It seems three days of the 2012 Northeast Regional Field Target Championship (NRFTC) just wasn’t enough. Defending NRFTC WFTF Class and Overall Champion Greg Sauve and Ray Apelles were tied with 108 successful hits of a possible 120 at the end of regulation and needed six rounds of overtime to determine a winner. When the smoke cleared, Sauve had retained his title by knocking down a 3/4″ target at 55 yards.
“This was the third year Crosman has hosted the Northeast Regional Field Target Championship and it keeps getting better. These shooters are among the finest field target competitors in the country and they just put on one heck of a show,” said Mark DeBoard, Shooting Services Manager for Crosman and event manager for the NRFTC.
Crosman took on the event in 2010 and in 2011 turned it into a three-day affair on the first weekend following Independence Day. Friday the company opened the sight-in range all day, offered factory tours, discounted product for sale and kicked off the competition with the Quigley Bucket Challenge.
The scene from Quigley Down Under (1990) is unforgettable, as Quigley (Tom Selleck), successfully shoots a 17″ bucket at approximately 550 yards not once, but several times. The event recreates the shot, scaled for airguns. The “bucket” target measures 1.75″ and is placed at 55 yards. Shooters use 10-meter guns (6.5 ftlb limit) sporting open and iron sights or non-magnified sights only. Best-of-5 shots wins. Over forty attempted and just eight hit the bucket. These eight were whittled to three, including Croswords contributor AJ “JrSquirreler” Stewart who was looking forward to his first field target competition. In the end, Richard Bassett came out on top and won a Crosman 1720T and Benjamin 90 cu in air tank. Dillon Schissler was runner-up followed by Stewart.
The 2012 edition of the NRFTC included 63 shooters in the two-day rifle competition across five disciplines and 22 pistol shooters in three classes. ”The NRFTC is unique in that we welcome single-day shooters to participate. This makes the sport accessible to those who would like to try it for a day and families looking for a fun activity that they can do together,” said Roy Stefanko, VP Marketing for Crosman. Single-day shooters are scored just like the event competitors so they are able to judge themselves against the pro’s.
After Day 1, Tom Holland and Dennis Eden were tied with 48 hits of a possible 60, with Stan Lipinski in the hunt at 47, Al Otter at 44 and Crosman’s Ed Schultz, Director of Design Engineering at 43. Dennis Eden remained steady on Sunday and posted a 50 for a combined total of 98 to take the win.
Kevin Yee lead wire-to-wire, scoring 50 each day.
Ray Apelles and his hybrid Benjamin Marauder ended Day One in a tie with Dan Brown, each posting 57′s. Greg Sauve and Jeff Paddock, also shooting a Benjamin Marauder, were not far behind at 54 and 52, respectively. Brown could not keep up the pace on Sunday and Apelles gave up three shots to open the door for Sauve to tie and eventually win in a shootoff.
Hector Medina dominated the Hunter Piston Class, posting a leading 47 on Day One followed by a 36 on Day Two for a championship total of 83. The talk of the class was shooter Jeff Hanson, a Crosman engineer shooting the new MAV77 Underlever. Expected for release later this year, the rifle was one of the most-talked about guns introduced at SHOT Show and Hanson, in his first field target event, won second place with it.
This tightly contested class was also the most popular, with 24 shooters competing. Over half were using Crosman and Benjamin rifles. Dan Finney, shooting a Benjamin Marauder, led Day One with a 53 of a possible 60 and closed out the event with a 47 to hang on for a three-point win over Jerry LaRocca, also shooting a Marauder.
The Pistol Class competition took place Saturday afternoon and included shooters in three divisions: Hands, Hunter and Open. Scores are out of a possible 30.
Thank you to all the competitors who traveled far and wide to be here and we hope to see you in 2013!