Saturday, March 29, 2014

My best finish at a World Cup event!

I shot my best World Cup score to date at the USA stop of the 2014 ISSF World Cup series. My 565 is above the Olympic MQS but low compared to the rest of the field here. In order to place in the top 8 to make Finals you needed to shoot a 582 or higher -- to give some Canada perspective you need to tie the Canadian National 10m record to make the cut.

In pre-event training about to shoot a 10 ;)

I started out strong on my first 30 shots but I also burned through a lot of my time to do that. Shots 31-48 I felt the pressure of time ticking away and I let my performance slip a bit. Thanks to the SIUS electronic scoring you can see all all of my shots from the entire match here and complete results can be found on the ISSF website.

Two months for me to improve on my pacing and mental strategy to get ready for the World Cups in Munich, Germany and Maribor, Slovenia in June.

Also got to meet 1976 Olympic gold medalist Lanny Bassham today! Awesome!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tied my PR at the 2014 CAGP!

I'm back from Toronto where I was competing at the 2014 Canadian Airgun Grand Prix and pretty happy with how I've started 2014.

Normally I'd fly into this event on Thursday to give myself a full day before competing but with a busy work schedule and everything I cut my trip down by a day. I literally got off the plane and went straight to the venue and got in some pre-event training.

I had a tough time getting to sleep at a decent time thanks to the 3 hr time zone change. I think all in all I got maybe 4 hrs of sleep before shooting at 8am (5am to what I'm used to). My first of two matches went really well with my 60 shot series going 94, 94, 94, 95, 97, and ending with a 97 for a personal record tie of 571/600 -- which was the highest 10m men's score shot over the weekend! I shot a 571 in 2011 when I was here at the same event.

Team BC took 1st place and I took the Gold in the Master class

After shooting my 571 I spent the rest of the day in a High Performance Rifle and Pistol Clinic which was really useful and packed with lots of information. The main takeaways for me were from Dr. Kristine Dalton and her team from the The University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science. Vision in shooting sports are crucial and she covered topics such as ocular dominance, tear film quality, and vernier acuity. Awesome. Other great sessions were Dr. Demetry Assimakopoulos and Dr. Ceara Higgins on injury prevention and athletic performance (with Olympian Avianna Chao), Olympian Sharon Bowes on training at your best, Lou Pino talking about mindfulness training and the InteraXon Muse, and Steve Hunt, on developing consistency in performance.

My second day score was 558 which put me in first place after the two qualification matches. I ran into issues during the Finals which I should have prepared better for. Lesson here is to make sure you're current on rule amendments and find out from the officials if they're going to be following them. Important!

Our BC Team, consisting of Thomas Logan, John Berta, and me took 1st place!

Next up in the month of March is the BC Championships, City of Calgary Championships, and then the first stop on the 2014 ISSF World Cup tour in Fort Benning!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Looking forward to 2014

It's been awhile since I've posted an update here and I figured with 2014 off to a great start, I better get some news on here. If all goes to plan I'll have a busy year of travelling to various shooting competitions all over the place. Awesome!

First up... some events in Canada:

Then as a member of the National Development Team representing Canada on the 2014 ISSF World Cup Tour. The first stop will be held on March 26-April 3 at Fort Benning, USA - more information can be found on the ISSF website calendar.

The ranges they have at Fort Benning for ISSF competitions are excellent, definitely some of the best I've been to in North America. I've competed there twice in the past already (2011 USA Fall Selection & 2013 USA Nationals) so that will be an advantage going into that competition.

After that ISSF World Cup, I've got limited travel planned until June when I'm hoping to get to the back to back World Cup events happening in Munich and Maribor. Not many details are up online for those two events yet though.

Next post will have details on the three 'local' shooting clubs I train at!

For more frequent (and often tech or sports related) updates follow me on Twitter at @alharding.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Complete results from 2013 CNPC

All of the results from the 2013 Canadian National Pistol Championships can be found on Here are the direct links to the 10m and 50m events I competed in. I just noticed that my BC teammate Edmond Lee and I had the most 'x' ring shots in both 10m and 50m events than anyone else!

All in all it was a great competition to be at and good for me to experience the new Finals format. Looking forward to doing some traveling with the Canadian Team in 2014!!

Taking a short break and will be back at it later this month.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Finished 2nd after qualifiers

I finished the two qualification events in 2nd place behind Sylvain Ouellette (last year's National 10m Champion). My scores for the 2 days were 560 and 563, the latter being the highest score shot in the Men's 10m event that day. Sylvain shot a 565 on the first day. Solid!

Unfortunately after Finals I dropped down to 7th. This was my first time shooting the new Finals format which is definitely a lot more challenging than before. The format before took the top 8 shooters after the qualification relays and then added 10 more shots to their qualification total for an aggregate score. This usually resulted in few changes in the leader board. The new format however zero's out the top 8 finalists and they start over shooting 3 shots, then another 3, then 2 more with the person in last being eliminated, then 2 more shots and then another elimination. This goes on until there is only 1 person standing. Fun to watch as a spectator!

I'm definitely taking away some learnings from this event and will definitely add some "Finals" training into my schedule. It's one thing being able to go for the endurance of a full 60 shot match but it's a different beast to shoot the Finals with elimination threats after each of the 2 shot series.

