Match Report by Tyler Patner
The Field Target season is finally underway here in Northeast Ohio, and we have a great turnout at our first match of the year. Initially scheduled for April and rescheduled due to the unpredictable weather, we ended up having some stellar weather for the match. Temps were in the low/mid 60s, and the sun came out in full force a few lanes into the match.
With 26 shooters in attendance, we had our normal match briefing from Tyler (wearing a sombrero to celebrate Cinco de Mayo) and everyone set out for the field course. The course was set on the long side, with an average target distance of 37 yards, but thankfully, most targets were sporting full size kill zones. This was a relief to most, considering there were some very tricky and sometimes strong winds blowing through the lanes. The course difficulty was a 29.8T before wind was factored in, and a 33T after wind. It was a great test for the first match of the year, and very humbling to say the least.
With many of the vines dying that kept some lanes well protected from wind last year, the wind took its toll on everyone. It seemed to be constantly shifting from left to right, and it became clear early on that the wind on target was different than the wind on the firing line. Early on in the match, the sun came out and sent the dandelions in the open field sections of the course into full bloom. Yellow targets became almost impossible to pick out in the sea of yellow weeds. It was quite a site to see.
Tallying the scores, we had a few shoot-offs to decide the fates of two classes. In Hunter PCP, Bill Rabbitt and Jeff Little tied with scores of 51/60. In Hunter Piston, Ed Loaskie and Dan Putz tied at 43/60. We set two targets, one 3/4" KZ at around 40 yards and another 1.25" KZ at around 50 yards. One shot per target, if you hit the first target, you moved onto the second, simple. Dan went first, hitting the first target and missing the second in some very tricky wind. Ed was able to hold his nerve and match Dan on the first target, and then was able to outfox the wind on the second target to take the win for the day. Congrats Ed, great shooting! In Hunter PCP, Jeff went first, taking down both targets with his new to him Steyr in quick fashion. Bill stepped up but could not match Jeff on the first target as the wind kicked up, giving Jeff the win. Very well done to both of you.
With our Hunter classes decided, the other class winners were Keith Walters in Open PCP. Keith shot his new Thomas very well, putting up a 51/60 (matching Bill and Jeff's scores in Hunter). And in WFTF PCP, Tyler Patner scored a 52/60 for the match high score. Also, a big shout out to Maddex Belmont shooting a 40/60 in the junior division. Juniors take 4 shots at the close target on each lane, which was no easy task on this course considering some of the "close" shots were in the 40 yard range. Maddex shot well enough to take out his Dad, Mark, by a few shots. Nicely done!
Thanks to everyone who was able to make it out, we really enjoyed the day and it was a great way to kick off the 2019 season. Our next match is just two weeks away, on May 19th. We look forward to seeing everyone there.