August 15th, 2017

Individual Champions Crowned at F-Class Worlds in Canada

Canada Ontario Ottawa Connaught Ranges Championship 2017 FCWC Rod Davies Derek Rodgers

Hail the new F-Class World Champions: Australian Rod Davies (F-Open) and the USA’s Derek Rodgers (F-TR). The 2017 F-Class Individual World Championships event was memorable — with thunderstorms, tight competition, and wicked winds on the final day. On Day 1, Saturday 8/12/17, only one 700m relay was completed before a massive storm front dropped a deluge. Conditions prior to that were good, with dozens of competitors shooting “clean” — one competitor lamented “I didn’t drop a point but ended up way down the standings on V-Count…”

After one yardage, the FCWC was halted on Saturday (Day 1) by a massive thunderstorm.
Canada Ontario Ottawa Connaught Ranges Championship 2017 FCWC Rod Davies Derek Rodgers
Sebastian Lambang photo

F-TR — The King of 2 Miles vs. The Newly-Crowned Canadian Champ
The F-TR event couldn’t have been closer — this went down to the wire. American Derek Rodgers scored 473-36V to win the title on V-Count over Canadia Kevin Chou (473-31V). Kevin is a very tough man to beat on his home range in Ontario. At this same venue, Kevin recently won Canada’s F-TR National Championship, his second F-TR Canadian National title in a row.

This has been a great summer for Rodgers. Last month Derek won the King of 2 Miles competition in Raton, NM. But the World Championship F-TR win didn’t come easy. Not by a long shot. This was a tough, come-from-behind win for Derek. After Day 1, which was halted by rain, Derek was in 77th position. On Day 2, he had climbed to 17th. He moved all the way to the top of the podium on the third and final day by shooting brilliantly in very tough conditions.

Derek told us: “The wind was changing very rapidly on Monday (Day 3). There were radical changes. It was blowing left to right, but there were rapid velocity changes. You might move from holding at the edge of the black ring on the left, then over to the 2 ring on the right from shot to shot.” Derek noted that the match was “pair fire” so you had to wait up to 45 seconds for your partner to shoot. “That means you couldn’t shoot fast. You had to watch the conditions very carefully — watch those big canvas flags and the mirage.” Derek said the mirage was “huge in Canada… but it looks different than what I’m used to in the American Southwest. The mirage off grass is different.”

Canada Ontario Ottawa Connaught Ranges Championship 2017 FCWC Rod Davies Derek Rodgers

Many observers had counted Rodgers out when he stood in 17th place after Day 2, but he mastered the tough conditions to move up in the standings as others were dropping points in bunches. Derek said that starting in 17th might have been a blessing in disguise: “Starting 17th, I didn’t feel any pressure on the last day. Once I got the wind ‘roped’ on that last day, it was actually fun. I nailed a bunch of Vs, and that’s what carried me to victory.”

Canada Ontario Ottawa Connaught Ranges Championship 2017 FCWC Rod Davies Derek Rodgers

F-Open World Champion Rod Davies (Australia) Receives the Milcun Shield Trophy
Canada Ontario Ottawa Connaught Ranges Championship 2017 FCWC Rod Davies Derek Rodgers
Jenni Hausler photo.

Australian Captures F-Open Title with a Powerful Performance
In F-Open, the story was all Rod Davies, the talented Australian. He shot strong and steady throughout the match, to top the field with a 489-41V score. Finishing second was the UK’s Paul Sandie (485-38V), while another Australian, Adam Pohl, took third with 482-38V. Those Aussies do know how to shoot off grass in windy conditions. Five of the top 15 F-Open shooters were from Down Under. The top American was Jim Murphy in fourth place, followed by Erik Cortina in fifth.

