On Saturday June 10, 2017 a unique field target match was held at the Bayou Airgun Club (BAC.) A couple months in the making and after considerable consultation with Paul Plauche, Ray Apelles, Ken Hughes, Griff Crutti, and Jennifer Wylie, the 2017 “LA Worlds” match finally came together without to many difficulties.
The basis for this match was the 2016 WFTF Worlds match in Portugal and much about all the preparations had been kept a secret up to a couples weeks prior to the match. The idea was to give the shooters an experience that they might have encountered had they attended a “worlds” type match overseas; having never shot an international type of match myself I knew things could get a little messy, hence all the discussion and checks with the group of experts noted above.
Here are some of the particulars about this match before we see how everyone did:
• 40 targets across 20 lanes.
• All targets were a single-paint color…blue, white, yellow or black, and kz’s were either black or yellow.
• All targets were numbered 1 to 40 going from left to right across the range at the target placement.
• Smallest kz was 1.25” and largest was 1.75”
• 4 targets placed at equal to or less than 39 yards.
• 11 targets placed at equal to or greater than 50 yards.
• 25 targets placed between 39 and 49 yards.
• Average target yardage was 46 yards, and average kz was 1.53”
• 50% of the targets were between 35 and 45 yards, and 50% were between 45 and 55 yards.
• 2 targets per lane, 1 shot per target.
• Each lane head had an 8.5x11” paper lane marker showing Lane # and the two target numbers for that lane.
• Targets were shot near to far in each lane.
• There were 2 Standing lanes and 2 Kneeling Lanes….8 shots total.
• Scorecards were an almost exact duplication of those used at the Portugal match, and customized for BAC and Louisiana.
• T-Rating without factors for conditions and discipline shots was 30. With factors added in for discipline shots and wind, the T-rating was 40.
• Match began at approximately 9:15 AM and ended just before 12 PM.
• In getting the match set-up, shooting the match, and then getting it all taken down and packed up, (even with lots of help) I logged over 24,000 steps, about 11 miles over those 2 days, as per my Fitbit.
Sixteen (16) shooters showed up on an almost perfect weather morning to a familiar FT venue but probably not sure they recognized much else, at least initially. After a slightly longer than normal “Shooter’s Meeting” and waiting for one last late arrival, the range line went hot at just after 9am. Skies were clear, the temperature was climbing out of the mid-60’s and there was a developing breeze blowing left to right across the range (which is very typical) and that lasted the entire match. There were slightly more “Cold Line” call-outs during the match than I would have wanted or expected, but thankfully none were for an actual target malfunction; most were related to strings, how the target was mounted to the ground, and to check to see if the target was functioning right because “Gosh darn I know hit the paddle but the target didn’t fall” sort of checks. All the targets performed properly.
Competitor Class breakdown looked like this…3 in PCP Open; 7 in PCP Hunter; 4 in Piston Hunter; 2 in PCP WFTF. As for the match results:
All in all I think this was a successful first attempt at a Euro style FT match. Comments ranged from “Had a blast” to “Wow I was humiliated out there today” the latter not being the intension at all. Really what was intended was to create the experience of what a Worlds match might be like in the event any of us ever gets to shoot on a big stage like that. That said, if we do get to do this again here in Cajun country, I think a re-distribution of targets and some closer distances might be in order…in fact, I have already started working on the next course.
Very special thanks to all those that helped make this match possible and I hope we get to do it again sometime.