In this case, it probably started last year, the 2013 season, when we had the opportunity to start trying to coordinate the calendars between the 9 clubs that make up the Minutemen League.
We had already put together, with the invaluable help of the BCSA FT Club and the EFTCC the Cross Catskills Challenge the previous season, and studying the logistics of a two day event made up of two one day events, other possibilities cropped up, among the foremost ones: A shoot between DIFTA and FTRPA.
Some negotiations had to be conducted because the new Minimum Troyer Average rule came into effect this year and neither of the Clubs was too happy as the pure number deviates from their "normal" shoots, but both Clubs complied and the shoot was possible.
Taking into advantage the close proximity of the dates between the shoot and Memorial Day, and going back in history to when Memorial Day was "Decoration Day", as a tribute to BOTH sides: Confederacy and Union, we decided to propose calling the shoot the "Mason Dixon Shootout".
LIttle did we know that our preparations would be interrupted by a business trip to Hong Kong and Thailand! LOL!
Still, Jet lagged and tired, the show had to go on!
And so started the adventure.
Because this year, Team Venezuela is planning on going to the "Open Euzkadi", they could not come to the NERFTC's, but they still wanted to come shoot with us.
We decided that the Mason-Dixon GP event would be a good opportunity to share the lanes with excellent shooters from South America and also a way to strengthen the ties that join FT shooters all over the world.
Because Team Venezuela needed a "Range Day", in order to prepare for the match because they had emptied their air tanks in prepration for air travel, we convened on the Friday before the match with Jan VandenBerg, from DIFTA, who very kindly agreed to stay with us the whole day for that "range session".
Giuseppe Avanzo, Luis Nevett. Veronika Ruf, Paul Bishop, Ray Apelles, Franco Porco, Jan VandenBerg and Juan Ugueto.
After a burger (or two , , ,), we returned to the range:
It is not common for the modern rifle shooter to learn how to shoot "on command". Specially the precision oriented shooter.
Trying to give everyone a small "taste" of what must have been to shoot in the Civil War, 3 squads were lined up. One made of the local non-committed shooters, another squad made up of those that had signed up for the Union, and a squad made up by those that signed up for the Confederacy.
Squads have to have one piston, one hunter and two free shooters. Two had to shoot kneeling, two had to shoot standing.
We all laughed our sides off. Here are some really good shooters and out of 12 shooters NO ONE hit a lolli-pop at 30 yards?
Let's try again!
See? it is not so easy!
The lolli-pop lines were advanced to the 20 yards line.
By the end of the day, and once scores were tally'ed, the places for the whole shoot were as follows
We again, give thanks to Pyramid Air Gun Mall, who so kindly contributed to this event!
Also thanks to ALL the shooters, those that shot with us the two days, those that shot only one day. ALL shooters are important part of this sport. It is what gives it variety, interest and keeps things fun!
Special thanks to our friends from Team Venezuela, that flew several hours and went through all their hoops and loops to be able to come shoot with us! Gracias Amigos!
As tired as we were, we have to say we had a ball organizing this GP and we are already looking forward to the 2014 Cross Catskills Challenge, that will be hosted in August by BCSA.
See you all there!
HM & VR