On 27th August 2017, the opening ceremony of the international IPSC/Action-Shooting World has been celebrated. It is the highlight of the 18th IPSC Handgun World Shoot, and it marks the start for all competitors of the sporting event!
Although the Prematch (a special match for officials and sponsors) already took place from the 21st to the 26th of August 2017 at the newly built national Shooting Sports Center of the French Shooting Sports Federation “Federation Francaise des Tir” in Châteauroux, the actual main event starts on Monday 28th of 2017.
From this day on more than 1.500 shooters from over 67 countries will fight for glory on the 30 challenging courses of fire.
So this will be interesting!
Opening ceremony of the IPSC Handgun World Shoot 2017
But now let`s move on to the opening ceremony: the ceremony was traditionally opened by the parade of nations for which the participating countries were sorted by continents on the Place Robert Monestier and then marched for roughly 160 meters to the actual place of the opening ceremony, the Place de la Republique.
After all nations were lined-up they were accompanied by the officiating IROA Range Officers who were acknowledged with applause by the competitors and spectators. The ceremony was then introduced by a performance of an artist group called Amapola followed by speeches of the officials of the different organizations and the community of Chateauroux. Finally the IPSC president Nick Alexakos entered the stage and declared the 18th World Shoot opened.
To complete the opening ceremony the organizers arranged a charachteristic wine and cheese tasting on the Place Voltaire. But a lot of shooters opted for an early leave because the hunt for Alpha hits will start on Monday morning at 07.30!
The only thing that left a lot of competitors with unpleasant feelings were the safety precautions.
Since heavily armed police and military forces secured the whole area and the main roads were blocked by concrete barricades or trucks. Well, the latest events even cast a cloud over here.
1st Match day of the IPSC Handgun World Shoot 2017
Finally the main match of the 18th IPSC World Shoot started on this sunny Monday here at the spacious shooting complex in Chateauroux.
Typically for such a big event all competitors shoot the match on a half-day-schedule. That means everybody shoots alternating between a morning and an evening schedule and one day of the week is completely off.
Furthermore the Stages are divided into different areas in order to make the organization of the match a bit easier. At this World Shoot the 5 different areas, containing 6 stages each, are associated with the different continents. Thus Africa, Asia, America, Australia and Europe. And to please the eye of the participants the stages were all decorated according to the particular continent.
The start of the first competition day of the 18th IPSC Handgun World Shoot 2017
Let's take a look of a typical stage, following one European team.
The team started its match in the afternoon in Area 3, which is dedicated to Europe and especially France.
No wonder that shooters met Napoleon, the Eiffel tower or Asterix on the different stages.
With a total of 550 points, which could be won on stages 13-18 of Area 3, this area was not only one of the point-heaviest ones but because of the numerous physically demanding shooting positions as well as difficult targets also one of the hardest of the match.
Especially the large number of low shooting positions made life quite hard for a lot of shooters in Area 3. And on Stage 17, a 32 round Long Course, targets up to 50 Meters rankled a great many competitors. Only a few left the stage without the feared “Mike”, a miss.
Unfortunately the reigning European Champion Gregory Midgley had the biggest misfortune as he as he was struck by a massive lumbago due to the low shooting positions on the last two stages. He was medically treated the same evening and hopefully he will be able to finish the match without further harm.
2nd Match day of the IPSC Handgun World Shoot 2017
Before we focus on the exciting fight for the title in the Standard Division we will report on the General Assembly which took place on Saturday, in which Regional Directors of all IPSC Regions met for elections, rule changes and selection of the host region for the next championship.
New IPSC President: Vitaly Kryuchin (RUS)
Highlight of this General Assembly was by far the election of the new IPSC President since the long-time president Nick Alexakos decided to quit and controversial discussions around the new candidates accrued. By name the Russian Regional Director Vitaly Kryuchin, the IPSC Executive Director Vince Pinto and Lubor Novak from Czech run for the office. In the end Kryuchin won with a substantial lead of 56 votes to 26 votes of Mr. Pinto. Mr. Novak only got 3 votes.
So the new IPSC President is Mr. Vitaly Kryuchin who will take over the office on the 1st of January 2018. Concerning rule changes nothing noteworthy happened except that the regions could introduce a new Division called Production Optics as a trial where shooters are allowed to mount a Mini Red Dot Sight (MRDS) on their Production Pistols. But further information are not yet available. Finally Thailand will host the next Handgun World Shoot.
