. Winser would need the magical 50-straight to win the title, which would require him to straight Winchester and Guerini. He duly got the job done on Winchester but dropped four on Guerini which put an end to his impressive run.
Husthwaite fought it out with Calo for the runner-up spot and finished victorious, ending up two targets clear of the Italian to make it a pair of Krieghoff K80 shooters on the podium.
In the team events, GB had mixed fortunes: silver in Vets thanks to Stephen Grant, John Pool and Graham Stirzaker and bronze in Ladies (Becky Bream, June Speakman and Pet Easton). In Juniors and Seniors we could do no better than fourth, and in Super Vets we came fifth.
Becky Bream finished 4th in Ladies on 170 while Graham Stirzaker (183) took Vets gold, with John Pool being the next highest GB Vet in 8th place on 176.
For more information and full scores, visit: www.fitasc.com