From Texas, With Kitty: Cool Off With Comp-Tac

by Editor 29. June 2012 08:23
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TOLDJA!

Yesterday our own Kitty Richards, Bureau Chief for DOWN ZERO's Republic of Texas office, broke the news that Comp-Tac Victory Gear might be planning on offering air conditioning at the tomorrow's Texas State IDPA Championship. Well this morning Comp-Tac confirmed the news in a press release in today's The Shooting Wire.

In their announcement, Comp-Tac outlined both their sponsorship and the air-conditioned tent.

With temperatures on the range expected to approach 100 degrees, Comp-Tac is offering shooters an escape from the hot Texas sun and inviting them to stop by their fully air conditioned vendor tent. Not only will competitors be able to cool off, but the Comp-Tac tent will feature a full selection of holsters, magazine pouches, and belts available for purchase on-site.

Comp-Tac's Owner and President Gregg Garrett explained the decision to provide shooters this respite from the heat.

"At Comp-Tac we pride ourselves on our customer service and that's why when we found out how hot it was going to be this weekend during the match, we decided to provide everybody with a little Comp-Tac hospitality in the form of an air conditioned tent. We think it might end up being the most popular stage of the match," quipped Garrett.

"This is welcome news to many of the shooters and staff I've talked to here in Texas. I applaud Comp-Tac's decition, particularly since I plan to sit inside their tent for the majority of the match...for news gathering purposes only, of course," said Kitty.

Comp-Tac air-conditioned tent

Photo by Terry Burba

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From Texas, With Kitty: Texas State Stages 1-4

by Editor 28. June 2012 14:45
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Tapping into her underground network of snitches, malcontents, and ne'er-do-wells, DOWN ZERO's Kitty Richards got her hands on the stage diagrams for Saturday's Texas State IDPA Championship. And with the help of the Steel Railroad - a nationwide web of fellow Pittsburgh Steelers fans - our version of Mata Hari managed to smuggle out the first four of what we hope will be all 12 secret stage documents.

 

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From Texas, With Kitty: BREAKING NEWS ALERT Comp-Tac To Offer AC?

by Editor 27. June 2012 17:08
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This just in...

DOWN ZERO's Lone Start State Bureau Chief, Kitty Richards, reports that Houston-based holster manufacturer, Comp-Tac Victory Gear, is rumored to be hosting an air-conditioned tent at the Texas State IDPA Championship. With temperatures expected to close in on 100 degrees during the competition, the possibility of an air-conditioned refuge for shooters seeking to escape the brutal Texas heat is now a major topic of discussion.

My sources tell me that representatives from Comp-Tac, concerned about the impact triple-digit heat could have on the match, have been spotted at the local rent-all facility. Speculation is that this visit was a precursor to renting a portable air-conditioning unit. Several officials here at Collin County IDPA say that's a good indicator that Comp-Tac is indeed planning on having a fully air-conditioned tent.

While we have yet to confirm this rumor with Comp-Tac officials, who have been unavailable for comment, if true, this is huge news and I'm going on record right now and predicting big sales in the Comp-Tac vendor tent. - Kitty

Calls to Comp-Tac headquarters have not been returned, but sources close to the company say to expect an official announcement within the next 24 hours.

Stay tuned for additional news and announcements from the Texas State IDPA Championship.

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Joyce’s Great Adventure: I Placed In The Top Ten.

by Editor 27. June 2012 13:50
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"As in the shooting sports, especially among the female pilots, there is great camaraderie. It’s kind of like ‘girls camp with airplanes’, much like our National Championship is my party for 400 of my closest friend." -- Joyce Wilson

And so the great adventure has come to an end.

We got to I69 (the airport identifier for Clermont County, OH) on Friday afternoon. It had been a difficult race with the mountains, the high density altitude and the weather. But now it’s over. As I mentioned, it’s a very bittersweet feeling. We push so hard to get to the end that when it arrives, we kind of look around and go ‘WOW’ that was cool. And then realize that it’s all over.

Friday evening, we got a call that we’d received penalties in the race. Janet and I racked our brains about what could have happened and realized that we didn’t believe that anything had gone wrong. It was actually an enlightening moment for me as I realized that the Safety Officer training in IDPA is much like the timer training for the race – extremely important for consistency. When we talked with the Judges the next morning ( along with the 45 of 50 teams that had gotten penalties) they realized that it was a judging issue not a competitor issue. We actually use the same criterion in IDPA. If there are too many penalties, then maybe the problem does not lie with the competitor!

