Target Shooting as a Sport, particularly Full Bore rifle shooting has been around for well over a century in our little part of the world. We reached our Zenith when it was introduced into the Commonwealth Games held in Jamaica in 1966, as it attracted the second highest number of countries entered; only athletics had more entries.
Since then it has not really grown but it just will not die mainly because there are a few fellows in Barbados ,Guyana, Jamaica ,Trinidad & Bermuda who are determined to keep it alive. Bermuda joined the fray in 1989 and Antigua last year. We all continue to send teams to Bisley, Connaught, and the Commonwealth Games but our Lifeline has been our Regional Tournaments, which started with the Anchor Cup in 1928.It has not been determined for sure why Jamaica was excluded. We can only assume that direct transportation (both sea and air) was none existent.
With the advent of Federation in the late forties, Jamaica sent a three man team to the West Indies in the early fifties. Also a West Indian team was sent to Bisley. With the disbandment of Federation in the sixties there was a lull in our activities but happily in 1973 the Benson and Hedges Cup tournament was introduced with six man teams from Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad shooting ten shots competitions at La Sieva over 300,500 & 600yds. This cup was shot for every year until 1996, with the venue rotating from Trinidad to Barbados to Guyana and finally Jamaica.
In 1978 the number of shooters per team was increased from six to eight and in 1989 the venue was changed from La Sieve to Tucker Valley.
A summary of winners is as follows:
Benson & Hedges Cup – (formerly the Anchor Cup)1973-1996
Jamaica 11 wins – 2 in Jamaica
Trinidad 6 wins- 3 in Trinidad
Guyana 5 wins- 5in Guyana
Barbados 1 win –0 in Barbados
Highest Score for Benson & Hedges 1146.126v- Trinidad
From 1997 to 2000 the Tournament continued but the name of the cup was changed to WITCO with the winners as follows:
Witco Cup 1997-2000
Trinidad 2 wins – 0 in Trinidad
Guyana 2 wins- 0 in Guyana
Highest Score Witco Cup 1155.107v Trinidad
From 2001 -2007 again the name of the cup was changed, this time to BWIA and the winners are as follows:
BWIA Cup 2001-2007
Jamaica 3wins- 0 in Jamaica
Guyana 3 wins – 1 in Guyana
Trinidad 1 wins- 0 in Trinidad
Highest Score BWIA Cup 1155.110v Guyana
The highest score so far since the competition started is 1155.110v shot by Guyana in 2007 in Guyana.
The second highest score is 1155.107v shot by Trinidad in Guyana in 1999.
Other accomplishments of significance are Ronald Brown Jr. perfect score of 150.24v.shot in Trinidad in 2001 and Richard Fields 150.17v shot in Guyana in 2007.The fact that the average winning score from the days of the Anchor Cup through to the BWIA is 138.3v to 144.4v per shooter on smaller targets, is due no doubt to better equipment and ammunition.
This cup is awarded to the marksman who shoots the highest score during the aforementioned matches. The most outstanding have been:
Benet Thomas- 1984-1986, 1998 4 times.-Trinidad
Ransford Goodluck 1995, 2002-2004 -4 times-Guyana
Edgell Carrington -1937, 1946, 1948 -3 times –Trinidad
Major(ret) Denis John Nelson – 1977, 1989, 1994, 2006, 2008 – 5 times –Jamaica
These have all been glorious years. Let us hope that the next 80 years will be even better.