Yukon marksman lands national title

Competing at the 2010 Canadian Rifle Silhouette Championships in Kamloops, BC, Whitehorse's Nicholas Rittel not only won titles, he broke one national record and tied another.

Competing at the 2010 Canadian Rifle Silhouette Championships in Kamloops, BC, Whitehorse’s Nicholas Rittel not only won titles, he broke one national record and tied another.

However, the 19-year-old still sees room for improvement.

“I did OK. I could definitely do better if I pull it together,” said Rittel. “The last day I just had a good streak. I got 38 out of 40, which is awesome!”

The six-day competition wrapped up the weekend before last with Rittel winning the national title in the small-bore hunter class plus two match trophies, two gold and six silver medals for his divisions.

For the title, Rittel shot an aggregate score of 103 out of 120 over three days, breaking the previous record of 103. On the third day, he shot a 38 out of 40 to tie a Canadian record.

Rittel’s silvers came in the small-bore standard classes.

“The standard class is a heavier gun and it has a lighter trigger-pull,” said Rittel. “The hunting class is supposed to be a hunting gun, standard class is more of a target gun.”

Also taking in the overall junior title in the small-bore hunter class, Rittel has now competed in four national championships even though he only started shooting for four-and-a-half years.

“This is the first time I’ve won first overall,” said Rittel. “Last year I got first in one match, but the other times there was one guy that kept beating me. I beat him this year.

“It was very warm and dry, which is not good for the high-power class because the heat makes everything horrible,” continued Rittel. “With the .22 it doesn’t change too much; the bullets don’t really do much. But with the high-power (guns) the heat makes the bullet rise – when the temperature drops the bullet goes a lot lower.

“When you’re shooting the big guns, the bullets are more affected by the environment even though they’re going a good 2,500 feet a second.”

Rittel’s success at the nationals comes on the heels of success at home, where he won all but the standard class at the Yukon Silhouette Championships last month.

“I started with an air-gun and then my coach said I should try another one,” said Rittel. “I tried the air-gun because my neighbour, was into it, and then my family decided we wanted to go try shooting, but I’m the only one who stuck with it.”

Rittel is not the only Yukon sharpshooter making news.

In June at the Alaska Speed Shooting Championships near Fairbanks, Whitehorse’s John Simmons – the only Yukoner entered – won the overall championship title.

Pelly Crossing’s Danielle Marcotte was recently chosen to be Canada’s only shooter to compete at this month’s first ever Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. The 17-year-old will be competing in the air-gun competition on the 23rd.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

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