October 4th, 2009

Ballard and Biggs Win 2009 F-Class Nationals

As the trophy presentation concluded, our correspondent, John Whidden, filed this report from the 2009 F-Class Nationals at Camp Butner, NC. John reports that Charles Ballard (1328-62X) successfully defended his 2008 F-Open Title, edging Jim Murphy (1327-59X) by just one point. Both men were shooting 7mms — Ballard a straight .284 and Murphy a 7mm short magnum. The duel between Ballard and Murphy went down to the wire, but Ballard is now the F-Open Champ for the second year in a row. In F-TR class, Danny Biggs also won his second straight National Championship, finishing first with 1288-38X, four points ahead of Jeff Rorer (1284-34X). Congratulations to Charles and Danny on their back-to-back victories, and all the shooters who competed at the Nationals!

F-Class National Championships, 2009 Final Results
1st Charles Ballard: 1328-62X
2nd Jim Murphy: 1327-59X
3rd Brian Otey: 1321-47X
1st Danny Biggs: 1288-38X
2nd Jeff Rorer: 1284-34X
3rd Derek Rogers: 1283-33X

Milder Winds on Saturday, but Challenges Remained
Whidden reported that conditions were better on Saturday (Oct. 3) than on Friday: “On Friday it was tricky — winds were whipping everyone’s tail.” On Saturday, John said: “Winds were generally lighter, predominantly from the left, and a good deal more readable. We didn’t see the fishtailing winds as before. Saturday was a warm day, with highs about 85° and lots of sunshine.”

Even with milder weather, shooting at Butner can be challenging. John told us: “Having shot the Butner range before is definitely an advantage — experience helps. There are a few nuances you have to learn. For example, there is some vertical that comes off the berms, particularly if you have headwinds or tailwinds.” However, John added, “this vertical treated everyone pretty much the same. One side of the range wasn’t worse than another.” John noted that squading changes on Saturday (shifting from 4 relays to 6, with fewer firing points) created some initial confusion and made for a longer day. After shooting about half the match with six relays, shooters were re-organized back to four squads. Overall, however, everything went pretty smoothly.

2009 F-Class Nationals, Camp Butner, NC
Image courtesy NRAblog.com.

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