Tough Conditions on Day Three
Erik Cortina told us that conditions were very tough on the last day. Wind velocities were changing unpredictably — with disastrous results for some shooters dropped 10 points or more. Somehow, in those rapidly changing winds, Eric nailed the top Aggregate for the last day, out-shooting the field: “I was lucky enough that conditions were very tough on the last day and that I was able to read the conditions good enough to win the Aggregate for the day. I moved up from 27th to 5th (overall) in one day. There were close to 200 of the best F-Open shooters in the World competing at this match, what an amazing experience to share the range with such an outstanding group of people.”

Canada Ontario Ottawa Connaught Ranges Championship 2017 FCWC Rod Davies Derek Rodgers

2017 FCWC relays were conducted with Pair Firing, with each shooter alternating shot by shot. Here are Mark Fairbairn (Australia) and Matt Schwartzkopf (USA) on the right. Sebastian Lambang photo.
Canada Ontario Ottawa Connaught Ranges Championship 2017 FCWC Rod Davies Derek Rodgers

YOUNG GUNS: At the 2017 FCWC the first-ever Under 25 World Champions were crowned: Mitchell Fitzpatrick (F-TR) and Rhys Ireland (F-Open). Rhys also won the 2017 Canadian National F-Open Championship last week. Mitchell is a past KO2M winner.

The young pit crew members did a great job. Sebastian Lambang photo.
Canada Ontario Ottawa Connaught Ranges Championship 2017 FCWC Rod Davies Derek Rodgers

Team Matches Come Next
There is a lay day today, August 15th, after which the Team Competition phase of the F-Class World Championships commence. We can expect a tough battle among the top teams: Australia, Canada, Great Britain/UK, South Africa, and the USA. Here is the schedule/course of fire for the Team Matches:

    FCWC Team Competition
    Wednesday, August 16: 2+15 @ 700m, 2+15 @ 800m, 2+15 @ 900m
    Thursday, August 17: 2+15 @ 700m, 2+15 @ 800m , 2+15 @ 900m
    Prize Giving and Closing Ceremonies
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August 15th, 2016

Chou Brothers Top F-TR Field at Canadian Championships

Canada Canadian F-Class Championship Kevin Chou Will Chou Shiraz Balolia F-TR F-Open

It was a family affair in the F-TR Division at the Canadian F-Class Championships this past week. In a remarkable show of strength, Kevin and Will Chou, brothers from Aurora, Canada, finished first and second, topping a strong 94-shooter field that included past American and Canadian Champions. The “Chou One-Two” performance was one for the ages. Kevin finished first with 611-61V (“V” is the equivalent of an “X” in the USA), while Will (2014 Champion) scored 607-58V to finish second. A full thirteen points behind Will was third place Daniel Lentz at 594-34V.

Canada Canadian F-Class Championship Kevin Chou Will Chou Shiraz Balolia F-TR F-Open

Look hard at those numbers — Champion Kevin Chou was 17 points ahead of Daniel Lentz (the first American), with nearly double Dan’s V-Count. 17 points is a huge margin in this kind of competition. You have to hand it to the both Chou Brothers, Kevin and Will — they were “on fire” this past week at the Connaught Ranges outside Ottawa, Ontario. Kevin’s 611-61V equaled the top score in the F-Open division. That’s a major milestone for the F-TR bipod class shooting a .308 Win.

1. CHOU, KEVIN (Aurora, ON, Canada) 611-61V
2. CHOU, WILL (Aurora, ON, Canada) 607-58V
3. LENTZ, DANIEL(USA) 594-34V
4. HOGG, TRACY (USA) 593-41V
5. BURTON, ROBBY (USA) 591-44V

The F-TR event attracted top shooters from around the globe. Countries represented were: Australia, Canada, Ireland, South Africa, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States. CLICK HERE for Complete F-Class Individual Results.

