Canadian National Field Target Association Championship
Hosted by the Port Colborne Field Target Club on July 27th & 28th, 2013
Match Report by Tim MacSweyn
Just when you think things cannot possibly get better, that is exactly what happens. Many others and myself just wanted the whole experience to keep going this year. We had the largest turnout of any FT match ever held in Canada and it was very obvious from the start that everyone was there for a good time. Many factors, such as the venue, course, weather and organization factor in the success of a match, but none are as important as those that show up and breathe life into everything. Many thanks go to all who attended.
Temperatures in the low seventies were ideal and the wind was quite light on Saturday, but a little trickier on Sunday, especially for the WFTF shooters. With cloud cover on Saturday, the course was darker than usual and some of the long targets were a challenge to find quickly and then to range find. The difficulty factors of the courses were not calculated, but I would guess both were in the mid thirties on the T-scale. Some said the white course was tougher and others the red, so it seems they were fairly well balanced. Thanks to all the guys who set out lanes and did a great job of placing targets in an interesting and challenging way. The rebar lane was particularly interesting thanks to our club’s 3d archery group who left out some target mounts that ended up playing a part on lane 16.
A fair number showed up on Friday to set lanes and to do some sight-in work. There was lots of help for setting up the gazebos, lanes and sight-in range and that is always appreciated. A group headed out for supper and later some returned to do a little more shooting until it was too dark to see the targets. A group camped out at the club and provided security for all the equipment. The coyotes sung them to sleep or kept them awake, depending on how they felt about the critters.
The WFTF divisions headed out on the red course Saturday and the open and hunter divisions attacked the white course. The reds shot the odd number targets and the whites shot the even number, a method that tends to equalize the courses.
The WFTF Piston class was the largest group at this year’s match and it did not take long to get a good race going. Four shooters were close after the first day and six of nine were over the 50% mark on a fairly tough course. Day two was a little different, as George maintained the high score to win the division, while Tom and Ted, who were sharing Tom’s gun, ran into some zero shifting. Two good shooters sharing a gun usually makes for a good race and this was no exception as they ended up in a tie that Tom eventually broke in the shoot-off for second. The race for fourth place was an interesting one with mother and daughter vying for the final plaque. Barb had a solid lead after day one, but a great shooting day by Nicole and a rough beginning on Sunday for Barb, resulted in Nicole edging mom out by one point. I know Barb was very proud of Nicole, a junior age shooter, and it probably went down the way Barb would have written it. Mike and Jeff both shot well and were quite close in the end. Relative newcomers to the sport, Ryan and Rick, son and dad, did some good shooting in a high-pressure match.
The popularity of the WFTF division was evident as the WFTF PCP class was the second largest class. Day one saw three shooters over the 50 mark and set the stage for a race on day two. There were also three in the forties, including John who just recently started shooting with us. James and Sylvain are quite new to the sport and did well on this championship course. The results on day two for the top three were in the same order, so Robbie is the Canadian champ, followed by myself then Joel for second and third respectively. Dave managed to keep his day two score up in the forties and took the final plaque in the class. Brian was not far off the pace, followed by John, who did remarkably well. James and Sylvain had a bit of a tougher day on Sunday, but both performed well.
After day one in the Open PCP class, it was looking like it had for the past few years, with Don holding a slight, one shot, edge on Len for the top spot. Magdy and Dennis were very close for the next two spots, followed by Sean and Salma with just one shot separating them. Day two had a few surprises, with Don dropping a few shots, but enough for Len to have a great day, dropping only one shot, and he was able to celebrate his first Canadian Championship win after two very impressive days of shooting. Dennis had another good day to place third, followed by Sean, who took fourth. Unfortunately, due to other commitments, Salma and Magdy were unable to return for day two.
The hunter division was down in numbers, but the upside was being able to have awards in three classes. The hunter PCP group had five competitors with three in the 90s on Saturday and two in the 80s. Everyone was shooting well. Whatever Bill and Greg did to prepare for Sunday, it sure worked, with both shooting well over the 100 mark. With two very good days, Bill is the Canadian Champion in the class and Greg took second. Marshall had a better day on Sunday and pulled ahead of Jess for third. Jess had two consistent and strong scores.
With three shooters in the hunter piston class, it brought the number of piston gun shooters to 12, something others and myself were happy to see. Larry put together two very good scores to take the very first award of Canadian Champion in the hunter piston class. Ken had a great second day and took second, followed by Jay who was shooting in his first match. All three of these shooters are relatively new and had impressive results.
The hunter junior class is the final one to report on. This is a very important class and I was happy to see the junior shooters make it to the match. Thomas had a good day Saturday and followed it with an even better day Sunday to take the first place award in the class. Gillian put two good scores together to take the second spot, followed by Andrew with two good and consistent days. Gillian was the top Canadian shooter in the class.
So that is the story of the match and scores, but definitely just part of the whole story of the event. I already reported on Friday’s activities, but another factor that punched up the weekend for all of us was, Travis, from Air Gun Source, showing up on Saturday and setting up a nice display of air guns and accessories. We were able to browse, pick up accessories, pellets and guns right in the clubhouse. Travis came out on the course with us, observing and shooting the breeze with many in attendance. Before he left, Travis donated some excellent prizes to our table, including a Webley Tempest that we raffled off. Field target shooters across Canada are fortunate to have a business support us so well and we are very grateful.
Port Colborne Canadian Tire, Smith Industrial and Westpier all contributed items to our prize table. Tuck’s Jewelers donated a watch that ended up being presented to Angie, my wife, who has been helping me with the organization of the match and taking care of all the money. She was shocked and very delighted to be presented with the gift. Many thanks go to the local businesses that supported our National event. Thanks also to Marshall who did the legwork on getting the local businesses to donate. George brought some colourful hats donated by Shooter’s Choice from Waterloo, so thanks to Shooter’s Choice and George.
The prize table is certainly one of the highlights each year and this one was no exception. Each participant was able to pick up at least three prizes and a few were able to pick a fourth. The Port Colborne FT Club donated about 60 of the prizes, which I have been picking up throughout the year whenever a bargain presented itself. From Range Burlington, Don brought two complete shooting packages, including a 2240, red dot, CO2 and pellets. Thanks to Range Burlington and the Port Club. Much to the horror of a few individuals, Joel donated a couple of his dreaded quarter inch reducers. Thanks Joel.
Angie and Janis Joe again took care of organizing the meal for Sunday, getting everything set up and cleaning up the clubhouse. It was cleaner when we left than when we arrived. Thanks ladies; you are greatly appreciated.
I would like to thank the Port Colborne & District Conservation Club for allowing field target events to take place at this awesome venue. The grounds are great and the forest course is something you just have to see to appreciate. I feel very fortunate to have this club as my home base.