Camp Perry – August 2015
For a minute I thought he was not human. Ben Emms of Australia kept powering through every yard line of the long range championship with perfect scores. When the rest of us got pummeled at the 1000 yard line on day 3 he still cleaned the string. He “finally” dropped one point the last day. I guess he is human after all. But for some dramatic effect he kept us on the edge of our seats during the shoot off. Two crazy shots of a wide two and a low 3 were nail biters. His last round for record had to be at least a 4 to keep the Gold medal from going to 2nd place finisher Nigel Ball from Great Britain. Cheers came from the crowd and especially his team mates when the final 5 came up on the target. Nigel had a beautiful target of centered shots and won the Silver and Matthew Pozzebon also of Australia took the Bronze Medal. Tom Whittaker and Bob Stekettee were also in the top Ten shoot off. Tom came home with many awards last night. A side story that I have to bring up was the introduction of each shoot off member. We were brought to stitches when the announcer butchered the pronunciations of the competitors and called Nigel Ball “Niggel”. This then morphed in to “Nickel Balls” and more. Sorry Nigel but you will forever be haunted by this.
The three top Lady trophies went to Sherri Gallagher for the Gold, Trudie Fay with Silver and Jane Messer of GB with the Bronze. We were rooting for Trudie all week as she also was down only one point. Her last string at 1000 was difficult but she still finished in the top 25 in the world. Sherri almost made the shoot off. She was in 10th place all day until the final results came in at the end and she was pushed to 11th. I was there when she had to call her bosses to say she “screwed up” and made the top ten shoot off and asked for permission to be late for work one more day. Although the 11th spot kept her out of it, she did stay for the awards ceremony to receive her High Woman Gold Medal and then hit the road for an all night 14 hour trip back to Golden Knights turf for work. Hard core girl!
Our US juniors (Under 25s and U21s) made a great showing this year. Two of them from my state of Washington were honored a couple of times. Michael Storer was 5th overall with a bronze medal in the U25 Luke Rettmer took the Silver medal in the U21. Brianna Rachinski was 5th overall with a Bronze medal. Nice representation Washington! U21 Gold medalist was Waylon Burbach of Wisconsin, Silver was Luke Rettmer and Bronze was Angus Martin of AUS. In the U25 Great Britain swept the top three spots. Jack Alexander won the Gold, Chloe Evans Silver and Gareth Davies the Bronze. Proud to say all of the juniors will be a force to reckon with in the future. They already are.
For my personal efforts I was mostly happy. I was down only point going in to the 3rd day. That 1000 yard line I had mentioned earlier shot my score down along with many others. I dropped 8 there. I redeemed myself some the final day and final string at 1000 by only dropping 2. I know many people struggled there so I felt pretty good about that. Looking at the final results this morning I finished 80th overall out of 400 some competitors. I was 48th in the 1000 yard Agg, I managed to be 25th in that Match 651 1000 yard stage that I dropped the two points in. 15th in Match 649 1000 yard. Not too shabby for my first Worlds participation. You know you are in a tough crowd when the first day at the 800 yard line there were over 250 cleans. If you dropped even one you were close to 300th! We were rained out of one string at 1000 yards. I just put my gear down on the line when the skies opened up and drenched us. I and my gear were soaking wet. Our hotel room had stuff laying out all over the place to dry. I shot the next two days with a damp glove. My spotting scope fogged up on me half way through a string the next day and I had to stop to take it apart for a few minutes. That entire rained out string was thrown out of the Agg. We never finished it. I can’t explain how nice it has been spending time in between shooting and scoring strings to hang out and visit with people.
Those of us in the shooting competition world know that these friendships are life long no matter what part of the world we are from. This has been a great distraction for me from the real world recently and I appreciate the existing and new friendships. I am realizing that the next few years may have some big trips planned that I need to start saving for. I want to go to Bisley next summer, South Africa is a must and possibly British West Indies in 2017 and then if chosen for the 2019 US Palma Team a trip to New Zealand will be in order. In S Africa I want to go hunting for the first time as well. I had enough safaris last time to last a life time. Today is a final practice day for the Palma Teams before those matches start tomorrow. I am an alternate so I will not be shooting but I will be on hand for plotting and verifying score keeping for the team. We have a strong selection for our US team and I know they will give it their all. Good shooting to all and may the best team win. GO USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Again, thank you to my sponsors – ESS Eyepro, Devil Dog Arms, Accu-Grip, Eagle Eye Precision and Lawson & Palmer!!