Canada Canadian F-Class Championship Kevin Chou Will Chou Shiraz Balolia F-TR F-Open

Kevin Chou Rifle Specs
BAT Machine M action, RB/RP
Bartlein barrel 300×308 1:10″ 5R Heavy Palma 29” finished
Jewell trigger
Robertson Composites stock (Warner model)
Nightforce NXS 5-22×56 with mirage cap by Kreativ Solutions
Duplin bipod
Edgewood Mini Gator Rear Bag, extra short, slick ears

Will Chou Rifle Specs
Stolle Panda F-Class, RB/RP
Bartlein barrel 300×308 1:10″ 5R Heavy Varmint 30 1/2” finished
Mike Ezell Tuner
Jewell Trigger
Master class stock (Warner model)
March Tactical 2.5-25x52mm with modifier disk
Duplin bipod
Edgewood Mini Gator Rear Bag, extra short, slick ears

Kevin Chou Load Data
Berger 200 Hybrids, .010″ jam
Hodgdon Varget, 44.2 grains, 2660 fps
Lapua .308 Win Palma brass, skim turned to .0145″, .002″ neck tension.
CCI BR4 primers

Will Chou Load Data
Berger 200gr hybrids, .010″ jam
Hodgdon Varget, 44.2 grains, 2660 fps
Lapua .308 Win Palma brass, skim turned to .0145″, .002″ neck tension.
CCI BR4 primers

Report from the Canadian F-TR Championships

by Will Chou and Kevin Chou
Weather was extremely hot and humid for the first two days, resulting in thick mirage, a excellent indicator. In the Army & Navy match during the F-Open relay, wind velocity increased and shifted from right full value to left half value winds. Wind settled down for the last match of the day.

On the third day, mainly team matches, the rain challenged the marking staff with target faces deteriorating; a stop was called to the match after the 1st relay of the final. The match committee determined the best course of action, refaced the target during dry period and finished the remaining seeded final relays.

On the seeded final relay, my brother and I had no idea we’d be shooting together, as we’ve not discussed or paid any attention to scores for the entire match. It was a familiar position though, as we always practice paired together. Strangely, we’re not competitive with each other but rather assist one another to raise the level together. Come to think of it, that’s not just with my brother — we do that with everyone.

On that note, we feel the F-Class community has been raising each others level, bridging the gap between F-Open and F-TR. International teams have been assisting each other, most recently with Canadians and South Africans. Congratulations to South Africa for its well-deserved victory in the International Team Match.

We also congratulate the USA Team, which won the America Team Match, raising the bar yet again. Lastly, Shiraz Balolia’s “three-peat” in the F-Open Division was an incredible feat.

Big thanks to everyone at Bartlein barrels for their support to the Canadian F-Class team. Special thanks to Dan Pohlabel of Kreativ Solutions for the mirage cap, which allowed a better aim in thick mirage. Lastly, Clint Cooper of Duplin bipods, for the great product and his support.

Thank you all and we hope to see you on the firing line.


Shiraz Wins Third Canadian F-Open Championship in a Row: 2016, 2015, 2014
Grizzly Industrial President Shiraz Balolia pulled off a remarkable F-Open “THREE-PEAT” at the 2016 Canadian F-Class Championships. Shiraz won his third straight Canadian F-Class Championship, after winning the title in 2015 and 2014. Shiraz shot a 611-61V to edge, by way of tie-breaker, fellow American Emil Kovan, who also shot a 611-61V. That’s as close as it gets! Rounding out the podium in third place was another Yank, Dwayne Draggoo with 608-44V.

Canada Canadian F-Class Championship Kevin Chou Will Chou Shiraz Balolia F-TR F-Open

Stay tuned — We’ll have a full report on Shiraz’s notable three-peat F-Open performance (with his equipment and load details) later this week. We’ll also have reports on the Team competitions. There were three teams of 8 shooters taking part in the International, won by South Africa. In the Lum Trophy Match for teams of 4 shooters, there were 14 teams in the F-Open class, win by USFO Blue, and 11 teams in F-TR, won by USA Schwartzkopf.

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