The Column, No. 45:
Die Suid-Afrikaanse 2009 F-Klas Nasionale Kampioenskap
Iím not sure whether it is part of Einsteinís or Newtonís laws of physics, but Dr. Jimís basic biological law is: The older you get, the faster time travels. It seems like last week that I wrote about the 2008 South African Nationals and here I am again writing about the 2009 Nationals.
If you have never visited South Africa, you really should plan a trip. It is truly one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in the world. The diversity of cultures from the Zuluís to the Afrikanerís, the majestic scenery and the wildlife makes a visit to South Africa an unforgettable experience. It has been said that once you visit South Africa, you will never be completely happy until you return again.
The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa. Established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the South African Lowveld, this national park of nearly 2 million hectares, SANParks / Kruger National Park is unrivalled in the diversity of its life forms and a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and policies. Kruger Wildtuin is home to an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. Man's interaction with the Lowveld environment over many centuries, from bushman rock paintings to majestic archaeological sites like Masorini and Thulamela. Well, that is enough of Docís plug for his favourite place on earth. Time to talk about target shooting.
As usual, the event was held in Bloemfontein, which is a lovely place to visit if you like wide open spaces, lots of wind and rain. Now, that wasnít too nice, because this year there was no rain, but the winds were really nasty. Of course, when the winds howl, you either hunker down and shoot through it, or your rounds end up on someone elseís target. Following are the results.
F-Class (Open) International:
Bisley Ė Target Rifle (TR):
The very well-known David Calvert is one of Northern Irelandís most successful shooters. David, an RAF pilot, is always a serious contender and this year he took the gold in Target Rifle.
Finally, the ďnail bitterĒ of the entire competition. The matchup between the South African Protea team and the U.S. Invitational team. The Americans were hoping to top the South Africans in their own nationals and demoralize them on their 80th anniversary. They came close, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Both the U.S. and S.A. teams had the same score, but the South Africans had more Xís (V-Bulls). As such, the team shoot championships all remain in South Africa for another year.
The South Africans are the current F-Class World Champions, scheduled to defend their title in Bisley, UK in July 2009. The event promises to be a very interesting time for all. The U.S.A. team will be trying to regain the world title they lost in 2005, while the Irish, British and German teams will be aiming (pardon the pun) to upset both the Americans and South Africans. What will make the World Championships even more interesting is that 40% of the rifles competing were made by my friend Alan Warner of Keene, New Hampshire. The odds are that one of Alanís rifles will be in the hands of a winner at Bisley.
Copyright 2009 by Jim Clary. All rights reserved.