Bernardo wins ‘Low Light’ title Garcia shows class in ‘Day Light’

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 23: Filipino Action Shooting Team (FAST) Tournament Director Lambert Bernardo and FAST Secretary Ronil Garcia displayed very steady arms, while at the same time being fast on their feet, to clinch the titles in the Low Light and Day Light categories of the “Nowhere to Hide” shooting competition at the Mayadeen Shooting Range in Subhan, Tuesday evening’.

Bernardo and Garcia, who are veterans and have shown their class on numerous occasions over the years, left all the others standing in their wake to come out on top in the two groups of this week’s fun shoot.

In fact this was Garcia’s evening as he not only topped the Day Light category, he was the only shooter – besides Lambert – to finish with a positive score in the Low Light section to take second place.

 This fun shoot would not have been a success without the commitment of the Filipino Action Shooting Team (FAST) officers who organized the event led by FAST President Chito Lamigo and FAST Vice-President Cesar Isidro — guided by Teddy Benavidez one of the Range Officers in the arena to ensure safety – with the support of Range Director Gen. Ahmed Al Saleem.

The FAST group was holding the shoot on the same course of fire being used in the Kuwait Shooting Challenge Cup 2013 — which is being held in honor of the late Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem Al-Hmoud Al-Sabah, which kicked off on 4th January and saw shooters again in action on Jan 7, 8, 11, 14, 15, 18, 21, 22. It will continue on 25 and 26 of this month. Not only did the FAST members use the course for
their fun shoot , some of them also decided to join the ongoing competition.

The “Nowhere to Hide” course of fire was designed by Engr Benedicto R. Barriga Jr while Range Officer Teddy Benavidez explained to the candidates how to go about the course.

Benavidez said that there was a tale behind this week’s course — the competitor is playing the role of an the officer on duty in a guard house when a friend phones him and tells him that they are 10 armed men at the gate. And so the initial position of the shooter is in his seat , still holding a phone and he has to engage 10 IPSC targets in double tap with gun in Condition 2 — magazine inserted but the weapon not loaded.

This week the shoot was divided into two categories with one of them involving action according to Pistol Tactical Low Light Shooting laws and the other Pistol Practical Day Light Shooting rules.

Three stations had been set for the gunslingers to complete the course -- from the left they had to open the door and engage 4 targets while moving behind a low fence placed at 30, 22, 19 and 15 meters respectively with two of the targets hard-covered objects .

In the middle of the range, 4 targets had also been set at 10, 12, 15 and 20 meters and had to be engaged from a kneeling position with the gunmen having to shoot through a tire. Again two of these targets were hard- covered objects.

The final stage was on the right where there two hard covered objects — a head shot from 6 meters and a body shot from 8 meters awaited the shooters. They had to stand behind a barricade while shooting with a charge line in place on the both sides and if they stepped out of line their action would result in them being slapped with a procedural error. They were also required to engage each target with both the strong and weak hands.

An aggregate scoring method was applied to calculate the final score of each competitor with a bullet in Apha earning 5 points, while hits in Bravo and Charlie brought 3 points each and Delta 1 point but the shooters could also earn a lot of penalties as a miss and a procedural error saw a deduction of 10 points each. The total score was divided by the time taken to complete the shoot to arrive at the final average of each competitor.

On the other hand, FAST officials have come out with a revised guideline that whoever collects 10 titles within 12 months will then be “upgraded” to the “Pro” category. Last year these 10 titles had to be captured with six months but now this period has been extended.

The organizers will also continue with the yearly competition called “FAST League 2013”. This will be based on the average points of the 10 best fun shoots of each competitor for the whole year, and although some Tuesdays results will not be published, the scores will be counted towards this competition. There will be only two categories this year — FAST members and Professional. Major competitions within the year will not be included.

The organizers have also decided that the awarding ceremony for the recently-concluded 2012 League will be on Tuesday, Feb 5, at 1730 hours.

Both the categories seemed to have been very tough, in fact moore than most of the gunmen could handle, resulting in the “Magnificent 7” groups falling short of the required number as only 6 could come up with positive scores in the Day Light section while only two mastered the Low Light quest.

Coming back to the shoot proper , FAST Tournament Director Lambert Bernardo without a doubt made a grand comeback this week by showing a firm grip and surprisingly steady feet after 45 days holidays. Bernardo topped the Low Light category when his 20/20 vision helped him to compile a 0.7101 hit factor after his bullets landed in 6 Alpha, 4 Bravo, 5 Charlie and 2 Delta while he had 3 missed shots , taking 40.84 seconds to complete the course.

Bernardo had failed to survive his first run in the Day Light scenario when he missed 8 shots but he refused to back down and came back with a vengeance as his 2nd attempt saw him pull off a 0.7336 hit factor based on 1 Alpha, 2 Bravo, 8 Charlie, 7 Delta and 2 misses in 29.99 seconds, but his effort came to naught as second attempts are not counted towards the competition. So he had to be satisfied with the negative score he earned on his first attempt.

