As I am typing this there is a US Rifle Team contingency in New Zealand competing. The World Long Range and Palma Championship is next year in January of 2019, but there are members from all of the countries that go the year prior to check out the surroundings. The World Long Range Championship is hosted every four years in a different country. This is the shooting world’s Olympic Games. Every country involved in Palma has their own Long Range Nationals every year also. On a year that they are hosting a World Championship that then takes the place of the Nationals during that year. Right now our US group is competing in the New Zealand Nationals as a practice for next year. Did I just confuse you? Hopefully not. I am spending this year practicing and competing as often as possible with two goals in mind; to be accepted as a member of the 2019 US Palma Team and win the Gold Medal and to win the Individual Long Range Championship. Only 16 people are chosen to shoot on the Palma Team. It is a tough and competitive group so it is quite an honor to be chosen. I was an alternate at The Worlds in 2015 held in the US. So it is my goal to make the main Team for next year.
There are two main events this year where US Rifle Team members can try out and practice. One is at the end of the Berger SW Nationals and the other is later this year at US Long Range Nationals held at Camp Atterbury in Indiana. At the end of US Nationals the official Palma Team will be chosen. Then it is a mad dash to get rounds loaded and shipped to New Zealand in time for next January.
Thank you to Sierra Bullets for supporting the US Team in this effort. We load our own rounds and ship them to Sierra and they package and ship them all together to New Zealand. They deal with all of the Custom’s regulations. You have no idea what a wonderful thing this is. We then just have to travel with our rifles. The airport police department at the Auklund airport will be prepared for hundreds of competitors from all over the world to arrive. In the mean time, I will be at the range practicing. A lot.
I shot well in the 2015 World Championship but I want to do better and I know I can. I will go out there and do my best. I will get out my Lanny Bassham book “With Winning in Mind” and get to work. I will be at as many matches as I can this year around the country and Canada and my weekly practices at my local range. I will be going through lots of ammo!
Stay tuned here as I share my journey toward New Zealand World Long Range and Palma Championship. This year will be busy, challenging and oh so great. Thank you everyone!!