Just returned a couple days ago from the South of France, and the Mediterranean cup which is held there every May, near the city of Avignon.
The Med cup attracted many shooters, as it's a 24 stage level III match, and the range and location are great. less than one hour from the South coast of France. Plus, it's within driving distance of Spain and Italy, so many shooters come from there too.
this year, there were competitors from 15 European countries, plus Max Michel from the USA. A truly international match.
It certainly was an interesting match this year, and the weather did what it could to make things interesting too: on day one we had rain and stormy weather. Day two was sunny - but very windy, while Day 3 turned out to be perfect sunny day.
The stages made for an interesting match too, with the 3-2-1 balance IPSC loves so much: 1 long course, to 2 medium courses to 3 small courses. On day two we shot only 9 round stages. But, when the competition is tough, that makes for interesting shooting.
Having both Max Michel of the AMU (the Army Marksmanship Unit), one of the very top US Shooters, and world Champion Eric Grauffel on the same squad was great. This was the first time for the three of us to shoot together, and I, for one, really enjoyed it.
Eric won the first stage, a jungle run - and kept building his lead from there on. Pretty soon it was a close match for 2nd and 3rd, between Max and I, with top French shooter Eddi Testa a close 4th. Max and I were within 10-15 points of one another all through the match.
Going into the last stage, I was back by 7 points. When you shoot on the same squad with Eric, and his Dad Gigi, you know the score exactly! Gigi calculates the points on every stage.
I knew I had to do something really spectacular to make up 7 points on Max, on a 9 round, 45 point stage. This last stage was a teaser to: Start position was gun on table, condition 2. you picked up, racked the slide, and shot 9 targets: 7 static, 1 steel and a very fast, very far swinger, which you could see only at the top of it's full speed arc. One hit on each paper. I realized that the only way I was going to make up any time on this stage, was to shoot the 3 papers to the left of the popper, popper, then 4 papers on the right, and make it back to the swinger on the first pass... We timed the swinger - it took 1.1 seconds to appear, and is was gone in .40 of a second! Then you had to wait for .80 for it to reappear. oh well, I had to go for it!
I got a good pick-up and load, shot the 3 papers to the left, purposely shot low on the steel to give me a little more time, whizzed through the 4 papers on the right - and swung back to the swinger, taking a shot at it as I saw something brown flash across my Aimpoint Sight. 4.56 seconds on the stage... best time on the stage by over a full second - but, was the shot on the swinger...
We walked out - and no, it was not. Well, it was a very risky tactic, which I had to try to make up ground on Max. I don't regret it. Strange thing was that both Max and Eric then came up to shoot - and both did the same - missed that swinger! it was a fast and tricky one.
I very much look forward to our next chance to shoot together, before the world shoot. Eric is the world champion, and he is extra tough to beat when shooting at home, in France.
I thank my sponsors for their generous support:
The Makoff-Reifman Foundation
Vectan (Nobel Sports)
Rescomp Handgun Technologies
Bul Transmark Ltd
Tomorrow morning I leave for Budapest, for the Mag Trophy match this weekend. Stay tuned for that report.
Movie clip: Stage 21