I shot the Area 5 Championship in a one day format which is the first time I have done that. It was also my last major match of the year for me which just sucks, stupid work getting in the way.
I arrived the day before and I got into town really early, so luckily my hotel let me check in so I unpacked the truck and took a nap. At about 5 was at the range and walking the stages. I ran into two members of my squad Casey Reed and Krystal Dunn (they are quite fun to hang with) and walked the stages with them. I found that the stages were well constructed and had a lot of longer shots and lots of partials or hard cover targets. Some swingers, some drop turners, a couple clamshells, and a mover. The stages were a mix of short, medium and long field courses, and while they didn’t have the track and field nature that Sherwyn’s stages at Area 3 have, there were still a couple that required you to move some distance.
Woke up Friday to a thunderstorm that delayed shooting until after 9am. First stage I shot in the rain with bagged targets, the second stage the rain was stopping and I was the last shooter to shoot bagged targets on my squad. After that it was a nice day, with some cloud cover or sun, not too hot, but a bit muggy. I left my Oakley’s in the truck and it was a long way to the truck so I just used my cheap ass clear safety glasses and they kept fogging up. Going to need to throw some Rain-X wipes in the range bag. Also didn’t take my cooler with me in the cart as I assumed that they would have water at the stages, I was wrong. Luckily I was squadded with James DeLambert again, and his dad Bob came prepared and saved my butt with much needed water. Thank you Bob!!
So my first stage was stage 6, and I shot it okay. I did shag one Delta on the stage, but my my time was pretty sporty. I believe the Delta was on the swinger, which was bagged and made it difficult to determine the center of brown. They were also classic targets which have a smaller A zone.
Stage 7, had a mike on a hard cover target, about 1/4 inch too far. Time was decent but the mike dropped me to 10th place on the stage.
Moved to Stage 1 which was a stand and shoot. I do remember that I grip wasn’t the best from the holster, so I didn’t shoot it as fast or clean as I normally would have. I had a make up or two on the steel, but I ended up 5th on the stage.
Stage 2 was in the same bay as Stage 1 so just a quick hop over to the next side. 3rd on this stage. Was a bit slow to start, but then I burned down the plate rack pretty decently.
Stage 3, 1 charlie on the entire stage. My time was great, except for two little bobbles that slowed me down. One was I almost forgot where a target was and I didn’t transition directly to it. The second was I shot a target twice which then made me have to wait for the swinger to come back. I was about 4 seconds slower than Casey, and I would have closed the gap to closer to 2 seconds if I would have programmed it a bit better. 6th on the stage.
Stage 4, good points a bit slower than I liked but I shot a hard cover mike on a close target on my last array. I saw it and was already transisioning to the next target so I came back to it at the end and it added about a second to my time which left me with 5th place.
Stage 5, still 3.5 seconds behind Casey, but managed 2nd place. I moved with a purpose and shot well. Long run, but fun. Need to remember to check the doors I am moving into, pushing them in from the hinge side does not make the door open quickly!
We did the lunch thing and then moved on to Stage 13. I just stayed at the stage and ate a bag of tuna and salmon. I walked the stage a bunch and came up with a plan, but Casey’s was better so I modified mine. I was down far in the shooting order so I spent a bunch of time programming. Still made a small mistake and lost approximately 3 seconds, which still would have been 2 seconds slower than Casey.
Stage 14. The darkhouse. I should have used the flashlight, even if I shot the stage slower, but didn’t shoot the mikes I did, I would have placed 3rd in the match. Instead, I tried to shoot it without a light and shot 3 mikes and a no penalty mike. 23rd place. El sucko!
Bused back up to Stage 8 and Chrono. Ran into Randy and Steve, and BS’ed with them for a bit. Shot the stage a bit slower than I could have, I had too many make ups on the steel. 11 place on the stage. Chrono’ed at 133 power factor with no issues.
Stage 9 was a little slower than I would have liked, but good hits kept me at 5th place.
Stage 10 was slower than I would have liked, had to pull a rope to shoot through a port that opened with the rope. I should have programmed the stage better. 10th place.
Stage 11 speed shoot that I shot too conservatively for time, and had a miss on a swinger. It was only a 40 point stage, so my placement wasn’t too big of a deal. 29th place.
Stage 12 pretty happy with this stage, but I could have shot a bit better in points. 3 deltas, but I was only 2.5 seconds slower than Casey on a major field course. I liked it! 3rd place, Les Kismartoni was 1.5 seconds slower than me but had better points.
In all I really enjoyed the match, probably my favorite major match I have shot to this point. Great challenges, fun stages and good people.
Ended up in 5th place in the match. Lost 3rd place by .38% and 4th place by .24%. If I wouldn’t have pooched the darkhouse, I would have been 3rd place at an Area match. Still managed 1st A class.
Time to train – harder, longer, faster, stronger.