On Sunday 13th July, Ed Solomons was crowned the World FITASC Sporting Champion after shooting 191ex200 at Vale das Pedras in Portugal. Ed led the event from the first parcours to the last, and was 2 shots clear at the finish. I sat down with Ed, to get a few words on his win and the event.
ShootClay : Firstly Ed, congratulations on a stunning win. How does it feel to be crowned World Champion?
Ed Solomons : I’m over the moon. Very pleased with my performance, which I don’t think was bad for a sporting shooter!
SC : Has the win started to sink in yet?
ES : Yep, it’s starting to – I had a day off to get used to the idea, and now I’m heading straight back to coaching work, but the World Champion title will always be there, it’s my first and no-one can take it away from me.
SC : What are your thoughts on the event?
ES: I thought it was good, well put together and well organised. The targets were definitely better for me than the European Championship at the same ground in 2012, with a few longer lead targets – I’d have been happy with even a few more, but it was a great shoot.
SC : Did you practice for this one?
ES : Nope, I took a week off to rest in Southern Portugal prior to the event, as I’ve been working flat out since the start of the year. I shot the British Grand Prix at Hodnet about a month ago, and one other FITASC at Westfield earlier in the year, but apart from those I wanted to be fresh and hungry for this one.
SC : Who helped you for this shoot, and all the other shooting you do?
ES : I’m really lucky to be supported by a great team. I have to call out Krieghoff for providing me with a great gun, Hull for my regular Pro-One shells, and Nick Truter at justchoking.co.uk for the Muller Chokes.
In terms of preparation I have to thank Ed Lyons who looks after my eyes with his Sports Vision Service, he recently tweaked my prescription in my Oakleys and gave me super-human vision! I also have to mention Henry Hopking who helps me with the mental side of my game, and was available on the end of the phone all week to keep me focused and ready. Both Ed and Henry were the perfect people to have in my corner all week.
Finally – I have to thank my family and friends, who give me tons of support and keep me level-headed!
SC : What is next for you?
ES : Well, straight back to work coaching, but then I’m looking forward to the Troy Foods FITASC Classic at Westfield at the end of July. I like Steve Lovatts targets, so I’m really excited for that shoot.
SC : So, you are already back coaching, what advice would you give to aspiring shooters?
ES : Firstly, keep plugging away, keep shooting. Take a common sense approach and be realistic about what you are good at, and what needs improving. When you discover what you need to work on, make sure that you get a good coach and focus on those techniques and shots you need to improve at. My article about finding the right coach has some good advice to help you find the right person.
SC : The FITASC World Championship has been won by 4 different shooters in the last 4 years, what do you think that says about the top competitions?
ES : I think it’s very exciting, there is a pool of about 40 shooters that can compete for the top spaces at the big events, maybe 10 or 15 from the UK, 10 or 15 from the US, and the remainder from around the world. So it makes these World and European events even more exciting with a bigger pool of shooters able to win. The competition has never been hotter, and that makes it fun!
SC : Finally – a couple of lighter questions. You spend a lot of time travelling around to shoot, what is your favourite ground?
ES : That’s an easy question for me, I really love Grimsthorpe a ground which shows some amazing targets, in a beautiful setting, and it’s run by great people. I also love Sporting Targets and Kibworth – I coach at both, and spend so much of my time at those grounds that they feel like second homes!
SC : And then one last question, if you could handpick any shooters to join a dream squad – who would you choose?
ES : That’s a tougher one, so many good shooters – but I think I would have Dave Carrie, Sean Bramley, Guy Hoh, Rob Russell, and Rosie Brumby. That would a fun day out of top shooters!
SC : Thanks Ed, once again, sincere congratulations from everyone at ShootClay on winning in Portgual and bringing the World Championship home.