February 21st, 2019

Ireland vs. USA — 2019 Creedmoor Cup Competition

Arizona Ireland USA American Creedmoor Challenge Cup rifle competition

The Creedmoor Cup is an historic challenge match between American and Irish marksmen. The first match was held in in 1874 between American and Irish Teams in Creedmoor, New York. (Read Match History). The Match was revived in 2011 and is now held every four years.

In 2019, the match was held this week at the Ben Avery Range in Arizona, following the Berger Southwest Nationals. It proved to be a great match, with Team USA coming out on top. Erik Cortina stated: “What a great experience this has been. Team USA won the 2019 Creedmoor cup vs Ireland. It had been over 100 years since match was shot in the United States. Glad to see this tradition continue.”

Arizona Ireland USA American Creedmoor Challenge Cup rifle competition

Arizona Ireland USA American Creedmoor Challenge Cup rifle competition

Congrats to the Members of Winning Team USA:

F-TR Riflemen
Alan Barnhart
Ellis Berry
David Conrath
Tracy Hogg
Ian Klemm
Matthew Schwartzkopf
Ed Shelley
Keith Trapp
F-Open Riflemen
Larry Bartholome
Erik Cortina
Ken Dickerman
David Gosnell
Rick Jensen
Jim Murphy
Pat Scully
Keith Weil
Coaches
Kent Reeve (Head Coach)
James Crofts
Scott Fulmer
Bob Seabold
Nancy Tompkins
Team Staff
Captain Phil Kelley
Vice-Captain Dan Bramley
Adjutant Stephen Ireland

Team USA Captain Phil Kelly told us this was a great match: “USA wins the Creedmoor Cup in a great competition with Team Ireland! Two days of cold and windy conditions challenged both 16-shooter teams. Final ceremonies included Native American dancers and great camaraderie among all the competitors. Thank you to all from Team Ireland who made the trip! The best of competitors and friends.” Phil added: “Special thanks to additional Creedmoor Committee members including Michelle Gallagher, Pete Ricci, and Mark Walker. We look forward to the next gathering in four years. Safe travels all.”

Arizona Ireland USA American Creedmoor Challenge Cup rifle competition

Nancy Tompkins looks down-range. With the wind-chill, competitors and coaches dressed warm.
Arizona Ireland USA American Creedmoor Challenge Cup rifle competition

Not Your Typical Warm Arizona Days at Ben Avery
There were variable conditions at the match — first easy, then tough. USA Captain Phil Kelley reported: “On Day 1 of the 2-day match, things started good then got tougher. The morning and 800-yard line saw 34° and light winds leading to high scores.

That changed as the 16-shooter teams made their way to the 900-yard line as sun, moderate wind and building mirage hit the range providing more challenging conditions.

After an excellent lunch both teams were in for a challenge. Winds of 12-16 mph with constant angle changes and surging mirage made communications and coordination among five coaches critical. The wind chill also dropped as teams stayed on the line for the majority of allotted time.”

Arizona Ireland USA American Creedmoor Challenge Cup rifle competition

The First-Ever Creedmoor Challenge Match in 1874
The Irish International Shooting team arrived in New York on the 16th of September and proceeded to “take in the sights”, which was understandable, before some practice at the Creedmoor range. On September 26th they presented themselves for the match with confidence and in high spirits. The crowds that day were reported to be between 5,000 and 10,000 strong, which showed the huge support already growing for the fledgling sport in America.

Arizona Ireland USA American Creedmoor Challenge Cup rifle competition

The course of fire was 15 shots to each man at 800, 900, and 1000 yards. Unfortunately, the details of each mans scores at the individual distances have been lost to time but we do know that the Americans were well ahead after the 800-yard shoot. The Irish then caught up after the 900-yard and finished the 1000-yard shoot ahead by 1 point. The Americans still had one man left to shoot and it came down to his very last shot with which he scored a 4 giving the American team the win over the Irish by 3 points.

Arizona Ireland USA American Creedmoor Challenge Cup rifle competition

Post-Competition Camaraderie and “Craic” at the Pub
“Craic” is an Irish term referring to positive interaction among people through conversation, stories, and music. The Craic was strong after the 2019 Creedmoor Match.

Desert Sharpshooters posted: “The ‘Craic’ is amazing tonight with the Irish rifle team to finish the Creedmoor. Thank you to the USA team members that came out tonight to show the Irish a good time. This is truely what the Creedmoor Cup is about, Friendship and good times.”

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June 8th, 2018

Yanks Enjoy Irish Hospitality at Emerald Match

Emerald Match Ireland 2018 Tullamore Midland range Phil Kelley James Crofts

American shooters have been enjoying Irish hospitality this week in Ireland, while attending attending the Emerald 2018 match at Midlands National Shooting Centre of Ireland (Tullamore). Our friends James Crofts, Phil Kelley, and Aussie Jenni Hausler provided these images from the event — both at the range and off. The Yanks are off to a good start. James reports: “Day one scores are out and Team USA is on top. Madison Bramley topped F-Open and I held on for F-TR. I also won the 1000-yard match. My equipment performed flawlessly — rifle built by Keith Weil of KW Precision, Cerus Stock by Will McCloskey, and BRM action by Jim Borden.”

