By Shelley Sargent
It was really hot in Seattle on August 4, 2012. It was really clear too. I remember being able to see Mount Rainier on the ferry ride home, I also remember how awesome that Cold Stone smoothie was on my ferry ride home. And I didn’t even shoot the 2012 Courage Classic!
Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club is on pretty tight lock down, thanks to some trouble with the county. They had the gate closed and a guard posted there who radio’d down to have the PR guy come up and escort me to the match. I signed a few things and headed off to find the match director, Marcus. Little did I realize he would be at Stage 9: “Zombie Mombo.” This is actually consequential, as each year the Courage Classic has a “secret” stage.
After a bit of interrogation from one of the other Safety Officers about whether or not I was actually press (I am) and whether or not I was actually supposed to be there (I was), I caught up with some friends, learned a valuable lesson about loading pistol powder into rifle ammo (it will explode) and finally had a chance to meet Marcus and get a look at the enigmatic stage. Shooters were not allowed a walk through of the stage beforehand, the round count was never released, those going in to the stage had no idea what to expect.
The stage was full of traps, not a single shooter was able to shoot it clean. There were zombies you could only seem by ducking under ports, targets that would flip and appear for a couple seconds on the safety officer’s command and dark hallways to navigate through. The inside of the shoot house was littered with fog machines and strobe lights. Shooters had to choose what route to take through the house and had to look very closely to make sure they found all the targets.
In the afternoon, lunch was served and we all had the opportunity to sit and talk. There are teams that have been coming to the Courage Classic as a group for years. Among the many participants were members of the Air Force, Army and Border Patrol. The stages were varied and presented different challenges including steel and barricades, both common foes of the three-gunner. The courses of fire were littered with interesting and unique props that made for an intriguing match design.
I’ve decided the Courage Classic is something I am going to have to shoot in 2013. I guess I better start sourcing multi-gun bits now!