Monday, December 3, 2012


The 2012 Arizona State Palma Championships are now part of the rich historical record here in our desert arena, the Ben Avery Shooting Facility. Mother Nature provided us with three of her very best days with very light winds and morning temperatures in the 60's, rising to 80 degrees by the time the last relays mounted the 1000 yard line. The competition was very close this year and the scores, thanks to the great weather and the awe inspiring talent assembled, were very high all across the board. All in all I'm certain that a good time was had by everyone who attended.
In F-TR Michael Smith was not going to be denied in his quest for the State title. His final day 441-18X effort was a full thee points better than third overall finisher Lige Harris and four points better than second overall Steve Lockwood. Lockwood seemed to have lost his mojo after posting what turned out to be the highest daily aggregate score of this years championship on day one. Regardless, the overall victory by Smith was certainly no fluke. His steady, consistant shooting throughout this years championship rightfully earned him the top spot. Congratulations to our 2012 State F-TR Palma Champion Michael Smith!
When Steven Shaw informed me of his intention to shoot in this contest early last week, I had a feeling that we would see another great match between him and Steven Blair in the F-Open division. Turns out that I was not disappointed as the two friends really went at it all weekend. Immediately following the awards ceremony I got a chance to chat with Mr. Blair and what he told me is worth noting here. Blair calls sunny San Diego California home, so when Shaw offered him a place to stay at his east valley house, he gladly accepted. Each evening after a five star meal, courtesy of Mrs. Shaw, the two friends would retire to the gun room, snifter of brandy in hand, to discuss the days events. Turns out that Shaw's big .30 caliber beast, spitting those potent Berger 215 grain Hybrids at 3050fps, was shooting a full ring or more inside of Blairs 7mm in the wind! Makes one wonder just how long the 7mm variants will remain the flavor of the week. The end result of this was a 1 point 15X difference with Shaw prevailing over Blair to win the 2012 Arizona State F-Open Palma Championship. Congratulations too both men for a brilliant battle all weekend.
The Sling Championship, was tight all day Sunday as Bob Gustin and Nancy Tompkins, both down only three points for the championship, cleaned both the 800 and 900 yard lines. With Gustin ahead on X's the two took there places, shoulder to shoulder, on the 1000 yard line. To make things interesting the wind, finally awakening from it's slumber, began to stir. As the string began the pair traded X's and 10's until suddenly Gustin missed a change. His target came up to reveal, after nearly three full days of competition, his fourth nine for the championship! Tompkins stayed the course and came away with yet another clean at the long line to wrest the championship from Gustins grasp!! With what I think may be a State Record score for the event, 1247-83X, Nancy Tompkins is our 2012 Arizona State Palma Champion! Congratulations Nancy on not only your stunning victory, but your 40th perfect 450 score over the Palma course.
The team match was won by US National Team Hayes with a score of 1789-73X's, firing members were Rick Curtis, Peter Church, Justin Skaret and Trudie Fay. Second overall team was won by Coalinga Rifle Team O'Connell, members were Jim O'Connell, Jared Perry, Tony Miller and Bob Gill with a 1778-83X.
In closing I want to recognize some of the notable scores from the three day match. I know that a number of personal best's were fired over the course of this tournament and please forgive me if I miss any. Going down the grand agg results I see that Mike Toliver, current High Power Director at the Rio Salado Sportsmans Club, shot a very capable and steady match that yielded a fine 1330-73X finish. Capped I might add with a very good personal best on day two of 445-26X. Good job Mike! Mike also reminded me that the next ASRPA event will be the CMP State Championships at his range Dec 9th. This is a 50 shot NMC match for both Vintage and modern service rifles. There is still room but if you are going to attend, get your entries in ASAP. Click HERE for the match program. Next on the list are Texans Tom Titcomb and Tony Miller. Tom's 445-16X effort on day two is pretty good for the seasoned veteran shooter. Tony's brilliant 447-25X, also on day two, and his great effort in the team match were I'm sure memorable moments for the Lone Star state resident. In the Master Class, Adrian Harris from the Rocky Mountain High State, executed a steady scoring performance over the three days to grab the class win with a 1315-54X total. Also in the Master Class, Michael Walker posted a very nice personal best score on day two of 444-19X's. Good job guys!
Thanks to everyone for coming out to the match. It was great to see all of you and to catch up with so many of my shooting friends. The next big long range match here at Ben Avery is the Berger Southwest Long Range Nationals. Last year we had 205 competitors for this outstanding match so click HERE for the program and get your entries in! Please click HERE for the sling results and for the F Class final scores click HERE

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