Emerald Match Ireland 2018 Tullamore Midland range Phil Kelley James Crofts

American Phil Kelley posted: “As always our hosts are outstanding. Man, love this range! Ready for the big match starting tomorrow.”

Emerald Match Ireland 2018 Tullamore Midland range Phil Kelley James Crofts

Phil Kelley enjoyed the Team Match and long-range Clays Fun Match which preceded the main event. Phil posted: “A great day, with a busy line at 1100 and 1200 yards in Ireland. Last fun day included some great competition. Team USA did well. After getting completely destroyed at 1100 yards, I was able to win the 1200 yard match; with a miss! First ever board miss, it’s only 6’ wide. 12-14 mph winds with a lying, heavy mirage.”

Emerald Match Ireland 2018 Tullamore Midland range Phil Kelley James Crofts

The day finished with a fun (and challenging) Clay Pigeon Shoot at roughly 1235 yards. Phil noted: “Ellis Berry, James Crofts and myself were one of only a handful to hit the 4.25″ clay target within 5 shots in these conditions.” Think you can do that? That 4.25″ clay bird represents a mere 0.338 MOA at 1200 Yards! Not easy folks…

Emerald Match Ireland 2018 Tullamore Midland range Phil Kelley James Crofts
Competitors in the Clay Pidgeon Shoot at 1200+ yards.

Posting on Facebook, Mias Nieuwoudt had an interesting observation about the challenge of 1200 yards: “On average it seems the old 308s ran out of steam compared to our F-Open rigs at 1200 yards. Maybe a 40° scope rail with the targets angled backwards at 30° so you can lob the points like mortars!”

Emerald Match Ireland 2018 Tullamore Midland range Phil Kelley James Crofts

Emerald Match Ireland 2018 Tullamore Midland range Phil Kelley James Crofts

Touring the Emerald Isle — Countryside and Castles
On June 5, Phil Kelley observed: “Another great group touring day. A morning stop at Donamass Castle ruins provided incredible Irish views, then on to the town of Kilkenny for the Smithwicks Brewery tour, visit to Kilkenny Castle and a walk on the Medieval Mile.”

Eire Ireland Emerald Match James Crofts Jim Kelley Team Berger Tullamore Midlands Centre
Interior of Kilkenny Castle

Eire Ireland Emerald Match James Crofts Jim Kelley Team Berger Tullamore Midlands Centre
Nancy Tompkins (left) and Michelle Gallagher (right) give a shout out to friends.

Eire Ireland Emerald Match James Crofts Jim Kelley Team Berger Tullamore Midlands Centre
The American contingent — enjoying the good life in Ireland.

Facebook Photo Credits: Jenni Hausler, James Crofts, Phil Kelley, Pat Hunt, the Bramleys.

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March 2nd, 2018

F-Class Team USA Invites Shooters to Championship Quest

Team USA U.S. U.S.A. f-class f-open Raton Ben Avery F-TR Under 25 Dan Bramley Phil Kelley Rick Jensen

How would you like to represent the United States in top-level International Shooting competitions? Well, if F-Class is your game, here is your opportunity. F-Class Team USA will be conducting try-outs for the United States squads who will represent our country in F-TR and F-Open divisions (plus Under-25) at the 2021 World Championships. The try-outs are open to any competitive shooter with a class-compliant rifle and the will to win. Team leadership expressly welcomes newcomers.

Team USA U.S. U.S.A. f-class f-open Raton Ben Avery F-TR Under 25 Dan Bramley Phil Kelley Rick Jensen

Initial and primary tryouts are planned during the 2018 U.S. National Championships in Raton, NM, and the 2019 SW Nationals in Phoenix, AZ. There may also be an early 2019 tryout date at Butner, NC.

Dan Bramley Invites Shooters to Team USA F-Class Try-Outs

Official Invitation to Team USA F-Class Try-Outs
To the F-Class Community–

On behalf of Team USA 2021, we are pleased to invite the best of USA F-class to consider joining our effort for the 2021 World Championships in Bloemfontein, South Africa. We are reaching out with this invitation to provide some general information on our plans for 2021 and for upcoming try-out dates for the unified Team USA: F-TR, F-Open, and Under 25.

We are moving forward with F-Open, F-TR, and Under 25 unified as one USA F-class 2021 Team. This will allow us to take advantage of each team’s strengths and provide needed purchasing power and coordination for event and logistic costs. We also believe this will help encourage and grow our sport. We will share ideas, event/facility dates and best practices within this unified team, however, individual team segments will make their own decisions. Therefore, please direct your responses and inquiries to the appropriate team leadership.

