(Match Report by Tyler Patner)
High winds highlighted this last match at NOA. Shooting on the field course, with a completely different layout thanks to the fine work of Jeff Paddock, the second match of the year was possibly the toughest yet. 27 brave souls took on the challenge presented by the wind. The weather was beautiful otherwise, with temps in the 80s all day and the sun beating down. The wind actually kept things bearable while you weren’t on the firing line. Upon sitting down at the firing line, you began praying to the wind gods for a break.
With winds whipping through the course at 15-20mph, constantly changing direction, the 31.2 Troyer course shot more like 34T. I can say with certainty, it was one of the toughest courses I’ve had the displeasure of shooting. Many of the mid-range reduced targets became extra tricky with the wind. The average distance was 33 yards and the course featured 11 targets over 40 yards. There were multiple times where I sat down at the line, with the wind going one direction, only to have it change directions 3-4 times before I was ready to shoot. Occasionally, you would get lucky and have a lull just long enough to get a shot off. This was the first match I can recall hearing those shooting 20 FPE talking about holding outside of the kill zone.
As the day progressed, the winds only increased. So much so, that one of the pop-up tents we had setup for shade in the field was ripped out of the ground just after the match concluded. No matter where you started on the course, the wind took a toll on all, some more than others. In Hunter PCP, Tom Himes showed up with the wrong pellets for his gun, but managed to put up a 48/60 and tied with Jeff Little for top honors in the class. More on the shoot off later. Ed Loaskie continued his winning ways in Hunter Piston with his TX200, edging out Dan Putz by just one shot. Dan brought along his wife Kristin, who did very well for her first time, putting up a 33 in Hunter PCP. We hope she will join us again soon. In Open PCP, Keith Walters shot a 47. Keith started the day very strong, but eventually the winds crept in on him and his Thomas, nonetheless, he had a good showing in just his second match shooting from a bumbag. In WFTF PCP, Tyler Patner took top honors shooting the match high score of 52/60...all without a windicator.
To settle the tie between Tom Himes and Jeff Little, a 1” KZ rabbit was placed at about 35 yards with another 1.5” KZ target at 45 yards. Each shooter had to hit the first target to move to the second. Tom won the pellet tin lid “coin” toss, and elected to go first. He knocked down both targets quickly, followed promptly by Jeff. I gave them the option of going to kneeling or standing next, Jeff yielded the decision to Tom, at which point Tom approached the line in the standing position. He calmly dispatched the first target, but did not have enough to take the longer target. Jeff stepped up, said something like “I’d be better off throwing the pellet” and was unable to match Tom on the first target. See the short video of the shoot off below.
We were treated to some tasty chili dogs courtesy of Ted Andro, who shot what I believe is his personal best with a 46/60 in Hunter PCP (way to go!) and lemonade for lunch. Awards were handed out after the shoot off and then we tore down the course. Thanks to everyone who came out for the match, the great attendance keeps us going! And a special thanks to those who come on Saturday to help set up and those who stay after the match to help tear down. Your help is greatly appreciated. We are looking forward to our June 2nd match with great anticipation and we hope to make it back into the woods by then.