Junior shooter, Seth Clagg, from St Petersburg FL recently competed in the US National Steel Championships in Titusville, FL. Seth won high junior in the rimfire match with a time of 81.81 seconds (9th place overall in all divisions out of 86) and won high junior in the centerfire match with a time of 106.20 seconds (26th place overall in all divisions out of 172). Seth is pictured with Chet Whistle who donated a Sig Sauer 1911-22 to the high rimfire junior.
The Florida Open is known for being a unique match. This year was no exception with big stages, a big entry list and big challenges. This is a favorite for many of the top shooters from not only the US but the international community as well. This year brought the Russian ladies IPSC team, several top competitors from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and many others. A total of 419 competitors this year.
Even for the Open and Limited guns the match had challenges that required reloads at most stages. Eleven stages and 311 rounds with most stages at the 32 round count. The only short stage was one paper and a plate rack at 27 yards. Even more challenge were the classic targets at 30 yards half covered with no shoots, and there were plenty of no shoots.
Eric Grauffel stepped in to win the Open division with Max Michel and Chris Tilley rounding out the top three. “That guy is just a machine” says Shannon Smith finishing 6th in Open. Manny Bragg wins the Limited Division only by 3 points over Jaime Saldanha, an unclassified foreign student of Manny’s. Travis Tomasie, Blake Miguez and Charlie Perez rounded out the top five. Limited 10 had 19 competitors. Craig Underdown, William SmythJr and Clint Milburn were top 3. With Production, Gaston Quibdi Vallerga took the win with Jason Katz, a top Junior from Area 6 in close second and Nick Yanutola in third.
Single Stack competitors had their work cut out in this one. Ted Puente was on his game winning first overall. At 98.47% was Todd Jarrett and Angus Hobdell taking third. Junior Alex Larche took 4th and Keith Dilworth round the top five of 29 shooters. Six people took the unthinkable challenge of shooting revolver and in the end Ricardo Lopez took the overall.
Overall this match was a serious challenge even for the top level competitors of our sport. The stages were worthy of any championship on the circuit. If you missed it, you need to put it on your calendar for next year!
The Florida Open is in action this weekend. Hosted at Universal Shooting Academy in Frostproof Florida with over 400 competitors. This match is known for size, tough stages and the draw of the international competitors. They are using the electronic scoring from Wirtex called MSSC. It is now connected to the internet to give true live scoring. Click here to see the current rankings.
This is just a glimpse of where our sport is going. MSSC and PractiScore will bring new exposure to the Action Shooting world through the use of technology. Looking forward I see live broadcasting via internet and more exposure for sponsors. More exposure means bigger and better matches across the board. I will have more to post this weekend.
Every February brings one of the most popular USPSA matches in the country. The Florida Open is hosted at Universal Shooting Academy in mid Florida. It has long been known for its international competitors and complex stages.
This year more than 425 competitors have registered. That tops most Area matches across the country and most National finals in the past. Clearly the competition is big on this one.
Another new aspect of the match will be the live electronic scoring. A new software from WirTex is on the competitive market. They have been focused on the IPSC world overseas but are just now branching out to the larger USPSA competitions. Look for the televisions on the range to compare scores live.
More information at www.universalshootingacademy.com