The next phase is to sign the official score sheet. My partner, Janet, had tracked our time from the start. Our score was less than 3 minutes different than the official time keeper’s – over the 15+ hours of the race! I’m not sure what the statistical difference of that is, but in my book, that’s phenomenal!!!

We ended up with a +8.something. I thought it was pretty good, but I knew there were at least a couple of +11’s. Again, it was a tough race. We knew of at least 15 teams that had had to land at an offsite airport because of weather – some for as long as 2 hours! That would kill their score. If you don’t fly straight from point A to point B, the time keeps ticking…..

It’s tough on the competitors and on the judges. They have to get information from their time keepers from all over the country. The race this year covered almost 2700 miles – from Arizona to Ohio! They use atomic clocks. It can’t get much better, but it’s still difficult to get all that information gathered. Most of the planes were given GPS (global positioning system) trackers to use during the race. That helps keep everything in check.

And then they called and told us we were being inspected. That’s a great feeling – at least after you know what it means. I remember my first race, two years ago, when they called to tell me I was going to be inspected at the finish. I was crushed. I knew that it must mean that something was wrong and they were going to disqualify me. All that work just blown down the drain… and then some one told me that it was because I finished in the top 12. Hmmmm, who would have known. So this year, I took that as a good omen (since I’d had the same thing happen last year – my second race)

Now we’re at the awards banquet. It’s a fairly formal type affair. Heck, I even wore a dress! It’s really kind of neat to see everyone dressed for the occasion. They call out ‘leg’ prizes first. As we do in IDPA, they try to spread the prizes out among the masses. If you get a ‘leg’ prize, then you’re not in the top ten. “Leg’ prizes are given to those outside of the top ten that are the fastest on each individual leg of the race. We made it through without a leg prize, whew…

As they start from 10th place, we just wait to see if we’re called. We knew that our +8 would probably be top ten. We were called for 7th place. We were thrilled. 5th through 7th were separated by less than .5 knot ( a knot is a little faster than a mile per hour). There are a whole lot of variables in the race and it could have gone any other way. So again, I placed in the top ten. This year, there were 50 planes in the race. To my knowledge this is the most that they have had compete. It’s exhilarating and incredibly dangerous at the same time. We’re doing high speed passes at low altitudes over the timing lines.

As in the shooting sports, especially among the female pilots, there is great camaraderie. It’s kind of like ‘girls camp with airplanes’, much like our National Championship is my party for 400 of my closest friend.

I thank all of you for following my attempt at this blog. I hope that I could share a little of what it’s like to compete in a totally different kind of sport.

I’ll hopefully see you all soon at the Nationals!

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From Texas, With Kitty: Getting Ready For The Big Match

by Editor 25. June 2012 14:32
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If you're a Pittsburgh Steelers fan be advised, you have "troops behind enemy lines". That Steeltown gal you know as Kitty Richards has traveled down to the Republic of Texas to attend this weekend's Texas State IDPA Championship in Greenville, Texas. As DOWN ZERO's Lone Start State Bureau Chief, Kitty will be filing reports over the next couple days. Here's her first.

IDPA shooters all over Texas filled the ranges this past weekend as they prepared for the 2012 Texas State IDPA Championship. The Championship, featuring 12 stages and a 201 minimum round count, will be a match that, "Marksmen can finish and Masters will love", according to Match Director Cody Ray. The match has been sold out for over two and a half months with 210 shooters set to compete at the range in Greenville, outside of Dallas.

What draws these shooters to fill this match so quickly? According to Ray, "Folks will experience Texas-like temps of 99 degrees, the best SOs and staff in the business, Mike Cooper's finger-licking barbecue, and the finest match in Texas - and that really means in the world!" - Kitty

Kitty has promised additional updates, but as a Steelers fan hiding out in the shadow of Dallas - home to something called "America's Team" - we're not promising anything.

ABOVE: Saturday at the CrossTimbers IDPA in Alvarado, TX, Brian Ehrler shoots the side match Polish Plate Rack to practice transitions in preparations for this coming weekend's Texas State Championship.

BELOW: Phil Torres watches a shooter's use of cover during the Texas Tactical IDPA Match in Bulverde, TX on Sunday. Local shooters throughout the Lone Star State are getting in as much practice as possible leading up to the big match on Saturday.

