As you know this is my favorite time of year because of the BC match. Held up in Chilliwack a short 3 hours from Seattle, it is beautiful country. With my newly bedded rifle shooting well I was ready to defend my 2011 win. I had no issues getting through the border with rifles except that I forgot I had a pepper spray on my key chain which I had to give up. Rifles okay, pepper spray not? Oh well. The match ran Friday through Monday and we had heard the weather on Friday was a 30% chance of rain. More like monsoon! It was just pouring. It did not stop all day. I had a rain coat and poncho to cover my gear but a fellow shooter loaned me some extra rain pants. I was so thankful to have those. I was concerned moisture would cause popped primers but I worked hard at keeping action dry. Every single thing inside and out was soaked at the end of the day. My hotel room had heated floors in the bathroom so the shooting mat and jacket were laid out there. Shoes, glove and what could fit were on ac vent and the rest was sprawled around the room until the next morning. Things were mostly dried out by Saturday morning and we woke to a nice day finally. The rest of the weekend was sunny and in 80 degrees. It is hard to be on your game when it is that miserable out but I managed to only drop one point all day. And that is with water drops and moisture inside my front sight. Saturday came and with the nice weather came some great shooting.
I managed to clean the entire day. Even back at 600 metres when it was rather twitchy mirage conditions I did not drop any points. I managed to have a high V count as well that day. Going in to day 3 with only one point down felt amazing. The interesting thing is that all though I cleaned most stages on Friday and was leading in the Grand Agg I did not win one single individual stage. Each stage of firing has a trophy. And then there are random aggs that are totaled on Monday. Saturday with my high V count I won every stage that day. Whew! Well on Sunday things changed a bit. I lost 3 points to wind changes. Gary Rassmussen was a close 2 points down from me by Sunday. But he had my Saturday. He also cleaned the entire day. I ended up dropping to 2 below him. Which meant there was some pressure to hang on. At that point, unless Gary had a very bad stage there was no way I could catch up. He was on fire and Monday only had two more strings of fire.
The last day of the match were two important stages. Each stage had an individual trophy and they were also a final match of two aggs. One was the Life Governors and the other was the way cool Lt. Governors Agg. The Lt. Governors is the one that the winner gets carried in The Chair. I won that in 2011. It is pretty sweet. This year was special. It was the first time in many years that the actual Lt. Governor of BC was attending to give out the winner’s badge at the end f the chair ride. The current Lt. Governor is Judith Guichon. On this last day they set the squadding up in order of place in the standings. For both matches Gary and I were numbers 1 and 2. They put us on the middle target on the range. If you are not aware of the international format of shooting it is that you pair fire instead of shooting by yourself in a time limit. So we shoot together on the same target and score for each other. Both stages were at the 600 metre line. Being early in the morning the lighting was very odd. It was bright sunny on us but shadowed down range on the target. Add to that a constant haze apparently
from wild fires in Central WA and possibly pollution from town they said. It was like that all weekend. I struggled terribly and could not find a zero. My elevation was all over. I dropped two points that string! I was deflated. I already knew I was behind from winning the grand agg but I certainly did not want to loose even my second place spot. I had to clean the final Lt. Governor’s stage. I had to do a huge mental check and put that string behind me. I was so nervous. Then I heard the match director say he was going to greet Her Honor Judith and bring her up to the line to watch the final match. Everyone was there. The head of the BCRA, Ed Fitch a retired Major General of the Canadian Army and other BCRA officials. Yikes! Then to make things more nerve racking the conditions were pretty brutal.
Looking through my spotting scope watching the string just before us the mirage and wind would change every 10 – 20 seconds. It was not super strong winds but they were constantly changing or stalling. One false move and you were just pushed out. I knew it would be important to find a condition I trusted and wait it out as best I could in the 1 minute time limit. Pair firing requires you to take your turn within minute. It used to be 45 seconds. So that extra time is nice. I found a 3/4 minute right condition and never turned the knob except once the entire string. Of course the one time I did turn the knob I got the 5 ring instead of the V-bull. The wind gods were with me on that string. I pulled off a clean with 12 V-bulls out 15 rounds. Talk about a boost to my mood. Gary still
cleaned the cleaned as I predicted so even with that score I could not catch up since I was one point behind. But I ended the match on a high note and I won that individual stage. Thank you Nosler for my uber accurate bullets! 155 gr match. Gary won the Lt. Governor’s Agg and we carried him on The Chair back to the clubhouse to Her Honor Lt. Governor where she pinned the Gold patch to his sleeve. Pretty cool. I was very excited to meet her afterwards. She told me she watched that string and was very happy for me. As busy as she is she was quickly taken away as quickly as she arrived. We broke for lunch and shot the last stage of the team event and then had the large awards ceremony.
Retired Major General Ed Fitch handed out the awards as he has done since I have come to this match. As you can see in the photo of all of the trophies presented, it takes awhile to get through it. Between four of us US shooters we won quite the lot of silver. I was very excited to have won the Scottish Claymore sword trophy. So I took home the Silver medal of the Grand Agg and Lt. Governor’s and won 8 other trophies for individual stages. I am hoping they will have the results on line any day now and you can find TR and F-class results. BCRA. I had a great drive home. I handed the US Custom’s agent my passport and 4456 Form as he asked my business in Canada. I told him for a rifle competition. He asked, “Well?” I said I got 2nd! “Well done” he said. Handed the passport back and said welcome home.