2011 World Shoot XVI Handgun Championships
The 2011 IPSC World Shoot XVI Practical Handgun Championships were held in Rhodes, Greece. Last held in Bali, Indonesia, the World Shoot ( WS ) takes place every three years and was held at the Kalamonas Shooting Range, 18 kilometres south of Rhodes Town. The range was expanded for the WS.
Y2K, ANTHRAX ATTACK, 9/11, MAD COWS, SARS, SWINE FLU,
DEEPWATER OIL SPILL, FINANCIAL MARKET CRASH,
EARTHQUAKE & TSUNAMI, ASH CLOUD AND RADIOACTIVE LEAK AND WAITING TO
FACE DOOMSDAY 2012 – NOW I FEEL READY TO FIGHT AT
WORLD SHOOT XVI
The competition were organised by the Greek IPSC Region, with the assistance from The International Practical Shooting Confederation ( IPSC ) and the International Range Officers Association ( IROA ), which ensured that the range complex was fit for purpose. This included construction of all the stages, rest areas and trade displays for the event. All of the 30 WS stages had a Greek theme.
The increasing popularity of IPSC shooting around the globe has lead to Continental and World Championships being designed to take 900 plus competitors in these matches. For the WS 1080 allocations were issued for the match .In the current economic climate I wondered if 1080 individuals able to take part could be found, but the match was filled to capacity. Every countries allocation was oversubscribed. This high demand is in part due to many new IPSC regions being formed in many of the emerging eastern European countries and the new countries that used to make up the former Soviet Union. A total of 64 IPSC Regions, from Argentina to Zimbabwe, participated in the match.
Wolfgang Schroder from Kriss Systems Limited had the full range of Sphinx IPSC pistols on display. There was an extensive trade show at the WS.
The Kalamonas Shooting Range complex used 30 shooting bays for the WS. The ranges were in five groups of six stages and each group had a common backstop, which were separated by earth walls. The range complex has been well prepared with new shooting bays and a pea gravel road added. Parking areas, refreshments, seating areas, stats room and a big trade show were lead on for the event. Coaches were used to bus competitors to and from the designated “match hotels”.
The Greek Military provided a lot of logistical support to assist the running of WSXVI.
The event started on 2nd October with the Opening Ceremony. Over 160 competitors took part in the Pre Match, which started on the preceding Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for all the range officers and match officials. Administrative meetings and the IPSC General Assembly where also held during this week. Competitors based themselves around Rhodes and arrived in the city during the proceeding week to register at the match. The Opening Ceremony took place on the Sunday afternoon. Teams and representatives of the 64 participating nations converged and paraded behind their respective countries flags into a Greek amphitheatre. Government Ministers and IPSC Officials gave the opening speeches. We were then treated to a display of traditional Greek dancing.
Representing Spain and the STI European Team, JC Jamie Diaz was placed in second place in Standard Division.
The Main Match started on the Monday morning of 3rd October and consisted of 30 stages, shot six per day over five half days. The competitors were grouped into 72 squads of up to 15 shooters, which shot for half a day alternating between mornings and afternoons; 7.30 am to 13.00 pm and 13.30pm until 7.00 pm. Each group of 12 squads was assigned a colour; Brown, Blue, Green, Orange, Red and Yellow. Each coloured group shot alternate mornings and afternoons, with each colour having one day that they did not shoot. The way the match was organised meant that 30 squads shot in the morning and another 30 squads shot in the afternoon and 12 squads had the day off. Each stage was ranged officered by an IROA official. The Greek Army also provided a lot of man power to assist with the running of the event. A Greek Army medical Humvee and medical tent was positioned on site, but as expected they had a “very quiet” week.
The competition was sponsored by the major firms who produce the products used in IPSC events. Armscor, CZ, Geco, Sig Sauer, Sphinx Systems, STI International and Tanfoglio sponsored the different match areas. Each individual stage was also sponsored by companies who produce equipment suitable for practical pistol competition such as 5.11 Tactical, Ghost holsters, Double Alpha Academy, Heckler and Koch and a host of other firearm, ammunition and accessory manufactures.
Another round cycles through Switzerland’s Pascal Hubli’s Sphinx 3000 pistol. This pistol has had 130,000 rounds fired through it.
With the popularity of practical pistol competition around the world on the increase, this translated into all five IPSC Competition Divisions being well represented at the WS. This also spread into the various categories of lady, junior, senior and super senior. Both Open and Standard Division remain popular with 364 and 328 competitors respectively. Production Division continues to expand and was the most popular division at the 2011 WS with 381 shooters in this category. Modified and Revolver Divisions continue to have their devotees with 57 and 43 entries respectively. There were 26 DQ’s, which at 3% is average for a Level IV or V match. With a total of 1173 competitors completing the WS, this was the biggest match that IPSC has organised.
Cliff Walsh and Frank Sparsby enjoy a beer after a days shooting.
Hey Frank, are those beers not a bit on the small side?
