August 8th, 2011
Last month, Vortex Optics sponsored a new kind of rifle competition that tested competitors’ fitness along with their marksmanship skills. The inaugural Vortex “Extreme Invitational” was held July 16, at the Spirit Ridge Rifle Golf facility near Tremonton, Utah. At most traditional long-range rifle matches, the only hiking required of the shooters is from their vehicles to the firing line, and to the pits if target-pulling duties are required. Vortex has created a new game. At the Extreme Invitational, participants walked, jogged, and sometimes ran over a six-mile course –- all the while knowing a portion of their score was based on how quickly they finished. Strong legs and lungs were a big asset. The event tested long range shooting skills, but it was also was physically challenging (and hot).
Competitors at the start of the match. Christensen Arms Team #1 (top left) ran most of the course.
Demanding Course of Fire Required Position Shooting Skills and Mastery of Angled Shots
At the Extreme Invitational, two-man industry teams vied for honors on a challenging mountain course. Final scores were based on course time and how well each two-man team shot. Shots ranged from 200 to 1200 yards. Each station featured a tough standing, sitting, kneeling or prone shot (no shots from benches). Even highly experienced shooters found the course quite humbling. There were a variety of firearms on the course. Some participants favored the lightest weight rigs possible, while others toted fairly heavy tactical-style rifles with stout barrel contours.
“The goal of the event was to bring industry leaders together for a day of hard-core shooting in a new format that tested physical fitness, long rage marksmanship, team communication and strategy,” said Mark Boardman, Vortex Optics marketing manager. Scenarios mimicked many of the same pressures faced when that big game trophy steps out and you only have precious seconds to find the target, get a range, dial elevation, dope wind and execute a shot — often times with an increased heart rate and breathing heavily. No easy task.”
Wasatch Arms Team Finishes First
In this game, like golf, the lower the score (which factored both time and hits), the higher the finishing position. Wasatch Arms’ team of Kevin Norman and Landon Gines finished in first place with a 39 score. In second place, with a 55 score, was the G7 duo of Todd Sholly and Tyler Scoffield. The Christensen Arms #2 Team (Courtney Crane, Andy Christiansen) scored 62 to finished third . According to Vortex’s Mark Boardman, “Andy Christiansen from Christensen Arms was using one of our new Viper HS LR riflescopes and finished in the top three. He’s a heck of shooter and climbed those hills like a billy goat.”
Starting up the “Hog’s Back”. The course was very challenging, given the hot conditions.
To view more event photos, CLICK HERE to access the Vortex Facebook Photo Album.
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