Camp Perry, Ohio
My fourth year coming to compete in the long range nationals and I finally got to walk up on the awards stage. Thanks to my awesome 4 team mates we won 3 national trophies and one of them may be a national record. I was honored to shoot with Brain Litz, Kevin Nevius, John Friguglietti and our coach Nancy Tompkins. In the Palma category we took home the Herrick Trophy and also took 2nd in that in Open. We won the Roumanian trophy and the biggy, The Port Clinton Trophy. Apparently we may the first Palma team to win this and our score may be a national record. We shot a 797/800 at 1000 yards. Not bad for iron sights and a 308 round! So I can officially say I have a national championship. 3 of them! I am thrilled! We had a great showing from a few of shooters from WA St.
Our junior shooter Natasha Pitre won Junior National Champion along with many other individual awards. She made it in to a shoot off for the Mustin Trophy and won. Talk about nerves of steel. Her first shoot off and she cleaned it. Natasha was the only person of the four to do that. Another
Washingtonian and a minor celebrity from the Show Top Shot on the History Channel Kelly Bachand won the shoot off for the Band of Brothers Palma division. He also won the Sierra national trophy for an aggregate of two strings at 1000 yards. I myself got in to the shoot off for the Doc Aiken Trophy. Eric Smith took first place and I came out with second place. My score earlier in the day to get me in the shoot off was a 200/200 with 10X. I was second overall in that list but the shoot off changes the field and gave me 3rd place nationally. I am still very happy with that. As usual Camp Perry has its traditions and stories.
It is great to come to this match each year and see people from all over the country as well as the world at times. We all have our favorite restaurants and places to frequent. One place you will run in to shooters is Toft’s ice cream parlor even after a filling dinner. As they say, “Ice cream. It fills in the cracks”. All though most of the food is not great in the small town of Port Clinton it is about hanging out with friends. It would not be Ohio in
August without a rain storm or two. It never seems to fail that on the Palma individual’s day we have the worst weather. The night prior it poured rain and thundered. It was still raining as I drove to the range. It stopped by the time we were shooting but the winds were coming straight at us off the lake at 15-20mph. The same conditions were there the next day for the team Palma day. This is the first time I was wearing a fleece and windbreaker here. It was actually cold. I think it was only about 50 degrees. With the wind blasting you in the face it did not make it better. The Palma match was not a good day for me.
I actually was not very upset. I was able to laugh it off. Sometimes you just have to. I was doing fine until I was at the 1000 yard line. I moved my front sight to it’s 1000 yard setting. I have been shooting it all week so I should know it by now. Well apparently not. I think I had a total brain malfunction. My first sighter came up a miss. My first thought was wind. Did I not have enough on? I added another 3 minutes but felt that was not right. A miss again. Crud. Now I had to get on paper for my first shot for
record. I got up and rechecked the front sight. It was fine. So I thought. I stared right at it. First shot for record was a miss again. I think I checked my sights 5 times. And yes that means I had 5 more misses. At that point I looked at my score keeper and laughed and said to turn in my card. I just needed to find the paper and see what the heck was going on. I got back to the front one more time and there it was like it had been the other times I looked at it. The wrong place. It was set for my 800 yard elevation. Really? The 1000 yard setting for me is at #35. The #30 notch has the number 30 written on the scale. I went to the notch above it rather than below. Geesh! Talk about a stupid rookie mistake. How long have I been doing this? Oh well, what are you going to do? I find it funny how closely people watch each other’s scores. The next day I had many shooters come and ask what happened. I was a bit embarrassed but not overly so. Stuff happens. There is always next year’s Palma match.
I want to thank all of the volunteers who make Camp Perry happen. All of the RO’s on the line and in the pits volunteer weeks of their summers to come here. Some have been doing it for 15 plus years. The matches at Perry start in mid July and go through mid August. That is a long time to sit in the pits. They deserve medals. Going to Perry is like to summer camp. You get to see friends you only see once a year. You eat bad food, don’t get much sleep and you get reprimanded by “camp counselors”, the RO’s. Next year and 2015 will be big years at Perry for the long range crowd. Everything is moving up a week to accommodate try outs and practice for the 2015 World Palma Championship which be held this time at Perry. We will have the regular US nationals and then an extra week for tryouts. Then we all head straight up to Canada for their nationals and the America Match we are trying to win. It should be exciting. Until next year.