Tuesday, July 5, 2011

FUN: 2011 Carolina Cup (by Mik3)

This year I was able to travel to North Carolina to shoot the Carolina Cup with two of my Marine brothers: Ernest Langdon and Matt Sarsfield. I would like to thank my family for being so supportive: without their support I would not be able to do anything like this!

We were on an amazing squad - to call it a super squad doesn’t quite do it justice! The squad had four IDPA Distinguished Masters, Ernest Langdon, Gordon carrel, Scott Warren, and Glen Shelby, Master class shooters Randi Rogers, Gregg Garret, the entire Sells Clan (Becky manufactures concealment vests that I will be doing a review on soon), Deon Greenwood, and retired army lawyer, John Taylor, who we liked anyway (call sign Sleeping Beauty). I don’t know if there has been a squad assembled yet with this kind of firepower, but, I was not only impressed with the shooting abilities, but also the class, professionalism, and genuine kindness everyone displayed during the four days. I want to personally thank them for making my first Carolina Cup such a memorable event.

The match is setup as a one-day event, shooting all 16 stages, or as a two-day event, shooting 8 stages per day. We shot the two-day format and shot it fast! As you can see, most of the stages in the video (also on mikewiilshoot’s channel) weren’t crazy. Pretty much all were what I would consider typical for major IDPA matches. All were fun and challenging! An interesting side note is that there wasn’t a single stage or prop failure over 16 stages with almost 400 shooters - that really speaks to the quality of the setup and the personnel working the match! In fact, there were 3-4 people working each stage and most of the time they didn’t even let us paste - they did it all with a smile on their face: Thank you for your hard work!

I had a blast watching and learning from every shooter on the squad - they were all teaching me something. As far as my shooting: it suffered some from my trying to take in all that was going on. I wasn’t as focused on my game as much as I was watching everyone else’s. I did manage to win 6th place out of 33 shooters and I am happy with that.

This trip was more about shooting with my Marine brothers than it was about me shooting to win. Along the way I met some great people, learned a lot, and had a ton of fun. After all, this is why I started shooting again in the first place: to have fun. (Every now and then Ernest reminds me of that because I can get wound a little tight) Rather than digest all my stages and analyze every position to try to shave some time off, I’m remembering the fun times I had, reflecting on just how lucky I am to have been able to go shoot the match, how lucky I am to have met some really great people along the way, how lucky I am to be able to shoot again after a 20-year long hiatus, and how wonderful my family is to support me in my endeavors.

Don’t get me all wrong: I haven’t gotten soft! I’ll still be working on improving my shooting skills and implementing things I learned from watching some talented shooters. I am even more fired up then I was! I set some goals for myself last year and after achieving some of them this year and seeing how much I have learned, I have realized that I can set my goals even higher then I thought and still have a ton of fun achieving them! I don’t need another job, one is enough, so if shooting has become “work”, be careful! If you only learn one thing from me, I would like it to be what my good friend tells me at the end of almost all shooting talks, questions or lessons: “and remember have fun, because that’s why we do it!”