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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 1:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:21 pm
Posts: 2102
Location: Greater Napanee, ON, Canada
Canadians at the US Nationals 2008
Wilmore, Kentucky
A team of seven Canadians had been looking forward to attending the US Nationals in Kentucky for some time. This was the largest contingent of Canadians that has attended a large match outside of Canada. There was plenty of excitement and varying degrees of nervousness.
Some of us met at the motel on Thursday evening and Dennis and I ended up going out for supper with a few of our American friends. We had great food and caught up on what had been going on in each other’s lives. Ray and Hans Apelles filled us in on their connection with Crosman and the developments on the Discoveries they would be shooting in the match. They could not tell us everything, but what was said certainly was interesting.
All of the Canadian crew were able to get to the club on Friday to do some shooting, familiarize ourselves with the club and reunite with old friends or make new ones. We were able to walk the courses to get an idea of what each section was like and I am not sure if that was a good idea. After plenty of shooting on the sight in range, we headed back to the motel.
Don Carkhuff joined Chris, Dennis, George, Don, Tom P. and I for supper that evening and we had a great time exchanging stories and ideas. We all returned to the motel fairly early, as the gates at the club were opening at 7:00 AM and the match was set to start at 8:30 AM.
The wet weather that had been forecast was no longer a threat on Saturday morning, but the wind certainly was a factor. Chris, Dennis and Ted headed to the Red Course, Tom and George to the Blue Course and Don and I headed out to the open field on the Green Course. The Green was in the open, while the Red and Blue were in the woods, but certainly not immune to the effects of the wind.
The Green Course was tough, but I also had a miserable day shooting as a combination of nerves, the wind and an inability to get a steady hold plagued me the whole morning. Don shot the Green course very well, as his score indicated. By the end of the morning, the wind had picked up and the temperature was approaching ninety Fahrenheit. Ted, Dennis and I struggled on the first course, but the other four Canadians shot well.
Southern BBQ was served for lunch, including, beef brisket, pulled pork, ribs, beans and salads. It seemed appropriate to have a nap after, but we had to start the second FT course right after lunch. Some were carrying dessert as they walked to their starting lane.
By the afternoon, the wind was blowing harder and the temperature rose well into the nineties. Tom and George went out to bake on the Green course. George had some trouble with his gun which pulled his score down, while everyone else shot well or very well.
After the shooting on Saturday afternoon the host for next year’s Nationals was announced and Texas will be the location. The AAFTA auction was held and three great guns that had been donated were auctioned off to the highest bidder. They raised a nice chunk of change for AAFTA.
We then headed back to the motel to get ready for a BBQ supper at Sonny’s restaurant that was across the road from the motel. About 90 showed up and we had a great time eating and shooting the breeze with folks from all over the States and Gary Saunders from England.
On Sunday morning we again avoided the precipitation, but the wind tried to compensate. Dennis, Chris and Ted had to go out on the Green Course where the wind was beyond anything any of them had shot in before. In spite of that, they performed well. The rest of us in the woods, had some protection from the wind, but it was certainly a factor, knocking down branches and walnuts that found their marks more than a few times.
Don, Chris and Tom shot quite well on each course and ended up with good scores. George, Dennis, Ted and I all had one course that was well below the other two courses. George and Ted were able to hang in and get awards in the Piston and International Piston Divisions and Chris won an award in the International PCP Division. We all felt we should have performed better, but I guess most of us feel that way unless we clear a course.
We were treated to another great southern BBQ after the shooting and this one lasted quite a while, since the matches were over. There were lots of discussions about equipment, that crazy target way out there with the tiny kill zone and all kinds of things related or unrelated to shooting. It was a great time.
After all of this, there was a three way shoot off in the Piston Division and then awards were presented. Lots of pictures were taken and people started to say their goodbyes to some that had to leave early. Many stayed around till close to supper time and then, reluctantly, we headed our separate ways.
For me and I am quite sure, all the other Canadians, a great time was had at the US Nationals. The host club (BGAC) put on a great match and the food alone was worth the trip. The courses were very difficult, but the best shooters won, as they usually do. Any shortcomings in our shooting styles were amplified, which will help us work to correct them. We will all become better shooters from this experience
Will I start setting courses this difficult at our local matches? No. This was not a local match; it was a National event and certainly felt like one. We are building field target in Canada and will continue to have targets through the full range of difficulty. After a match, we hope a new shooter will feel encouraged and a veteran shooter will feel challenged. I believe field target should be fun for all involved and will continue to set courses with that in mind.
Field target is a great sport and if you have wanted to participate, but hesitate to come to a first match, just jump in with any gun you can bring. Hit some targets and knock some down and you will wonder why you waited.
Tim MacSweyn

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 4:41 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 12:47 pm
Posts: 1726
Location: canada
Great report Mac! Glad to see us Canadians can hold our own. Did everyone jog home to work off all that BBQ? :lol:
Texas eh?! :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 6:46 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:21 pm
Posts: 2102
Location: Greater Napanee, ON, Canada
Texas is a bit of a hike for next year's US Nationals, but the Michigan guys are talking about hosting the Great Lakes 100 next season. The club is just 25 minutes from the border at Detroit. They put on a two day match, with 50 shots per day. In the past it has been a great match, with anywhere from high twenties to fourty shooters showing up. On Saturday they had BBQ your own steaks with all that goes along and on Sunday one of the club members cooked half chickens for everyone. If they bring that match back, it is possible that a third or more of the shooters could be Canadian That would be great.

For anyone that has not attended a really large match, this would be a great transition match to prepare for a real large one.

Once we know for sure if the Michigan guys have set a date, one of us will let everyone know

Tim

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:25 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 11:45 am
Posts: 2099
Location: Southern Ontario
Thanks for the report Tim.
The match in Michigan sounds like it would be a blast. Texas is definitely a long hike, but it is a trip I just might have to make :wink:


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