D’abord en débutant par quelques compétitions départementales et régionales puis en continuant par les championnats de France, où elle a d’ailleurs rencontré son compagnon, Guillaume Gay. Issue d’une famille de chasseurs et originaire…
Starting with some departmental and regional competitions, and then continuing with the French championships, where she actually met her partner, Guillaume Gay. Coming from a family of hunters and originally from Pas-de-Calais, she also shares this passion with her father and brother.
She quickly became fascinated with this discipline. « I already knew what it was like to hold a rifle in my hands because I have been hunting since I was young. But when I practice clay pigeon shooting, it gives me an adrenaline rush. It’s also a challenge to try to break as many targets as possible and compete with my friends (laughs), » the young woman jokes.
Arrivée en Charente en 2017, elle saute le pas des compétitions internationales un an plus tard, inspirée par l’homme qui partage sa vie depuis quatre ans maintenant.
« At first, I used to shoot just for the sake of shooting and having a good time with friends. However, starting from 2018, I really started to train more seriously in order to participate in competitions, » explains the member of BTC Saint-Médard/Saint-Pierre in Saint-Pierre-du-Palais, located at the southern tip of Charente-Maritime.
2022, la consécration
At 27 years old, this laboratory technician knows what she wants. She is so passionate about the discipline that she recently took over the shooting range in Saint-Pierre-du-Palais with her partner. The shooting range was originally created by her partner’s grandfather, Gérard Demay, in 1986, right next to the family armory.
Cette Charentaise d’adoption commence les compétitions sur les chapeaux de roues en devenant dès sa première année (2018) championne de France de Compak Sporting et parcours de chasse en catégorie dames B. Les trois années qui suivent, 2020 étant une saison blanche en raison du covid, n’ont pas été aussi fructueuses, avec seulement une cinquième place aux championnats de France il y a deux ans.
But with two training sessions per week starting in February, Marine Varlet has not spared any effort to make a comeback on the scene. She even traveled to Saur and Biscarosse in the Landes region to compete in series before the major competitions and achieve the ultimate goal: selection for the French team.
It is done. Last year, she achieved her first official selection and brought back the team gold medal from the World Championships in South Africa. Called up again for the national team this year, she achieved a fourth-place finish with the team at the world championships in Greece after placing third individually at the French championships.
Between perfectionism and doubts
« I am very proud to have stepped onto the podium at the France competition this year and to represent the tricolor colors, » she savors.
Because discipline requires a lot. Confident in her everyday life, the perfectionist young woman doubts a lot on the shooting range. « There is such a high level among women that I don’t think I am capable, » admits the shooter. « I try to reassure myself by thinking that if I have been selected for the French team for two consecutive years, I have nothing to prove. But on the other hand, I want to do well. Sometimes too much, and I put up barriers for myself. »
Aware of this weakness, the young woman is considering practicing sophrology to work on her mental strength and approach the upcoming competitions that will take place from mid-March to September: pre-selections and selections for the French team, European and French championships (Note: Finishing in the top three is required to qualify for the World Championships), and finally the World Championships.
To achieve this, complete dedication is required. Both personal and financial investments are crucial, especially with the rise in cartridge prices. However, the French federation and their club provide significant support.
« Thanks to the FFBT, the French team, the federal delegate, and the doctor who accompany us, we are very well supported. We truly have unforgettable moments during competitions, » Marine Varlet savors, proud to participate in a sport that is becoming increasingly feminine: « This is really positive. In big competitions like the World Championships, it brings more challenge. »
What is Compak Sporting?
The clay pigeon shooter who practices Compak Sporting is positioned within a metal frame that determines their position and restricts their movements. They must shoot using a shotgun at clay targets that are launched in front of them.
Similar to the discipline of Hunting Course, Compak is also practiced in the great outdoors, in vast wooded areas. It is an ideal discipline for beginners in clay pigeon shooting.