All photos courtesy of Parrish Brian. The camera got soaked in the rain so the images suffered a bit, but the full set for the 2017 Carolina Cup can be found here on Facebook.
To read the first part of the article, go back to Part 1.
I started a new job about a month before this match. I had not been shooting as I was focused on coming up to speed at the new job. I had one floating holiday I could use for time off as I hadn’t earned any vacation days. So I didn’t shoot the match. I volunteered instead. The volunteers who do shoot the match do so prior to the match. This year that was on Thursday. The big smile in the photo above shows that I think any day on a range is a good one, even if you are not shooting.
This match is scored on paper. It’s a two part form so a copy can go to the shooter as soon as the stage is scored. The challenge is to remember NOT to keep the current score card at the top of the stack. If you do, the writing will go through at least 2 other scores card carbons. Ask me how I know…. It also is a challenge to keep them dry when running shooters in the rain. An umbrella works OK but it’s hard to juggle a clip board and an umbrella and paste targets. You can read scores just fine on damp score cards though so it works well enough.
We ran Stage 9 and Stage 10 in Bay 5. We had more squads come through Friday than Saturday. I believe their were 12 squads total for the match. I think the largest was 8-10 shooters and the smallest we saw was 4 shooters.
If you’d like to see a shooter bang out our stages, Ben Berry started on our bay and you can see both at the beginning of his match video. He shot Stage 10 first (the bread truck stage) and Stage 9 next (the standards stage). Rusty is calling the commands for both stages in this video of the entire match.
Stage 9 was a standards stage. There were 3 targets and the instructions were straightforward. The stage was limited. That means the shooter could not take any make up shots, only the exact number of shots required by the stage was acceptable. Start from the back shooting line. Shoot 2 shots on each of 3 targets. Reload. Again shoot 2 shots on each of 3 targets. The short version is “6 reload 6”. At this point, the shooter is instructed to reload and reholster their gun. Then we record the time for the first string of shots. The shooter moves forward to the next shooting line. Instructions are to shoot the same 3 targets but this time shoot one shot on each target strong hand, move the gun to your support hand and again shoot one shot on each target.After the shooter unloaded and showed clear we recorded the time for the second string. Then we scored the targets looking for 6 shots each.
And yes, there were a few shooters that didn’t follow the instructions. Any extra shots resulted in a procedural penalty. Then when scoring the target, we pasted over one of the best shots and scored the rest. Any shots taken with the wrong hand on the second string resulted in a procedural penalty. What was the most procedural penalties we gave?
On Saturday, Frank brought a score sheet back with 7 procedural penalties that was shot on Friday. it was my handwriting. He wanted to know if the “7” was correct. . I told him, “Oh yes, I remember that run. Once the shooter finished shooting, he just started laughing because he realized how badly he’s messed up.”
I walked Frank through the penalties: The shooter took a make up shot on string 1. That was the first penalty. Then the shooter shot all 6 shots strong hand on string two. There were 3 penalties for taking the second shot strong hand and 3 penalties for taking no shots with the support hand. I had two shooters do this. But that made a grand total of 7 penalties for one of our shooters. Frank shook his head, grinned in sympathy, and headed back to the office. He wanted verification and I provided it.
Stage 10 was shot inside a bread truck. There were 8 targets total. Two shots each. Instructions were: Start standing beside the driver’s seat facing out the driver’s door. Shoot one target straight ahead (obscured by a junk car). Turn and shoot two targets out the back of the truck behind a short hill. Move forward and slice the pie out the side window of the truck with two targets – each shot through the windows of junk cars. Move forward and shoot two targets directly behind the van flat on the ground and finally, turn left to shoot the last target far to the left of the back of the van. At this point any desired makeup shots could be taken.
Only one shooter shot this stage clean the entire match. It was challenging.
We had a wide variety of shooters: old, young, in jeans, in tactical gear, in shorts, in dull colors, in bright colors, with very short hair, with long hair & long beards, men & women. Only one of the shooters that passed through our stage seemed to be unaware of IDPA rules and wanted to argue about them. Otherwise we found the shooters to be safe and courteous. Since I didn’t work stats I don’t know the total number of shooters this year but I think it was 100 -150 shooters total.
Our oldest shooter was 83. He was not fast but he was very accurate. I hope I’m still shooting at 83!
My right foot and left knee were really hurting by the end of the day Friday. You spend a lot of time on your feet running a stage. I spent Friday night on the couch and that was all I needed to recharge. Saturday wasn’t as demanding because but we had more breaks and fewer shooters. We were done running shooters in our bay by 2:30 pm Saturday. Based on our experience with the rain the day before, we broke down the bay while it was dry and had everything packed away prior to the massive rain storm late Saturday.
This year there were only a few minor injuries. No ambulances were called.
The awards ceremony was preceded by dinner with excellent BBQ pig right off the grill. It’s a Carolina Cup Tradition. You can smell that pig cooking all Saturday afternoon.
After the awards ceremony Frank announced this was the 18th Carolina Cup and it would be the last that he would host. That made the experience a bit bittersweet but I was extra glad I made the effort to participate.
There were a few rumors that there would be another Cup, possibly hosted by someone new. It’s as much a family reunion as it is a shooting match and I know many folks want to continue to return for that reason. Frank & Paula may be up for attending rather than hosting in the future.Time will tell.