Let me just start out by saying that I dreamed of this happening but realistically NEVER expected the following to happen.
We went down to New Philadelphia, Ohio this past weekend to participate in the yearly migration to the Pyramyd Air Cup, put on by Pyramyd Air. This is, honestly, a must-go event if you are interested in field target at all. Tyler puts on a great course that is challenging but not crazy hard so beginners and veterans can enjoy two days of wonderful field target courses.
We (my daughter Sydney, Eric and Sean) got there Thursday night and set up Eric's camper when we were greeted by the Tusco Militia (to put it lightly) asking for their $15 camping fee. Which is fine and you knew it was coming. The strange part is we were then told that the bathroom shower facilities weren't supposed to be open so there is a "Tip" jar. Wow! That's strange because Tyler and Kristin had meetings with them and determined that the shower facilities WERE part of the camping. Oh well.
Friday was a day for sighting in, trying the guns that they had out, and socializing. The pistol comp had been cancelled due to incoming weather so it was a relaxing day. That night we ended up pretty much taking over Hog Heaven...AWESOME FOOD. I think we must have had 50 people eating there in total that night. We took up the whole back room and then some. While we were there the incoming weather hit hard with high winds and rain. As we left the rain had stopped and the worst of the weather was over. Our camper was mostly dry and intact.
Because of the constant wind all day I suggested to Eric that we go out under cover of night and do a quick sight-in even though the range was technically closed :) So we took his truck out there and spent 5 minutes making sure we were straight as far as left-right was concerned.
Saturday morning was an early one. Getting breakfast and out to the sight-in line which was wet and crowded. I shot 10 shots, making sure my elevation was where it should be and got out of the way. Went down to the registration area and waited for 8:30 to roll around then went to the pavilion and waited for the shooters meeting to start with Sydney. No surprises and we were all anxious to start.
Sydney and I were squadded together as requested both days as we were sharing my equipment so it was a nice weekend with some quality father-daughter time. We shot with Rick, who was fairly new to the sport, and another fellow whose name escapes me. We had a good day. The wind was challenging and I had taken my time. If I had close ones I tried to hurry but not rush leaving more time for the long ones and allowing the wind to die down to then take the long shots, hopefully, with little to no wind. By the end of the course I thought for sure I was out of the running once again with a 43/52 (-9 shots).
As I started making my way to put my stuff away I found out that the Himes brothers hadn't done very well with the wind. Dennis was looking at the wind in the grass but didn't take into account that the grass was extremely wet from the rain the night before so grossly underestimated the wind and was down -13 and Tom was down -15 I think. Talking to others I proceeded to figure out that I actually did very well. At one point John Eros came up to me and said "looks like we're tied for 1st...". I was completely surprised. I always figure that someone must have shot better than me, so I'm always very humble about my score and try not to get my hopes up.
We all went to the banquet that night at the Elks Club, which is always top notch. PA has many things out to raffle off, plus they were raffling off a new Air Venturi Compressor! The number of people from the Northeast has grown so we took a picture of our group, which is in the pictures below and called it a night.
Sunday came and I didn't even bother sighting in. I figured that I put the rifle away and nothing had changed or gotten bumped, similar to last year. So I spent the morning relaxing and talking with friends. Tyler got the meeting under way, but this time with some humor. Someone had really messed up their score sheet so Kristin pulled out a big "X" on paper and Tyler said "this is what you write down when the target is knocked over" <laugh from everyone>. Kristen pulls out an "O", "This is what you write down when the target is NOT knocked over"....
Sydney and I were paired with John Eroh, who I was tied with for 1st and Jim Cylan, who was 1 point behind us. First lane and John's fingers were visibly shaking to the point that we all asked him if he was OK. He had never been in this position so was WAY nervous. We went on with our shooting and I missed two early on so I just started shooting for fun like I try to always do and enjoy my daughter's company. But as we worked our way through the course I ended up not missing as many as John and managed to tie Jim. So Jim remained 1 point behind me and John was 3 behind. So at this point, unless someone had a spectacular day, I had a chance.
We packed up the equipment, went back to the camper and got everything ready to leave and had some lunch. Tyler and crew took the score boards into a private room since there were some protests to work out and to keep the scoring private. Maybe an hour later they put the score boards up and I had a "1st" next to my name! WOW, a dream had come true. Then Eric said that I had better look at the prizes to see which one I would like. And since you didn't know the order you needed to create a list of 1-5. I started getting congratulations from EVERYONE, even Tyler. It was one of those moments that is just surreal.
Well, Kristen called the 1st place finishers out and had us draw numbers. High score went first, drew a 3. Next highest drew a 2. Then I went and drew 1! Wow, I won and get first choice of the prizes! Crazy.
Tyler started the presentation and my name was announced as 1st Place in Hunter PCP. I made my way up to him with the room erupting in cheers. Just crazy. For this particular weekend I had managed to beat 49 other people over two days of shooting. I got a very nice 1st place Cup trophy and was able to pick out an Ataman M2S Field Target rifle worth $2399.
You might recall that I had written earlier about having someone in line above you that you are close to beating as your next goal. And I had called out the Himes' brothers, to which they were very flattered.
On the way home I just kept reliving the weekend and thinking any more mistakes and this wouldn't have happened. But I managed to keep my cool, enjoy the weekend, spend time with my daughter, shoot really well, AND I BEAT THE HIMES' BROTHERS! So I came to the conclusion that I had won the trifecta by beating both of the Himes' brothers AND winning the cup.