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Joyce’s Great Adventure: And, It's Over...

by Editor 23. June 2012 14:10
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"It’s a bittersweet feeling. It’s exciting to get to the end and sad to know that it’s almost over. There are lots of really neat female pilots in the race and knowing that you’re probably not going to see them for another year is sad." -- Joyce Wilson

And the Race is over!

Joyce Wilson

We arrived in Batavia, Ohio this afternoon about 2:30. Clermont County airport is home to Sporty’s Pilot Shop, THE pilot shop for General Aviation and maybe even the professional pilot’s too. They have everything you could ever want and then some. We haven’t been shopping yet as we are just a little tired and wanted to get settled into the hotel and de-stress a little.

We ended up flying 3 legs of the race yesterday. We started in Columbus, NE. Our strategy was to leave a little later in the day from Columbus and fly fairly low to mitigate the headwinds. We knew that there were going to be headwinds for this leg all day and that they would get a little better as the day went on. We also knew that when we turned the corner at the next fly-by, Watertown, SD, that we would get tailwinds in the afternoon. It’s a real chess game to try to plan where you need to be 2 or 4 or even 6 hours later. The tailwinds prevailed from Watertown to Ashland, WI. I think we made some pretty good time.

We stopped for fuel and to regroup for the leg from Ashland to Sault Ste. Marie, MI. The winds were good, but we waited for the storms to get out of the area. The clock keeps ticking if you have to divert or worse yet, land to wait out a storm. Unfortunately, there were a couple of teams that had to do this. Fortunately, we were not one of them. We did get into Sault Ste. Marie pretty late. Then we had to find some dinner as it’s difficult to eat during the day while flying and we also had to find transportation to the hotel. We ended up getting to the hotel around 10 pm. It was a long day.

This morning we were up early and out to the airport by 7:15 only to find out that we were socked in with low clouds and IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) conditions. We couldn’t leave. A couple of teams got out really early when the weather was good, but the rest of us were stuck on the ground. Again, this race can only be completed in day VFR (Visual Flight Rules ) conditions. So we had to sit and wait. It was actually really cool to chat with other pilots who have become our friends. We laughed and joked and just had as relaxing of a morning as we could. Then the weather started to lift. The race was on again!

We had fueled up so we could fly through Benton Harbor, MI on to the finish line. It was beautiful to fly along the coast of Lake Superior. It was also really smooth flying over the edge of the water just off the coast line. We turned the corner at Benton Harbor and knew that the end was almost in sight. Another 1 ½ hours and we’d be on the ground and another race would be complete. It’s a bittersweet feeling. It’s exciting to get to the end and sad to know that it’s almost over. There are lots of really neat female pilots in the race and knowing that you’re probably not going to see them for another year is sad.

Now we just have to wait to see how it all shakes down. All the planes should be here and the work for the judges and scorers begins. Tomorrow we’ll go shopping and Sunday evening we’ll know the results.

I’ll keep ya posted.

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Joyce’s Great Adventure: Oh, It's On!

by Editor 21. June 2012 13:12
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So Joyce Wilson, executive director of IDPA, is now dropping the hammer on the competition, but up above our heads and not on the range. Here's her latest update from her cross-country race, the Women's Air Race Classic.

And the race is on.

Joyce Wilson

Team Bionic was waved off the line approximately 8am PST, Tuesday, June 19. The temperature was already warm at Lake Havasu, AZ and the density altitude was climbing. For all my non-aviation friends, little planes don’t really like warm dense air – they just don’t climb or perform nearly as well as they do in cooler environments.

While the elevation at Lake Havasu is only 783’ above sea level, our departure to Gallup, NM had us climbing to 10,000’ to get over the mountains. We had already decided that we had enough fuel to fly through Gallup and on to Hereford, TX. The scenery was dramatic. At 10,000 feet there were still mountains that were taller. We planned our route to avoid having to climb higher as it takes a long time to get that high. Time equals speed that we need to get ahead of our handicap.

Even though we had stopped at Gallup and knew the terrain of the area, the fly-by was still an adrenaline rush. The rules state that you must be lined up, wings level, one mile from the timing line. It’s always interesting to judge, with the help of the on board navigation equipment, just exactly where the best point is. The fly-bys are generally done between 200 and 400’ above the ground level. It really does get exciting to essentially dive at the ground to a target altitude. Once past the timing line, we’re expected to continue to the end of the runway and then continue on our course, or go find a nice area to cool the plane down before returning to the traffic pattern to land.

