Thursday, August 28, 2008

Steel Challenge world championships - Part 3

It seemed to be a developing trend that mornings were arriving far to early every day, and Friday morning was no exception. KeeWee and I slurped down some coffee and assorted breakfast-like things, then loaded up the Pontiac SUV and headed out to the range to watch the Centerfire Limited shooters have at it.

When we got to the range they had the rimfire results posted, so we eagerly read down the list to see how I had done. I knew I had done better than last year, but how much I may have moved up was the question. I was hoping to be somewhere around 35th or 40th thereabouts, and that would be a nice improvement and a realistic placing. The score sheet for Rimfire Open Division showed me in 24th place overall! I was also the top "Distinguished Senior" overall (Some places call it Super Senior). Most of the shooters above me on the list were thirty or forty years younger than me! If the weather wasn't already getting hot I would have done a Happy Dance the full length of the range! WOOOO HOOOOO!!! All the practice I had put in prior to the match had been worth it!

Happy Birthday, Gunny!

One fixture at every World Steel Challenge match is Gene Ramey, "AKA Gunny". Gunny was, and still is, clearly a Marine. He runs a tight ship and is a truly outstanding range officer. In spite of demeanor, he also has a very subtle sense of humor, and a lot of funny stuff might slip past if you weren't listening. However, heaven help you if Gunny sees you not listening! It was also Gunny's 80th. Birthday, so a belated Happy Birthday to one of the best RO's in the business!

Rob Leatham waiting for his turn at the plates.

Rob shot well enough to take 6th. in Limited.

Dave Sevigny Glockin' his way to 4th. in Limited.

Tatsuya Sakai shows his unusual style with great success, good enough for 8th. place in Limited.

Todd Jarrett shows that if you are good enough the gun is optional!

After a hot day out at the range spectating, we headed back to the hotel for some air conditioning and refreshments. Friday evening the National Shooting Sports Federation was hosting a buffet dinner for all the shooters and family, and we sure didn't want to miss that!

The Hilton Garden Inn has a central courtyard where they set up the tables, the appetizers, and the refreshments. One thing about Southern California is the pleasant late afternoon and evening temperatures. It's too hot during the day, as far as I'm concerned, but the evenings are absolutely wonderful!

KeeWee having a glass of soda. That's Mike Fichman, co-founder of Steel Challenge, in the plum colored shirt in the left rear.

They even let a couple of "Old Guy - Gun Bloggers" hang around for a while. (Mr. C. & Michael Bane).

That's KeeWee sitting next to Heidi Thomas. Next to Heidi is Dave Thomas, the head of Steel Challenge and USPSA.

The food was good, and the stories went well into the evening. Everything broke up fairly early, though, as tomorrow was the Open Division competition, the showcase for the Steel Challenge match, and everyone wanted to be at their rested best before the match.

-- End of Part 3 --

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