Derry awarded at IPSC titles
WHEN most people think of competitive shooting, they envision a person standing still, aiming at a stationary target or clay pigeon.
Not the QT and Ipswich City Council's latest Ipswich Sport Award winner, Pine Mountain's Paul Derry.
Derry received the award for his efforts representing Queensland at the national IPSC (International Practical Shooting Confederation) titles last month.
Derry describes his preferred form of shooting as "completely different to any Olympic sport".
Rather than standing in one spot IPSC shooting involves moving around an obstacle course shooting at a range of different targets while racing against the clock.
Derry made the Queensland team for the first time last year but couldn't make the most of his opportunity.
"I didn't shoot as well as I would have liked," he said of his debut at national titles.
"I choked a bit on the nerves."
It is understandable given the unknowns he was facing for the first time at that level.
"Every stage is completely different," Derry said from the Ipswich Pistol Club.
"You can't practice a stage you'll shoot in a match because it will be something you've never seen before.
"You get five minutes when you first get on the range to work out how you're going to do the stage.
"There could be something you've never seen before
"That means working out the best positions to do your reloads.
"It's a really tough memory game because a lot of times there are areas with hidden targets.
"If you don't fire from a certain spot you'll miss it."
There were no nerves when Derry got his second chance to represent Queensland at Sydney at Easter.
He won his grade and finished 15th overall out of more than 300 competitors.
It vindicated his approach to the course with his custom built John Connors 38 Super pistol.
"Some guys like to walk slowly, some run as fast as they can," he said.
Derry is a runner, often only taking a breath once he's completed the course.
Perhaps that was one of the reasons the stationary shooting disciplines were not for him. "I started out in ISSF shooting but it wasn't for me because it didn't tick the right boxes," he said.
"It's nowhere near as fast and has a hugely different level of skills."
Derry is now looking ahead to competing at the Australasian championships in New Zealand next year, for which his spot is "almost guaranteed".
Beyond that his long-term gaze is on the world titles in the US in 2014.
To get there he will rely heavily on a person who could be a major competitor for a spot on the four man Australian team.
Derry credits current Australian team member and soon to be Ipswich club member Dave McConachie for getting the best out of him.
"He's been great for my practicing," Derry said