EVERYONE (at least the 3-gun people I shoot with who have shot it) has been telling me about how awesome this match is. I found out firsthand how FREAKING AWESOME it was when August 20th came around and I finally arrived at the Rockcastle Shooting Center in Park City, KY. There I learned that the match sold out in, get this, TWO (2) SECONDS! There were close to 600 registered competitors in the match. That boggled my mind. Apparently 600 (and more who didn’t get it) were waiting behind their computers back in February, waiting for the clock to strike 8PM so they can hit the “Submit” button of their online registration. Someone told me that a friend of theirs hit the submit button 2 MINUTES later and placed 300+ in the wait list! Wowza!
The festivities that began on Friday afternoon through Sunday was unbelievable. I have been shooting all over the world for the last 22 years and the atmosphere and camaraderie rivaled that of the best World Shoots that I have attended. I think it also helped that the vendor tents, prize table, etc. was set-up on the resort grounds. People could drink (omg free beer!) after the match (thanks to the beer truck parked about 50 yards from the hotel) and not have to worry about driving back to their hotels. The free food didn’t hurt, either! It was great seeing everyone relax and have a great time after a long hot day at the range.
I was fortunate enough to have gotten in thanks to Kay Miculek and Deb Ferns. They were able to secure 50 slots for women for the 1st Babes with Bullets (BWB) 3-Gun Challenge… which will be on an entirely separate post.
My match went ok. There were a few but costly errors in my part because I just totally blew past (or forgot) targets in 2 separate stages. Ouch. But other than that, considering that I started back in April this year, I was ok with it. There were 8 stages in the Pro Division and almost half of it was high speed. The trouble with high speed, short stages is that if you make an error, it will cost you a lot of time. Your gains are small but being consistent will place you well in the match overall. Of course, my inner perfectionist self was lecturing me in a really disappointed tone the entire time. To be really honest, I am not used to the feeling of being mediocre at a match. It is truly humbling and it takes a while to accept that I can only do so much with my very limited experience with a rifle and a shotgun. The only way I can shake this off is to practice even more with it! Being someone who loves challenges, this will be a good obstacle to overcome!
The best thing I got out of it was shooting with the Pro Girls for the first time. I have known the Miculeks (Kay and Lena) for a long time and I shoot with them a lot back when Kay shot mostly handgun. Both mother and daughter are as phenomenal with 3-gun as they are with a handgun. Lena ended up winning the Top Lady spot in the Tac-Optics Pro Division and Kay finished 3rd. It was the first time I shot with everyone else. Dianna Liedorff of Team FNH finished the match 2nd lady in Tac-Optics Pro Division, Current IPSC Women’s Standard World Champion Randi Rogers of Comp-Tac finished with an impressive 4th place, one year into shooting 3-gun. Rounding up the list was the awesome Katie Harris of Benelli, one of the top women of 3-gun, who opted not to shoot but instead helped her dad, Joe, RO the squad; BWB Camp Director, Deb Ferns; JP Shooting Team’s Bethany Harris; Black Rain Ordnance’s Stephanie Payne and Lisa Munson (many, many, many, time National women’s champion in handgun) who was shooting her very first 3-gun match EVER. It was definitely a who’s who of the pro women shooters and I am very fortunate to have shot with them and learn so much from them. Joe Harris not only RO’d for us but gave some great tips and advice on where I went wrong and how to fix it. For that, I am extremely grateful!
I would like to thank Nick Noble and his family, the staff, the RO’s, the match sponsors, BWB and my sponsors (Armscor and Limcat) for making this match possible (and making it possible for me to attend the match!). And thanks to Rob at Red X Photography for the great pictures he took! You can follow him on Facebook as well!
It was hot and humid and we even got rained on big time when we shot but I definitely had a great experience at this match and made lots of new friends. I am definitely planning on being behind my computer when registration for 2014 opens!!