We flew by Gallup to continue on to Hereford, TX. The first leg took approximately 2 hours and the second around 2 ½. We made sure we didn’t drink too much coffee that morning as 4 ½ hours in the plane can feel like an eternity. And stopping for a potty break along the way is not an option.

The terrain from Gallup to Hereford was essentially the same as the first leg, and we were ready to be on the ground by the time we got there. This fly by was even more exciting as we had to fly over the truck wash and stay to the right side of the skeet range. Hmmmm. So what does a truck wash look like from the air? Kind of like any other building. It made for an interesting approach.

The folks at Hereford were really nice and filled us up along with the plane. They met us at the plane with yellow roses and had goody bags as well. In the airport, they had sandwiches, cake, fruit, veggies, and almost anything else you could think of. It made for a nice break. Then we were off again.

Hereford’s elevation is still pretty high at 3800 feet. And the density altitude was reading over 6000 feet, so it was somewhat of a slow climb to altitude. We didn’t have to climb nearly as high as we were now past the big part of the terrain. Now we were watching the farmland. It was however, hot. Temperature in the cockpit was at least 90+ degrees.

The trip to Goodland, Kansas was mostly uneventful – the kind of flight you like. As we approached Goodland, the temperature kept climbing. It reached 100 degrees on the way. We kept an eye on the oil temp as it climbed as well, not dangerously high, but higher than I’m used too. Heck, it was just plain old hot! After the flyby, we used a little of that momentum and climbed a bit more. As we got closer to Columbus, the temperature started to get back to a reasonable level. It’s still flat.

We ended up spending the day in Columbus, NE as the storm systems passed. We’re hoping to make the best of the wind situation tomorrow as we head to Watertown, SD and then on to Ashland, WI.

We’ll keep you posted!

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Vogel Repeats As Carolina Cup Champ, Extends Win Streak to 12

by Editor 20. June 2012 07:48
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Bob Vogel

OXFORD, N.C. – Bob Vogel hasn’t lost a major IDPA match since late 2007, including this past weekend when, for the second time in a row, he claimed the Stock Service Pistol (SSP) division title at the 2012 Carolina Cup.

With a final score of 183.63, Vogel dominated the field of 143 SSP shooters. The Distinguished Master class shooter and Panteao Productions shooting team member outpaced his nearest competitor, Team RangeLog’s Rob Tate, by 32.17 points, shooting clean on seven stages and winning 13 of the 16 stages.

“Bob’s performance at this weekend’s Carolina Cup was nothing short of amazing,” said Joyce Wilson, executive director of IDPA. “Not only did he successfully defend his 2011 title win, but in doing so Bob has extended his IDPA major match win streak to 12, which started back in 2007 at the IDPA National Championship.”

Bob Vogel

Tate, who won one stage in the match, finished first Master in the SSP division with a score of 215.80, earning him first Master honors. Nicholas Yanutola, who also won a single stage, took second Master (224.54), followed by Team Panteao’s Tom Yost, third Master (227.56), David McDonald, fourth Master (254.03), and Team Comp-Tac’s Gregg Garrett, fifth Master (257.22).

Finishing sixth Master, and seventh overall, with a score of 261.61 was Randi Rogers of Team Comp-Tac who won the Carolina Cup’s High Lady title for the third year in a row.

Elsewhere in the Stock Service Pistol division, Craig Grivois took first in the Expert class with 275.80, followed by Norman Wisniewski taking top honors in the Marksman class with 404.28, and Glock’s Ed Fitzgerald finishing first in the Novice class with 490.91.

Bob Vogel

The 2012 Carolina Cup was held June 14-16 at The Range in Oxford and drew 359 competitors from 24 states and Puerto Rico, as well as five foreign nations. For more information on the match, or to review the full results, visit www.The-CarolinaCup.com.

The International Defensive Pistol Association is the international governing body for IDPA competition, which offers shooters a fun, safe, and challenging format to practice and test their gun handling skills through defensive-based scenarios.

To find a club near you, join the more than 20,000 members of IDPA, or just learn more about this exciting and fun defensive pistol shooting sport, visit www.IDPA.com. You can also follow @OfficialIDPA on Twitter, like ShootIDPA on Facebook, watch IDPA TV, or check out the Down Zero Blog to keep up with the latest news.

