For the first time in the 22 year history of the World Championship Still Target Shoot, the event had to be stopped due to adverse weather conditions.
The event, always scheduled for the first weekend in October, was taking place for the first time at the Palmetto Shooting Complex in Edgefield, South Carolina, a new shooting facility developed by the National Wild Turkey Federation.
Friday morning began with temperatures in the mid 50s and a steady drizzle, nothing too unusual for early October in the midlands area of South Carolina. Weather conditions began to deteriorate rapidly however with high wind gusts and harder rain. The wind was making it difficult to keep targets on their stands long enough for contestants to shoot them.
Contestants look forward to this event all year, some traveling a circuit which includes regional and state shooting events, to prepare them for the World Championship. Many travel hundreds of miles and schedule their time to include the championship shoot. Officials are therefore very reluctant to delay or stop the event due to weather conditions.
As the morning progressed, it became very apparent to everyone that conditions were worsening and reports from weather services of a state wide emergency situation prompted a meeting of all contestants for an announcement from NWTF officials.
Weather predictions for South Carolina included the warning of “1000 year” flood conditions and a state-wide emergency condition had been proclaimed by the Governor. Winds exceeding 30 miles per hour were also predicted.
Given those conditions, and in the interest of safety of all concerned, the event was called at approximately 1:00 p.m. on Friday. It was the right call.
The World Championship will be rescheduled at a later date to be announced.