The SVI Infinity European Open
As the IPSC European Handgun Championship and World Shoot XVII take place in 2013 and 2014 respectively, the bigger matches being held in the European IPSC area in 2012 gave European competitors the opportunity to meet up and compete together. The match organisers took on the big task of allowing 305 shooters in 21 squads to participate. There were also many competitors from outside European countries, such as Canada, Israel, Russia, South Africa and the USA.
SVI Infinity European OpenThe SVI Infinity European Open
Philippsburg, Germany 2012
As the IPSC European Handgun Championship and World Shoot XVII take place in 2013 and 2014 respectively, the bigger matches being held in the European IPSC area in 2012 gave European competitors the opportunity to meet up and compete together. The match organisers took on the big task of allowing 305 shooters in 21 squads to participate. There were also many competitors from outside European countries, such as Canada, Israel, Russia, South Africa and the USA. These competitors can see how European matches are organised and to participate in such a match as part of their training in preparation for future events, such as the European Championship in 2013. Over the past 11 years, the event in Philippsburg, Germany has established itself as one of the premier IPSC matches in Europe. This year’s event was organised by Jurgen Ofner and Patrick Kummer and their team of helpers. Patrick designed all 18 stages and did a very good job, as all the stages proved to be very testing on each competitor’s abilities.
Match organiser Patrick Kummer, STI European Team members Fabrizio Pesce and
Irene Canetta and Frank Garcia from the USA are regular competitors at the SVI Infinity Match
The ranges at Philippsburg are probably among the best club ranges in Europe. They have been constructed on a former Bundeswehr military firing range complex, which became surplus to military requirements at the end of the Cold War. You have overhead protection from the elements and the semi open range construction, with 180 degree backstops and multiple portable bullet traps allow designers to build and shoot any stage imaginable. There are numerous wide 25 meter ranges and two huge 50 meter ranges give the space needed to build any number of stages. This facility can handle a match of this size. The pistol ranges surround a 300 metre rifle range. Such is the design of this complex that rifle shooting is able to continue over the same weekend that the SVI Open was taking place.
Lenka Horejsi, one of Europe’s top Open Division women competitors reloads her STI competition pistol on the run
Held over the 25th – 27th May this year's Infinity European Open offered 18 stages ( plus chronograph ), to shooters from 20 IPSC Regions. The range officers and match organisation staff shot the pre match on the Friday, which allows them to run the competitors through the match on the Saturday and Sunday. The IPSC European Championship was held at this facility in 2001. As building and range development work is continuing, in the future this range complex will be capable of holding another European Championship, or even a World Shoot.
18 Stage Match18 Stage Match
This year the round count was an impressive 361 rounds for 18 stages, with each competitors shooting ten stages on the Saturday and eight stages on the Sunday. There were eight 12 round stages, seven medium stages of 20 to 24 rounds and three 32 round long stages. Most of the stages offered 20 rounds or more, so there were points to be had ( and lost! ) on most stages. This match attracted many of the top European practical pistol shooters across all IPSC Divisions. The competition was tough across the board.
Jurgen Ofner and his band of helpers process the score sheets. The organisation
and running of this event always runs smoothly
Analysing the 299 competitors who completed the match shows trends which are taking place in IPSC matches Europe. Production Division was the most popular with 103 ( 34.5 % ) shooters. Open and Standard Divisions had 91 and 90 competitors respectively ( 30.4 % ). Revolver Division and the new Classic Division have their devotees with 10 ( 3.3 % ) and five ( 1.7 % ) shooters respectively in each division.
Russia’s Svetlana Nikolaeva was the first placed Lady in Production Division with her CZ Shadow
Production Division Rule Changes
The new 15 round maximum magazine capacity in Production Division ( PD ) came into effect on 1st January 2010 and is now well bedded in. Although there was much debate about this rule change late last year on the IPSC Global Village Forum, it has not dented the popularity of this division. Designed to stop manufacturers coming out with factory supplied magazines of 20 rounds plus capacity; love or hate the rule change, PD continues to be popular. The ability to compete with the minimal financial outlay is the reason for PD’s expanding popularity and not as a stampede in support of any rule changes. Although a 15 round maximum magazine capacity creates a level playing field with the amount of ammunition available, looking at what types of pistol are being used in PD, the CZ SP01 Shadow continues to dominate. Pistols made by Sig were also being used.
Rodger Zobrist from Switzerland used his .45 ACP Smith and Wesson 625 revolver
to finish in sixth place in Revolver Division
The number of Sphinx 3000 Production pistols in use continues to increase. The CZ Shadow holds one or two more rounds in the magazine, but with the magazine capacity rule this advantage has gone. The Sphinx has all the advantages of the Shadow, so I suspect that we will continue to see a lot more of this high quality pistol manufactured in Switzerland.
