Canadian National Field Target Championship

Hosted by the Port Colborne Field Target Club on July 12th & 13th, 2008

Match Report by Tim MacSweyn

The Port Colborne FT Club was honoured by being awarded the Canadian National FT Match for 2008 and for the first time, this event was not hosted by the Waterloo FT Club. After almost a full year of planning and updating the course, the match weekend has come and gone. The match directors, Dennis Eden, Chris Nicholson and I, Tim MacSweyn, were very pleased with the whole weekend and very grateful to all who helped in making the match a success. The Port Colborne and District Conservation Club has cooperated with us in every way and provided the great venue for this match and all the matches hosted in Port Colborne. We would like to thank the club for all they have done.

Friday was a busy day, with course set-up, competitors arriving and some shooting on the sight in range. The weather cooperated and the day went well, with all feeling satisfied that we were ready for day one of the match.

Saturday started out fairly hot and then got hotter, with the humidex being over 40ºC. Winds were light and the entire course was in the woods, which offers a great deal of protection from wind. Most of lanes on Saturday were new lanes that had just been cut into the bush, so there was no real home court advantage to be had. The difficulty factor worked out at 37.1T and included a lot of small, half inch or under kill zones, set at varying distances from 10 to close to 30 yards. There was a kneeling target set at 11 yards, with a half inch kill and an offhand set at 11 yards with a three quarter inch kill. A look at the target faces after the match indicated there were not a lot of gimmies.

I was lucky enough to be in a squad with Kel and Tom Jackson on Saturday. This was Kel’s first FT match and he did very well in the Hunter Division; I hope to see him at matches in the future. Tom was sharp all day and recorded a 96, the highest hunter score since the new hunter division was added in Canada. Jordan Jackson, Dennis L. and Luke were the other three shooting hunter and all of them had a good day.

The four open piston shooters were all within three points of each other after day one, with Len holding the lead. Zach and Ted were in a dead heat in the limited piston. It sure was a great set up for the second day of the match.

Meanwhile, in the PCP division, Greg was mowing them all down until the first offhand shot, his only miss on the day. Tom P. also enjoyed a very successful day with Don just one shot back to round out the top three. In the limited PCP, Chris’ score was the same as Tom’s in the open, giving him a commanding lead in limited.

Day two, Sunday, started out rainy, but after we put up the large tarp over the sight in area, the shooting began for those who wanted to be sure their guns were still hitting where they should. We delayed the start of the match for about one hour and headed out at 11:00 AM with the rain stopped for the day. It was sunny before long, but that sun caused the wind off the lake to pick up to 20 kph or better. With Sunday having an abundance of longer shots, that certainly added to the difficulty. Speaking of difficulty, the course on day two had a difficulty rating of 43.3T. Yikes!

The order in the hunter division did not change as everyone kept up the great shooting from day one. Tom and Jordan were in the same squad and ended up finishing first and second respectively. Tom claimed the Canadian Champion award and Jordan, second place in Hunter Division and the Canadian Champion, Junior Hunter award. Dennis L. placed second, followed by his grandson, Luke, who placed fourth. Unfortunately, Kel could not be there for Sunday and ended up fifth.

The higher difficulty of the course seemed to affect everyone in the open piston, except George, who had an outstanding day and ended up as the Canadian Champion in the Piston Division. James, Bill and Len rounded out the division, claiming the plaques for second through fourth respectively. Zach took ill on Sunday morning and was unable to compete, so the showdown in the limited piston did not happen. Ted’s score was one shot higher on this difficult course and he claimed first place in the limited piston.

In the end, Greg having continued his excellent shooting, claimed first in the PCP open class. Don and Tom were only one point apart after Saturday, but Don had a great day on Sunday, tying Greg for the high score on the course. This resulted in Don taking second place and also being awarded the Canadian Champion award in the PCP Division. Tom placed third in his first year of shooting in the PCP Division. Dennis was up by one on Matt after day one and that is also how it ended, as they had identical scores on Sunday. Dennis was awarded fourth place and Matt fifth. Rounding out the division were Les, Kristin, Lanny and Magdy who was unable to attend on Sunday. Chris was forced to arrive late due to other obligations and no doubt felt a little rushed on Sunday. He still shot very well and claimed the top award in Limited PCP. Chris graciously declined to have his score count in the open PCP and was content with the first place award in the limited section. To complete the PCP Division, I placed second in the limited section.