On the other hand, FAST Secretary Ronil Garcia joined Bernardo with a positive score in the Low Light class when he put together a 0.6300 hit factor composed of 6 Alpha, 6 Charlie, 5 Delta and 3 misses in a good time of 36.51 seconds. However, Garcia could not be stopped as he topped the class in the Daylight Section with an outstanding 2.3963 hit factor when his bullets landed in 8 Alpha, 2 Bravo, 9 Charlie and 1 miss in the best time of the evening of 26.29 seconds.

While the Daylight category seemed the easier of the two competitions, it was still found tough by most of the competitors.

Faisal Al Zaid ,who has earned the name of Mr Slick because of his new look, came 2nd in the Day Light section when he completed the course in 31.66 seconds with a 1.7056 hit factor but he ended with the highest number of hits in Alpha —12 along with 4 Charlie, 2 Delta and 2 misses which is not his norm.
Boris Prodanov joined the “Magical 3” when he achieved a 1.3105 hit factor composed of 10 Alpha, 1 Bravo, 6 Charlie, 1 Delta and 2 misses in 39.68 seconds. Prodanov also tried his skills in the Low light but “luck” deserted him as he had 7 missed shots to finish with a negative score.

Newcomer Steve Gradner showed some real class as a first timer. Although the course of fire was very tough, Gardner displayed a lot of experience and showed he knew how to handle a gun , sweeping aside some of the veteran gunmen. He collected 11 Alpha, 5 Charlie, 4 misses and a procedural error-- when he halted while shooting — in 52.74 seconds that handed him a 0.3792 hit factor for 4th place.
Abdullah Tawfiqi landed in the “Tough 5” after finishing with a positive score as he compiled a 0.2486 hit factor in 36.20 seconds based on 9 Alpha, 3 Bravo, 1 Charlie, 2 Delta and 5 misses. Tawfiqi, however, found things quite a challenge in the Low Light category was he missed 8 shots to go home with a negative score.

Muaath Al Assaf, another novice, did not walk home empty handed as he pulled off a 0.1951 hit factor in 46.12 seconds when his bullets brought him 7 Alpha, 2 Bravo, 5 Charlie and 3 Delta but he also managed to collect 3 misses and 2 procedural errors when he halted in the mandatory moving section of the course while engaging targets.

Both FAST Tournament Directors Chris Veitch and Raja Sulaiman — who still seems to be suffering from the holiday blues as he paused shooting for a month – appear to be missing Tournament Director Richard Swan , their other buddy in the “Three Musketeers” group . Swan who is enjoying his holidays but Veitch and Sulaiman fell short this week in both the Low Light and Day Light categories and ended with negative scores.

Ashley Grayston, another newcomer, tried his luck in the Day Light but he also found the course tough as he missed 5 shots. Grayston was joined by other two novices — Ignatius Boado, who fell short with 17 misses in the Low Light section while Damhar Usman had 12 and 16 misses in the Daylight and Low Light categories respectively.

FAST Vice President Cesar Isidro, who was unsuccessful in Day Light section, with five missed shots found the going also quite tough in the Low Light category as he missed 10 shots.

Mohammed Al Shatti, who made sure not to miss the fun shoot, was in full uniform for his flight but he failed to collect any scores in any of the shoots. The wind appeared to be “quite strong” inside the shooting complex and missed 7 shots in the Daylight section and 15 shots in Low Light category. His friends are still trying to find the bullets.

The only FAST member who is known to carry “two citizenships” — Senior and Filipino – tried his luck in the Daylight category twice .He went over the course like a speeding bullet to complete the course the first time in 24.20 seconds but landed with 9 misses and then had 16 misses the second time that made him walk home empty handed.

Michael Flores completed the run in a reasonable time but he missed 10 shots in the Day Light category and 11 shots in Low Light section. He was joined in the same fate by Abdullah Guinda who initiated the run. He missed 11 and 14 shots in the Day Light and Low Light categories respectively.

Nhett Bernardo failed to join his brother Lambert in the positive section of shooters this time when he earned 7 misses in the Day Light scenario while Ramil Locquiao acquired 11 misses and Abdelrahman Abubakar acquired 11 in Low Light category.

Meanwhile, FAST officials have announced that all newcomers wishing to participate in the weekly shoot must come to the range well ahead of time for a “dry run” over the course. The aim of this dry run is to ensure the newcomers safety as well as that of all those present at the range. Those newcomers who fail to turn up for this dry run will not be allowed to take part in the actual competition.

On the other hand, FAST officials would like to invite everyone on Tuesday evenings to their Weekly Fun Shooting Competitions at the Mayadeen Shooting Range in Subhan. For details, contact FAST President Chito Lamigo 9958-2781.

By: Jose Gabriel Special to the Arab Times

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