SVI IPSC German Team
As well as sponsoring this match, SVI also has formed a German IPSC Shooting Team that participates in the top level IPSC matches around Europe. A big plus this year was the number of top competitors from outside Europe. We had Bill Drummond, Brandon Strayer and Frank Garcia from the USA and Nikitas and Tommy Markessinis and Mike Burell from Canada. Paul Keaney came all the way from South Africa. Slightly closer were David Ram, Dotan Toibis, Evgeny Monastirsky and Yael Dagan from Israel.
Yael Dagan was one of the contingent of competitors from IPSC Israel and
finished in fourth place in Ladies Open Division
This is always a demanding and technical match with the need for accurate shooting. There were targets out to 25 meters, lots of five to 15 meter targets, many of these were partial targets or with no shoots targets obscuring much of the shoot targets. The stage designers cleverly allowed the shooters the tactical choice of whether to shoot long distance or run up closer to the targets. So there were stages designed to suit all levels of competitors. Lots of stages had 15cm circular and square steel plates and partial targets, which added to the need for accuracy even on the shorter distances. There were also several stages of close up high speed running and gunning type stages.
Lenka Horejsi from the Czech Republic finished in second place in Ladies Open Division
with her STI .38 Super calibre competition pistol
As well as shooting targets downrange, there were also many to the left and right. With 180 degree back stops and portable bullets stops the stage designs could easily vary the direction of fire. Cleverly positioned barricades and windows forced the shooter to move quickly and adopt different shooting positions while shooting the stage. Lots of moving targets added sophistication and a degree of difficulty to many of the stages. There were swingers, bobbers and drop and turn targets. This match has among the most activated targets as any Level III IPSC Match in Europe. The stage designs were very good. The high accuracy requirements also added a lot to the match as well.
From Sweden STI European Team member Ralf Jensen finished in eight place in Standard Division
In Stage Four there were drop and raise no shoot ( or bear trap ) targets. This type of arrangement has a no shoot target placed in front of a shoot target, and when activated the no shoot drops allowing a brief full view of the shoot target and then raises back up to obscure the shoot target. Stage Four had two of these type of targets. When in the raised position a small portion of each shoot target was still visible, so miss penalties still apply. This created many choices and options for the competitor.
Top Spanish Production Division competitor Eduardo de Cobos finished the match in second place
Stage 12 was a 32 round field match in which six steel poppers opened and closed a series of windows. This either exposed on concealed a series of paper shoot targets. Obviously there was the capacity for a major brain fade in this stage! In Stage Nine as the competitor advanced down the range they broke an optical sensor which released four 15 cm square steel plates which appeared and disappeared from behind hard cover. In stages were optical and electronic sensors are used there is always the worry that they will break down, but in these two stages this equipment worked properly throughout the match.
From France STI European Team member Emile Obriot finished in third place in Open Division
Open Division winner of the match, with just over a one percent margin, was STI European Team member Saul Kirsch. Martin Kamenicek ( 98.92 % ) of the CZ Shooting Team and STI Team member Emile Obriot ( 98.51 % ) came in second and third. In Standard Division STI European Team member Gregory Midgley from Germany took the top spot, with French competitors Julien Boit ( 97.13 % ) and Jerome Poiret ( 96.96 % ) in second and third place. In Production Division Eric Grauffel took the top place, using his Tanfoglio pistol. Eric Grauffel has dominated Open Division for many years and this year he has moved to Production Division and won. Spain’s Eduardo De Cobos ( 96.60 % ) was second and CZ Team Member Robin Sebo ( 93.12 % ) took third place. In Revolver first place went to Germany’s Sascha Back, who is the current European Revolver Champion. Germany’s Marcus Schneider ( 98.33 % ) and Switzerland’s Marwan Itani ( 89.37 % ) were in second and third place.
Current Open Division World Champion Eric Grauffel has moved to Production Division in 2012. Eric has
dominated Open Division for many years and looks like he will also be at the top of Production Division as well
Ladies CategoryLadies Category
In the Ladies Open Division 0.3 % separated Holland’s Desiree Van Noord from the Czech Republic’s Lenka Horejsi in first and second place respectively. Katerina Sustrova from the Czech Republic was in third place.. In Standard Division Germany’s Petra Tutschke, Anja Schuetz and Rita Burkhart took the first, second and third place. In Production Division 0.8 % separated Russia’s Svetlana Nikolaeva, in first place from current Production World Champion Maria Gushchina. Germanys Loni Kuhn was in third place.
Current Ladies Production Division World Champion Maria Gushchina from Russia finished in second
place in Ladies Production Division
Events like this one do not happen by themselves; they require a lot of effort from dedicated individuals to make them happen. Most of the top IPSC competitors in Europe were present, across all the Divisions. The match ran smoothly thanks to the hard work of the range crew. The standard of the ROing was very positive and the match was supported by an excellent web site.
On the Saturday evening after the first day of the competition, the match organisers treated
all the range staff and match sponsors to a barbeque
The organisers of the 2012 SVI Infinity European Open ran an excellent competition and here’s looking forward to the next one. To see the full set of results and information about the match, visit the competition web sites.
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