Benchrest Match Report
May 4th, 2013
Today’s event was where the skilled exercised their experience, and the new experienced the “great equalizer” as their friend.
The day started off bright and early with the crew beginning the set up around 0630.
As folks trickled in from all over the state to test their skills against each other, we opened up the lanes to begin the sight-ins. Immediately we recognized that this day was not going to be a handout, and the winds would certainly challenge us all.
Registration started at 0800, where every participant received their official 2013 match t-shirt, which was carefully selected in a desert friendly kaki 50/50 blend, perfect for today’s temps in the mid 90’s.
Shooters randomly selected their benches from Kerry’s poker chips, and we divided the relays into two sets of three back to back relays. The determinate of who shot first and second was based on the shooters sign in time. Early birds shot first.
We started at 50 yards, based on the fact that the wind usually picks up in the afternoon. We didn’t want shooters aiming at one target to hit their neighbors when the winds kicked up.
The resulting scores were not as stellar as those bechrest folks who brag about 250/25X’s in zero wind indoor environments! However, here is where the crew pulled up their big-boy pants, stepped up to the plate, and shot with skill and finesse rarely seen.
For those who are not familiar with our range, it is arguably one of the most challenging ranges in the country. The Bernoulli effects are everywhere... from the incline of the shade cover, to the side berms, to the field berms, to the plateau effect of the high-power range location, to the wind shift of the surrounding area canyon effect. Three different wind directions with every flag down the range! Winds were unofficially clocked at 5 to 11 mph during the match.
After the 50 yards were shot, we braked for some refreshing catered Chipolte Mexican food, chips, guac and salsa that prep’d us for the next relay. Sodas and water were served ice-cold to everyone. Unfortunately, as much as a cold beer would have been nice, regulations prevented us!
With fattened stomachs, and the post-lunch relaxed state, we motivated ourselves right into the next Match at 25 meters. Scores dramatically improved in correlation with the morale, and we heard a significant decrease in grunts, moans, and sighs we heard at the 50.
Things were moving forward. Certainly a long day of shooting. Once we wrapped up the 25, the daunting task of scoring began. Although we started early with the scoring, the cards kept stacking up. A big shout-out goes to Steve, Ted, and __ who stepped right up to help with the hanging-chad scoring.
After that was completed, we had our award ceremony, and crowned our state champions!
We had plenty of medals to go around, awarding for both the best-of the 50y and 25m, in Open, Heavy Varmint “Twenty ft/lb”, Springer, and Junior Classes. High senior (awarded with a fashionable grey ribboned medal).
After the awards, we stepped right into the raffle!
A big thank you goes out to Airguns of Arizona for a gracious donation of three air rifles, an enormous amount of pellets and accessories, a very generous donation to the club. 3GunGear, owned by Mark Buchanan (who happened to be in Hawaii with his wife celebrating an anniversary) donated merchandise, and purchased the club medals for this shoot!. A Lapua rep came out and donated two specialized range time slots, that help fine tune your rifle to olympic accuracy! Finally a surprise donation, from Sportsman’s Warehouse. They donated to each shooter a $30 gift certificate!
We wrapped things up just close to 6pm with shooters well exhausted, and a fun time had by all.
A warm hearted thank you to everyone who participated and to those that contributed to make this the outstanding event it was.