Team USA U.S. U.S.A. f-class f-open Raton Ben Avery F-TR Under 25 Dan Bramley Phil Kelley Rick JensenBeing part of Team USA is a major commitment of time and resources. We do have wonderful and sizable sponsorship partners who we thank and rely on for moderating individual team member costs. However, due to the location of this World Championship effort, one can expect to help cover a commensurate level of the costs.

We are now moving into the USA “development team” stage of the process. This team is open to newcomers… there are many newer names showing up on the top of leader-boards and many new teams that are making positive impacts. If you are interested in being part of Team USA, please consider making that commitment. We would like to hear from you by March 23, 2018.

Team Time Expectations
Attendance at SWN and US Nationals will be expected for 2019 and 2020. We will also likely expect the final team to attend the Berger SWN in 2021 or have an alternative site for a final practice prior to our trip. We will try to have afternoon or evening team sessions during these events however we may have team days just prior or after these events to maximize the use of individual travel dollars and time. We will also likely have additional team training dates in 2019 and 2020, likely on east coast ranges to facilitate best availability for all.

Shooting/Coaching Position Opportunities
We are equally passionate about developing coaching/shooting teams for winning gold medal efforts in both the Richardson Cup (8-man) and Rutland Cup (4-man) World Championship Events. Obtaining a shooting or coaching spot on one of these teams is an absolute gauntlet of a commitment and consistent strong results will be required as the USA is blessed with wonderful depth. We encourage all, with proven success in our sport, to test themselves at this highest of levels.

Team Try-Out Dates and Locations
Initial and primary tryouts are planned during the 2018 US National Championships in Raton, NM and the 2019 SW Nationals in Phoenix, AZ. There may also be an early 2019 tryout date at Butner, NC.

If you are interested in further information, please contact our Team USA leadership:

Dan Bramley, Captain USA F-Open
usrifleteam2021fopen [at] gmail.com
Phil Kelley, Jr., Captain USA F-TR
usarifle2021 [at] gmail.com
Rick Jensen, Captain USA U25
U25USAFclass [at] gmail.com

Team USA U.S. U.S.A. f-class f-open Raton Ben Avery F-TR Under 25 Dan Bramley Phil Kelley Rick Jensen

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August 15th, 2014

Wet Conditions Challenge Shooters at Canadian F-Class Nationals

This week the Canadian F-Class Championships (and Americas Match) are being held at the Connaught Range outside Ottawa, Ontario. Conditions have been nasty, with rain and blustery winds. This has been a humbling experience for our American shooters, many of whom are experiencing Connaught for the first time.

After the first day, James Crofts, 2012 USA National F-TR Champion, told us: “I was very humbled today at the Connaught ranges. I’m down 19 for the day. Shot a 900 meter match with 9.5 minutes of wind and held another 1.5. Tomorrow is another day.”

American Phil Kelley provides an in-depth report for the first two days:

“Day 2 Canadian Nationals — Humility remains the biggest lesson being learned in Canada. Rain, wind, rain, wind and more rain sums up the day. But there is something about it that is a lot of fun. The Americans overall did much better today versus those of the home country. Jim and I shot fairly well all day although I dropped about four more than I should during a weird portion of the last match. Jim dropped 15 today, I dropped 21. Scores are high given the conditions. This sport has stepped up another notch. [There is an] amazing level of competition at this match.”

“Very different conditions for every relay. So far at 900m you automatically dial in about 6 min to get on paper. Then be ready to add from there. It WILL rain to pour at some point during each relay and don’t even think about them not shooting. Starting to figure things out but too late for this tournament. Great experience for future tournaments though. Final two individual matches tomorrow and a couple of team events. The big Americas Match is Saturday. Can’t wait. Ammo and rifle are outstanding. Just have to educate the shooter a little more.”

Canada Connaught Range Ottawa Ontario F-Class

“Day One Canadian Nationals — Well, new ranges have a way of humbling you. A day full of different conditions. Rain, sun, clouds and wind, wind, major wind! Shot very well in two matches, but the 900m (1000-yard) match was something else. I knew I was experiencing something new with these heavy ‘Bisley’ flags when I started sighters with 4 min left on and shot a 2 right, then 6.5 minutes left to only get a 3 right then 7.5 min left on and hold 2.5 min more left to get a 5 on 1st shot for record. Wow! It took me several shots to get over that thought and unfortunately several 3s followed to drop 12 for the string. Still not bad, dropped 17 for the day. Leader Alan Barnhart dropped 8 (outstanding). Al [and] several Canadians had good days as one would expect. Awesome range. Cool new conditions. I’ve heard of these international ranges shooting no matter the weather, with big numbers dialed in for wind. Awesome to experience it. Always an honor to shoot with the great Mid Tompkins calling the shots.”

Canada Connaught Range Ottawa Ontario F-Class

It looks like the waiting was worth it, Shiraz Balolia (right) and Will Chou (left) were winners…
Canada Connaught Range Ottawa Ontario F-Class

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