it will be a last minute decision. But it has more to do with changes in my life than with the specifics of this Nat's.
In some ways I do agree with some posters, for example: If I wanted to spend $1000 in two meals I can easily do that by driving 1 hour into Manhattan and REALLY get my money's worth in the meal, the wines, the place, and the company. Even $165 would buy an EXTREMELY fine meal at one of the "Medium" (but still 5 stars)restaurants. So much emphasis on food and ceremony is badly misplaced, in my opinion.
I think it is good that the RSSC was kind enough to let us all know what they think and intend to do, AS LONG AS THEY DO AS THEY SAY.
IF I were to go, I now know that I would have to prepare my own lunch and meals because "no special dietary restrictions can be accommodated". Fair and clear enough. I will stop somewhere and get something I can eat. Since, foreseeably, that applies also the "Banquet", well, that just makes the price of the banquet a total throwaway for me. That is MY problem and I have been warned.
It is alright also to decide how many forced positions to use, as long as they comply with the AAFTA guidelines.
I am not worried about altitude which, by the way, is around 2,130 FASL. If anything, springers loose a little bit of power when you go to higher altitudes, so I am fairly certain that even tuning "at the edge" the dryness and altitude would make the gun MORE compliant than less with AAFTA's requirements. BUT, here is one of the main disagreements: AAFTA DOES have a tolerance for ME's and MV's, so, setting a "hard line" is completely OUT of compliance with AAFTA's guidelines. Another thing on this vein is the usage of the LabRadar to "chrono" the shots. LabRadar works by doppler measurements over DISTANCE. Measurements at the muzzle are notoriosly erratic with airguns, specially those that have been equipped to be "neighbour friendly". The best location of the trigger microphone will be specific to each gun and it will be a source of contention. MUCH better would have been to obtain a Caldwell certified Chrono (certified to be accurate within 0.25% of accuracy) for $89 (or several) and be done with it. The most advanced technology is not always the most appropriate technology.
Another thing that goes CONTRARY to AAFTA and WFTF practices, as well as being inconsistent between what RSSC says and what they do, is the mandatory hearing protection laid down on the Range Safety Rules and Waiver. Latest rule changes in WFTF have made ANY HEARING OBSTRUCTION ILLEGAL. In the meantime the Range Rules and Waiver is a LEGAL document you sign when you register. So, even if they say in the advertisement page that hearing protection is optional, they do put it as mandatory on their legal documentation; will everyone need to buy an electronic peak dB cutting device? It is not the same to issue commands over a 60 yard wide firing line than to make everyone aware over an 850' firing line that winds and twists over the terrain.
I do applaud their commitment to bringing "live results", though assuming that EVERYONE has a 3G or 4G phone is a little presumptuous. Personally, I do not bother about scores till I am done, so having them in the Airgun Building is fine.
The "floating squads" sounds odd, but in reality works quite nicely. I think that is also a good idea.
I would SUGGEST marking and numbering ALL TARGETS. They are already taking the effort to set out the pads and all the signage, numbering the targets would go along much better with world class shoots and is just a little bit more to do (in the grand scheme of things).
Allowing ONLY the scorer to reset the targets seems like a good idea. It will prevent all kinds of distractions and corrections. BUT, this should also mean that the scoring duties are rotated, and therefore the starting shooter should also be rotated. Not easy to do if you are not used to it. Common practice in Europe.
I would also like to see the promise to refresh the Sight-in range targets AT LEAST twice in the morning stint and twice during the afternoon one. I see a reference to a schedule, but could not easily find it. Given the size of the range and the facilities, I would hope to see that the "sight-in" range is kept open at all times.
Last, but not least, is the requirement for an empty chamber indicator. While this is a good idea for firearms and PCP's it is absolutely useless and, even dangerous, for springers (unless one uses a break barrel and I have only seen TWO used in serious FT competitions).
As our sport grows and matures, those of us with "Country Boy" mentalities will have to adopt to more sophisticated users/shooters and more competition than camaraderie. Simple human evolution. We have a decision to make, we either adapt to the cash prizes, the vendor areas, the "pomp and circumstance" desires of the cut-throat competitors or, we take a step back, relax and enjoy the shoot for what it is.
After all the stupidities that occurred in Lisbon, the current trends in the rule changes in WFTF, and the attitude of the current "leadership", I am in the fence.
Let's just say that I am bringing out my 0.20" cal D54 out of mothballs for the time being.
Keep well and shoot straight!