Monday, March 19, 2012

Western WildCats Matches -- Day 4

The 2012 gathering of the WildCats did not just fade quietly in to the night.  The  Storm finally came on Day 4 of the Western WildCats matches.  
   Heading out at 0600 Sunday for the range, the wife said: "You'll be home before I'm back from church".  She could have been right, as it was pouring rain, cold and windy when Rob Nabower and I headed north on the 101 to Ben Avery.   The Front from the long anticipated storm was just moving through, and putting an end to the first 3 days competition's perfect weather. We did see some clearing to the west and by the time we arrived at the range it was just cold, overcast and windy.  The Match would go on.
Jim Gaines shoots during the brief hail storm.
  In the Dewar match, I was cold and did not get comfortable, and even though it was an Any Sight match I dropped 3 on ea target and was already 6 down at the end.  The top half of the Ex class all fired 398, or 399 not letting the cold bother them. 
    The 100 yd match went about the same. All weekend I have lost most of my pts at the 100 yds line.  On the second 100 yd target I had just finished after shooting fairly fast, and it started hailing (pea size) for a couple minutes.  It was about 48 deg, with the wind now blowing about 13 mph an rising.  Still the really good shooters were shooting clean scores with high X counts. 
   During the Meter match (50m) the wind was high but steady and I noticed that my hold was better -- the scope's target dot was easily staying in the X ring, and after losing 2 pts to a gusts on the first bull, I was able to keep the rest well centered with 28 Xs.  
  The last match was the 50 yd match, and again, the wind was blowing 15mph or more with some gusts above that, but it was steady, not wavering around and if you shot with the flags blowing to the NE it was the same for every shot.  I was breaking the shots when the dot was just off the X line at 8 o'clock and they started landing in the center.  I also noticed that my hold was again very steady-- very steady.  For whatever reason, I was having the best hold I have had ever had.  The target dot was almost not moving --- I mean it was dead still.  I could actually hold the dot on the X ring without straying into the black.  Don't believe me?-- ck the result:  
Best hold ever -- 200 18x
  So, the last two matches of the day went well and that almost made up for the chilly weather.  My 50yd score was 400-34x and I still got beat in the EX class by Ken Nelson, who came in 2nd for the day in that class behind my neighbor John Giles whose 1596 was a great (Ex)score for the somewhat difficult conditions.  
  Ken Nelson's steady high scores over the 4 day tournament totaled 6375 pts, -- only dropping 25 pts in 640 shots.  Ken gets the EX win,  followed in a tight group by Barney Higgins, Allen Elliot, and John Giles. 
  Among the HMs, while there were many 1598's and 1599's for the day  Christopher Abalo (Army) was the only one to beat the conditions all day, and fire a clean 1600 (amazing).  Chris dropped only 2pts in the 640 record shots and is the 2012 Western WildCat Champion.  Congratulations to Christopher Abalo!  
Lones Wigger presides over the prize table
This was a fantastic tournament.Without a doubt, the Western WildCats matches are the best matches I participate in - period!  I can't wait till next year to do it again. Now, if I can just apply what I've learned here to next week's, St. Champ. 3200.  

Final Results 2012 WildCats matches --  Click Here 
Pictures (slide show) to be posted -- asap

1 comment:

NWOshooter said...

Wow! Talk about a field of hard-holding shooters! I'm hard pressed to think of another sport where the "average joe" can rub shoulders with so many elite athletes. I'm looking forward to more reports!