Written by Sierra Bullets Sponsored Shooter Tony Holmes
“Well another year has come and gone for the 2014 NRA Bianchi Cup. This was the 35th anniversary for the event and the most attended to date, with over 300 competitors from 10 different countries. There were 50 competitors who competed for the Aggregate Title which consisted of shooting two different pistols and the course of fire being shot with each pistol. This could be your open pistol with a metallic sight pistol or production pistol or any combination of the two. Most shot open and metallic and you shot your secondary weapon on the Tuesday before the Bianchi Cup Championship started on Wednesday. This like the overall championship is a very tight race to see who comes out on top. This year the top 4 competitors were separated by just a few points apiece, with me taking 4th place in the Aggregate.
The Bianchi Cup Championship race on Wednesday started as usual with several of us shooting clean scores on the first day. Thursday still had just a few still being clean after the second day, as many started to drop out of the race with many points being dropped for numerous reasons. I somehow managed to shoot an 8 weak hand on the Practical, putting me 2 points behind the leaders, but not out of the hunt. Friday comes and I have 2 events this day, Falling Plates and The Mover. Plates went well, shooting clean on them and qualified for the X count shoot-off later that day.
Now the Mover, one of my favorite events, but also the pressure cooker of the match. After I had finished the Plate event I had someone come up to me and tell me it was down to just 4 of us who had a chance at winning. 3 who were still clean and me being 2 points down and the highest X count of the two who were just 2 points down. Thanks for all the info!!!!!! No pressure now……..
So back to the practice range for a quick couple of practices runs before heading back to shoot the Mover for score. I get signed in, targets ready and up we go to the 10 yd. line. All went well at 10 and 15 yd. lines, dropping a couple of X’s at each distance. Now the 20 yd. line, first pass was ugly, staying in the 10 ring, but using all of it. Next pass and regained my ability to aim with all X’s. Now comes the next pass and I get hold of the pistol with a bad draw and I’m fighting to correct it as I start my swing and lead. Thinking I can salvage it by muscling through it, I shoot an 8 dead center at 6 o’clock and I know it. Last pass comes out, all X’s. Now 25 yd. line and I shoot clean and 9 X’s to finish with a 478-36X and a total score of 1916-166X. This puts me at the end of the match at 5th overall. The one 8 cost me in the end 3rd as two others, one shooting clean and the other also clean dropped an 8.
Falling Plate shoot-off went well also placing 2nd overall. I got to also shoot in the Colt Speed Event which is for the top 4. One shooter who was ahead of me decided to drop out of the event as he said he wasn’t a speed shooter and wouldn’t be competitive, this put me in the shoot-off. The shoot-off was found to have been conducted incorrectly, due to this I finished 2nd. They used your single fastest time as your score instead of the double elimination bracket that should have been used.
Now I wait for next year to try again for that illusive Bianchi Cup title.
Thanks to all my sponsors and the support of my wife and family, because without all of you, I could not compete at this level or have this much success.
See you at the next match!”