The 50m event which I've been spending a bit more time is on Wed-Thu with open practice tomorrow evening. More updates to come!

Friday, August 2, 2013

At the airport on my way to Calgary

Just waiting at Vancouver Airport about to fly out to Calgary. I'll be posting updates regularly this coming week from the Canadian National Pistol Championships.

whoa.. boarding time.. more updates soon!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Results from first event

The 10m men's event is over and I finished as the 'High Visitor'. Shooting at the US Nationals you aren't able to go past the qualification to get into Finals if you aren't from the US. This also excludes you from being able to get any of the bonus points that they give out to the top 8 finishers.

My result from the first match was 564/600 which is a decent score for me. Before I got back into shooting in 2007 (after my 12 year break) my highest score had only ever been a 566/600. To give some perspective the Olympic minimum qualification score they'll accept is 563 but typical world class scores are in the 580 range with 594 being the current World Record out of a possible 600 points.

My second match went better, started out really strong with a 98 and finished the day with a 567/600 with at least six of my 60 shots being 9.9's. They only count as a 9 but when they show up on my screen they show it in a decimal so you know how close to the next scoring ring you are. 9.9 is as close to 10 as you can get. In the pistol discipline though a 9 with any decimal behind it is still only scored as a 9. Knowing I had soooooo many close shots felt good though. Makes me realize I can still improve a lot more!

My score of 567 / 600

My next event is the 50m outdoor event shot with my Pardini FPM which takes place on Saturday and Sunday morning. 

More updates to come! And check out @alharding on Twitter to get updates there!

Monday, June 3, 2013

At US Nationals!

Caught up with members of the Canadian rifle team (Ben Taylor, Mack Kohl, Connor Deneka, and Audry-Anne Dery) in Atlanta this past Friday. We tried to coordinate our trips so we'd all get in around the same time and well... this sort of worked. :)

Once we met up we explored a bit of downtown Atlanta and checked out the Centennial Olympic Park which was for the 1996 Summer Olympics. I always love seeing the legacy venues created for Olympic games and have been fortunate enough to see quite a few of them in North America. I can now check off Atlanta from my list. We called it an early night and got up early to go to the Georgia Aquarium and Zoo Atlanta. The aquarium is amazing, one of the largest tanks in the world!

One of four massive Whale Sharks!

Relaxing panda @ Zoo Atlanta!

After taking in some of Atlanta (a bit sad we missed out on the Braves game!) we started on our 2 hr drive to Columbus, Georgia which is just outside of Fort Benning.

Once we got settled we got to the range and got ourselves checked in and going through the equipment control process. As a pistol shooter this was about a 10 minute process, for my fellow rifle shooting team mates, depending on when you got in line, it could take up to 2 hrs to get through. Good time to go for lunch and come back later! ;)

I'll post up results here on the evenings after I shoot but you can also check them out as they get posted online on the USA Shooting website - scroll down to '2013 Rifle & Pistol National Championships'.

Thanks to all my new followers following me @alharding! Don't mind all the tech tweets, I do have a day job! ;)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Competing at the US Nationals next month!

A month from now I'll be competing at the US Nationals at Fort Benning, GA. I'm registered to shoot 10m and 50m ISSF events. This will be my second time shooting there but my first time shooting the 50m event. Last time I shot there I did well enough to qualify for the Canadian National Development Team for 2012 and I expect to do better at this event.

I'll be missing the BC Provincials in a couple weeks. If you're planning on attending make sure to get your registration forms in ASAP.

After US Nationals I'll be attending the Canadian Nationals in Calgary in August.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Leaking batteries caused minor damage to LP10E

After being away most of March I came back to find my electronic trigger wasn't working. I took the cover off and saw that the batteries had started leaking acid and had been for awhile. These batteries were only a few months old. What the!?

I removed the bad batteries and replaced them but nothing would power on. I took the electronic components out and noticed a lot of white powder had leaked out and was corroding the metal. I used some vinegar, water, and a dozen or so Q-tips to clean everything up, but there is a bit of damage to the wood grip (more of a stain) and the battery cover plate had some damage. A bit of paint will clean it up.

Metal plate (bottom left) and top right of electronics compartment shows damage.

The lesson here is that I'll be removing the batteries completely if I plan on letting everything sit for more than a few weeks.

Monday, March 4, 2013

2013 BC Air Champ... 2 yrs in a row

Had a great shoot this weekend in Richmond, BC for the 2013 BC Airgun Championships finishing 1st for the second straight year. My scores were 563, 556, and 567 for a total of 1686, only 6 points ahead of fellow BC Team teammate Edmond Lee.

On day 1, the first match I shot a 99 and 98 in my first 20 shots which was my best start ever. My score dropped a bit in the afternoon so I need to work on that. It can be a bit draining shooting a second match only a couple hours later. Endurance!

The second day started out decent with shots 11-20 resulting in another 99. Below is my scorecard for the 567.

567/600 score card from 2013 BC Airgun Championships
Taking a bit of a break the next few weeks and then will start ramping up training leading up to June when I'll travel down to Fort Benning, Georgia for the 2013 USA Rifle & Pistol National Championships.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Complete results from 2013 Canadian Airgun Grand Prix

Here are the complete results from the 2013 Canadian Airgun Grand Prix that was held in Toronto.

In my last post I forgot to mention Team BC won the bronze in the team event!