Both Saturday and Sunday were capped off with great meals, followed by coffee and dessert. Chris and his wife, Julie, organized the meal on Saturday and I helped my wife, Angie, get things together for Sunday. I heard lots of compliments and no complaints after both days. A great big thank you goes out to Arnie for looking after the clubhouse on both days and barbequing on Sunday. Jeanette and Mary also showed up both days to help with the set up for the meals and getting the food out on the table and we cannot thank them enough for that.

Don took care of three lanes and George two lanes to help Chris, Dennis and I with the course design and set up. Many of the competitors chipped in and helped with setting up the sight in range and clean up after each day. Many thanks go out to all who helped. Shooter’s Choice in Waterloo, and Scotiabank, Canadian Tire and Erie Tracker of Port Colborne all contributed items for the prize table. These items were greatly appreciated and snapped up eagerly by draw winners. Thanks go out to these four businesses.

Slowly, people started to leave after supper, saying goodbyes that for some would have to last for a year. Others are already looking forward to the next match in Waterloo on August 9th, where George has planned a special match. Don, Ted, Bill, Tom P., Dennis and I did the last minute clean up and pack up and even had a javelin throwing contest to prolong the end of the day. We all finally headed home at about 9:00 PM to resume our normal lives. It certainly had been a fine two or three days of escape from normal.

Finally, the match directors would like to extend our thanks to all those that competed in the match. After all the planning, the participation and positive attitude of the competitors is ultimately what makes a match a success. So give yourself a pat on the back and keep showing up at matches with your great attitude.

Next year’s Nationals will be hosted by the Waterloo Club and the date will be published as soon as it is set. Take care and keep knocking them down.

Results Chart

Rank Name Sat./60
Rifle Scope Pellet
PCP Class
1 Greg Sauve US 59 57 116 Steyr ZM100 BSA 10-50 JSBH
2 Don Irvine **C 54 57 111 Steyr LG100FT S&B FT JSBH
3 Tom Peretti C 55 49 104 Steyr LG100ZM Nikko 10-50 CPH
4 Dennis Eden **C 52 50 102 USFT LeupoldComp35 JSBH
5 Matt Bingham US 51 50 101 SteyrLG110 Nikko St 10-50 CPH
6 Les Grable US 48 35 83 AA S200 Nikko 10-50 JSBH
7 Kristin Bingham US 34 31 65* Falcon FN19FT Bushnell 8-32 JSBH
7 Lanny Hann C 42 23 65* CR97SE Leupold 20-40 Baracuda
9 Magdy Hassouna C 46 DNF 46(Sat) Steyr LG110 Nikko St 10-50 Baracuda M

PCP Limited
1 Chris Nickolson **C 55 49 104 Pro Target BSA 10-50 JSBH
2 Tim MacSweyn **C 48 43 91 AA S400-SL B&L 36 JSBH

Piston Class
1 George Harde **C 43 48 91 JW65 Nikko 10-50 JSBH
2 James Jackson C 40 35 75 HW97K Hawke 8-32 CPL
3 Bill Shikatani C 42 31 73 AA Pro Sport Bushnell 8-32 JSBH
4 Len Joe C 45 25 70 FWB300 Bushnell 8-32 JSBL

Piston Limited
1 Ted Gibson C 25 26 51 TX200 Bushnell 8-32 JSBL
2 Zach Harde C 25 DNF 25(Sat) TX200 Bushnell 8-32 FTS

Hunter Division
/120 /120 /240      
1 Tom Jackson C 96 84 180 AA S410 Leapers 8-32(15) .22 JSB J
2 Jordan Jackson Jr C 80 67 147 CZ200 Bushn. 8-32(15) CPL
3 Dennis Leite C 71 68 139 B40 Bushnell 5-15 JSBL
4 Luke Riddell Jr C 53 45 98 QB78 Rex 3-9 .22 CP
5 Kel Jackson C 69 DNF 69(Sat) QB78 (air) Leapers 4-12 CPL
* Tie ** Set up lanes C – Canadian US – American Bold – Canadian Division Champions