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Rogers 3-Peats As IDPA Carolina Cup High Lady

by Editor 20. June 2012 07:37
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Randi Rogers

OXFORD, N.C. – With her High Lady win at this weekend’s IDPA Carolina Cup, Team Comp-Tac’s Randi Rogers is not just the dominant woman shooter in IDPA but one win away from a perfect season.

Rogers placed sixth among the Master class, and seventh overall, in the Stock Service Pistol (SSP) division with a score of 261.61. The win gives Rogers her third straight High Lady title at the Carolina Cup, but more importantly marks her third High Lady win of the 2012 IDPA season putting her one win away from a perfect run.

Earlier this year Rogers claimed High Lady at the Smith & Wesson IDPA Indoor Nationals as well as at the IDPA European Cup. Only a win at the IDPA National Championships remains for Rogers to complete her perfect season.

Randi Rogers

“Randi is clearly on a roll with her third straight Carolina Cup High Lady win. Add this to her High Lady victories earlier this season and you can see why she’s the top ranked woman in our sport,” said Joyce Wilson, executive director of IDPA.

Elsewhere in the Stock Service Pistol division, Bob Vogel, a Distinguished Master, won the division title with a final score of 183.63, placing him high overall for the second year in a row. Rob Tate of Team RangeLog took first Master and second overall behind Vogel with 215.80. Craig Grivois took first in the Expert class with 275.80, followed by Norman Wisniewski taking top honors in the Marksman class with 404.28, and Glock’s Ed Fitzgerald finishing first in the Novice class with 490.91.

Randi Rogers

The 2012 Carolina Cup was held June 14-16 at The Range in Oxford and drew 359 competitors from 24 states and Puerto Rico, as well as five foreign nations. For more information on the match, or to review the full results, visit www.The-CarolinaCup.com.

The International Defensive Pistol Association is the international governing body for IDPA competition, which offers shooters a fun, safe, and challenging format to practice and test their gun handling skills through defensive-based scenarios.

To find a club near you, join the more than 20,000 members of IDPA, or just learn more about this exciting and fun defensive pistol shooting sport, visit www.IDPA.com. You can also follow @OfficialIDPA on Twitter, like ShootIDPA on Facebook, watch IDPA TV, or check out the Down Zero Blog to keep up with the latest news.

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Wright Wins 2012 IDPA Carolina Cup Enhanced Service Pistol Title

by Editor 20. June 2012 07:15
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Brandon Wright

OXFORD, N.C. – Brandon Wright, captain of the International Training, Inc. shooting team (Team ITI), won eight of 16 stages at the 2012 IDPA Carolina Cup in Oxford, N.C. to win the Enhanced Service Pistol title.

Wright, who finished second overall among all shooters in all divisions, outpaced his nearest competitor in the ESP division’s Master class, Ravin Perry of Team RangeLog, by 9.5 points, to take the title with his final score of 207.84.

“Brandon shot an outstanding match, putting in a solid performance across a very difficult course of fire on his way to taking the ESP division title and placing second overall,” noted Joyce Wilson, executive director of IDPA.

Brandon Wright

Perry, who took top honors on one stage, finished first Master with 217.34. Team Comp-Tac’s Gordon Carrell placed second Master with two stage wins and a final score of 221.55. Team ITI’s Morgan Allen finished third Master with four stage wins and a score of 223.38. Rounding out the top five was Scott Warren with one stage win and a score of 231.79 to take fourth Master.

Costa Rica’s Miguel Gamboa, who finished fifth Master and seventh overall in the division, took home the High International title with 236.80.

Elsewhere in the division, Russell Poole, III was the first Expert with 233.81, followed by Noah Teal claiming the first Sharpshooter title with 297.26, and Michael Haskin winning ESP’s first Marksman award with 374.38.

Brandon Wright

The 2012 Carolina Cup was held June 14-16 at The Range in Oxford and drew 359 competitors from 24 states and Puerto Rico, as well as five foreign nations. For more information on the match, or to review the full results, visit www.The-CarolinaCup.com.

The International Defensive Pistol Association is the international governing body for IDPA competition, which offers shooters a fun, safe, and challenging format to practice and test their gun handling skills through defensive-based scenarios.

To find a club near you, join the more than 20,000 members of IDPA, or just learn more about this exciting and fun defensive pistol shooting sport, visit www.IDPA.com. You can also follow @OfficialIDPA on Twitter, like ShootIDPA on Facebook, watch IDPA TV, or check out the Down Zero Blog to keep up with the latest news.

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