The 30 stages were grouped into five areas and consisted of 15 short stages of nine to 12 rounds; ten medium stages of 13 to 21 rounds and five long stages of 29 to 32 rounds for a minimum round count of 464 rounds for the match. As well as static full sized and partial versions, the IPSC Classic targets consisted of moving, bobbing and drop and turn versions placed between two and 35 metres from the competitors. Twenty eight of the 30 stages also included either moving targets and steel pepper poppers and / or plates.
Although the competitors spent half a day at the range for four days with one day off, the RO’s were there for the whole day. With more range staff used in this match, the RO’s also had a day off. The weather remained hot and sunny all week, with temperatures approaching 30 degrees Celsius. OK if you are used to it, but a bit warm for those from cooler climates.
The USA’s Tori Nonaka represented Team Glock with her .40 calibre Glock 35 pistol and finished in second in Ladies Standard Division.
Eric Grauffel retained his crown as European Open Division Champion for the fifth successive time. Eric has been winning matches this year, sometimes with margins of up to 10 percent. The USA’s JJ Racaza and Kamille Eusibio were in second and third place with 96.71% and 96.00 %.
In women’s Open Division Australia’s Karla Blowers took the woman’s top slot. The USA’s Megan Francisco and Jessica Harrison took the next two places. In the open junior class Shane Coley from the USA came in first place. Rhys Arthur from Australia came second and the USA’s Ben Thompson was close behind in third place.
Whereas open division is a case of one man being chased by the rest of the pack, the rest of the divisions are not just as quite a done deal. Modified division has a widespread global competitor base. Basically an open class gun that fits in the IPSC box in .40 S&W. Building one will test a gunsmith’s skills to get everything working properly, while reducing the dimensions to ensure the assembled pistol will fit within the required size. Zdenek Henes from the Czech Republic took the top spot, with Jerome Jovanne Morales from the Philippines less than 3% behind him and the USA’s Rob Leatham was in third place.
Using her Sphinx Production 3000 pistol, Elena Bykova was a member of the winning Russian Ladies Production Team.
As 2007 Production Division World Champion Adam Tyc was not shooting the match there was going to be a new title holder. Production was still a tight match this year and it was a one, two and three for the USA, with Robert Vogel, Ben Stoeger and Matthew Mink taking the top three places. Women’s Production Division was won by Russia’s Mira Gushchina and less than 0.5% separated the USA’s Julie Goloski-Golob and Sara Dunivin in second and third place.
Production Division continues to grow in popularity and had the biggest number of competitors at WS 2011, with 381. As well as being the perfect entry level into IPSC matches, Production Division at the top level is also as competitive as any other division.
Ever popular with the crowds, Angus Hobdell engages another target with his 9mm CZ Shadow pistol.
The battle for Standard Division took place across half a dozen squads; in which where found the world’s top competitors. JC Jamie Diaz, Blake Miguez, Ted Puente, Petr Znamenacek, Travis Tomasie and Gyorgy Batki were adjacent squads to each other. I was able to watch all of them shoot at various stages of the event. Congratulations to Blake Miguez for winning Standard at the WS. Spain’s JC was second and Ted Puente from the USA in third place.
Ricardo Lopez from Ecuador won Revolver Division. Jerry Miculek and Matthew Griffin from the USA were in second and third place. Have a look at the competition web site www.wsh2011.org for a full set of results and information on the competition.
Jerry Miculek finished in second place in Revolver Division with his .45 ACP calibre Smith and Wesson 625 revolver.
Steel Plate Shoot Offs
On the Sunday morning after the completion of the main match the Shoot Off Finals took place. These included the top eight competitors across all the five IPSC divisions and were numbers of competitors in the different divisions permitted; it also included women, juniors and seniors. The shoot off consisted of each competitor engaging eight steel targets. They also had to make one compulsory reload. Two over lapping poppers were placed in the middle of the range. The first of the two final poppers to hit the ground decided the winner. There was only one bout between each competitor to decide the winner, until the final two competitors and then it was the best of three bouts.
A raised concrete plinth at the rear of the range and the two earth range side walls enabled spectators to view the shoot off match. Starting with Revolver, then Modified, Production, the event then proceeded through Standard and finally Open Division. The shoot off finals finished with what the assembled crowd was waiting to see; the top Open Division competitors giving a blistering demonstration of speed in cleaning the plates, to give a crowd pleasing performance.
Multiple IPSC Champion Robbie Leatham finished in third place in Modified Division.
The competitors reconvened for the awards dinner in one of the match hotels on Sunday evening. The flags of the 64 participating nations were draped around the dining area. The national anthems of the winner of each award were played. When Eric Grauffel was awarded his fifth President’s Medal for winning Open Division the French squad shouted out one, two, three, four, five in English enthusiastically joined in with the singing of La Marseillaise!
World Shoot XVII will take place at Frank Garcia’s shooting complex in Frostproof, Florida, USA in 2014.
Appreciation is due to our hosts in Rhodes and to the Greek people; both those who were involved in the match and the general public who made us all feel very welcome in the island of Rhodes. The IPSC World Shoot XVII will take place in 2014 in Frostproof, Florida, USA.
You can also see more information and images on the WS in the WS daily reports in the PH blog section.
For Further Information