High winds keep targets grounded at NRA National Rifle and Pistol Championships
Port Clinton, Ohio - The scores for this year's High Power Rifle Championship and Mid-Range Rifle Championship are going to be a little lower than normal. No, shooters haven't suddenly become more inaccurate than last year. It's because unrelenting winds bore down on Camp Perry today, making it impossible to hold any matches.
But Camp Perry is known for it's punishing heat, out-of-nowhere storms, and wind, right? At 20 miles per hour and gusting up to 28 mph, today's wind was ripping the targets clean off their frames and even cracking a couple. And that was for the brief time they even tried putting the targets up.
"One of the Mid-Range Championship guys on Rodriguez range tried putting a target up and it nearly took him with it," said Match Director Sheri Judd.
Ultimately, there was no way to get the targets up for the matches without risking serious disruption once everyone started shooting. Even if it were accomplished, there would be a significant number of misses and crossfires, creating a nightmare when it came time to tally scores.
At first the day's matches were delayed until noon. A pretty late start, but still manageable to fit everything in before it became too dark. When noon rolled around the wind hadn't changed and the matches were called.
The Mid-Range Championship will continue along with its Day 5 match tomorrow, scratching today's would-be Day 4 match from the schedule.
But what does the cancellation do to the High Power Championship?
By the normal calendar, Tuesday would see the 200-yard Crescent Cup, 300-yard Cavalry Cup, and 600-yard Crowell Trophy matches. The problem is that, in addition to the High Aggregate award, there are a host of other trophies for aggregates combining different ranges, shooting speeds, and positions. In order to make these awards still possible, but evenly cut short, Match Director Sheri Judd is swapping the Crescent Cup with a second 600-yard match - the Air Force Cup, which was slated for today.
Final scores will be significantly lower because a potential 600 points are being taken off the table, but everything should be affected evenly. Tomorrow's forecast shows normal wind, but a chance of rain in the early afternoon. At this point anything is preferable as long as everyone gets to keep shooting.
For more on NRA's Competitive Shooting Programs, visit their website at compete.nra.org