Who is Vitaly Kryuchin, the new IPSC President
Vitaly Kryuchin is the new IPSC President, elected by the IPSC General Assembly during the World Shoot XVIII at Chateaunoux 2017 in France. Kryuchin was born on July 26, 1963; he’s a Russian sport shooter and President of the Russian Federation of Practical Shooting. He has won Gold and Bronze Medals at the IPSC European Shotgun Championship in 2003 and 2006. Additionally, he won one more Gold medal in the 2007 IPSC European Handgun Championship.
Besides competition shooting, Vitaly Kryuchin is well known for his point shooting skills. A stunning September 2016 video showcases his skills, teamed up with an ensemble of musicians and playing the ‘Ode to Joy’ by Beethoven and ‘Old MacDonald had a Farm’ as well as a traditional Russian tune by shooting at tuned steel plates using his Glock pistols. And for “political correctness”: un-aimed, intuitive shooting is forbidden according to IPSC rules.
Here you have the video:
Eric Grauffel's staggering start on the 2nd Match day of the IPSC Hadgun World Shoot 2017
But now off to the Championship: since the Standard Division National Teams finally started their match (they all had their off-day on Monday) a lot of shooters were anxious about how the French record holding European- and World champion Eric Grauffel would start into the match on his home turf.
To cut a long story short his start could be described as halting.
Here and there small mistakes (like makeup-shots or a bumpy sequence) could be seen so that in the end surprisingly Grauffel did not end his first match day as leader.
Instead Robert G.Vogel from USA is in the lead. Interesting enough, he trusts on a Glock 35 with a modified weapon light that is filled with lead to act as a frame weight. And also another Glock Jockey, Shane Coley (from the US, too), placed just in front of Grauffel.
However the Italian and Czech Standard shooters who normally shoot quite strong suffered from a lot off misses.
Overview of the other Divisions on the 2nd Match Day of the IPSC World Shoot 2017
In the Classic Divison a living legend of the action-shooting circuit is in the lead. Jethro “The Jet” Dionisio from the Philippines who shoots a Major caliber gun (most of the European Top Classic shooters prefers 9mm Minor guns due to their higher magazine capacity). staggering
Results of the IPSC Handgun World Shoot 2017 in France
At the end of the 18th IPSC Handgun World Shoot 2017, we will of course share the results with you. On the official site of the World Shoot XVIII, you will find the preliminary interim results of the main match and the pre-matches.
While in the Revolver Division Sascha Back from Germany shoots a good match with his eight shot S&W revolver.
In the two other divisions, Open and Production, no distinct leaders have left the competition behind, yet. Therefore it will be interesting to watch what will happen here in the next couple match days.
Especially in the Open Division it will be interesting to watch if the reigning World Champion Max Michel Jr. from the US will be able to hold off the European Champion Jorge Ballesteros from Spain.
The Match continues to be exciting!
3rd Match day of the IPSC Handgun World Shoot 2017 in France
The 18th IPSC World Shoot is in full swing and the competitors of all divisions fight fiercely for the top spots. So far nobody in the five divisions (Open, Standard, Production, Revolver or Classic) was able to come out on top in such a manner that the fight could be called over. The competition is so tight that even just slightly worse hits in one stage could cost several places in the overall standings.
Do you wou want to know which weapons are used in which divisions? You will find an overview here.
Placements in the Classic Division on the 3rd Match day of the IPSC World Shoot
The Classic Division (where only 1911 pistols with singlestack magazines are allowed) with its 165 competitors is strongly represented and was dominated by the Filipino Jethro “The Jet” Dionisio on the first two match days. But two jams on the 3rd match day in Stages 25 and 29 in Area 5 nearly destroyed all hopes for the title. Due to the jams Dionisio had to quit shooting on these stages and 11 respectively 16 misses had to be scored.
Also, the strong shooting American Elias Paul Frangoulis, who was slightly behind Dionisio, wasn´t able to shoot three stages of Area 5 for unknown reasons and dropped severely in the overall standings. It is uncertain if he will be able to shoot these stages. Irrespective of the “drop out” of Dionisio the top spot is still in the hands of a Filipino.
The well-known top shooter Jeufro Emil Lejano has taken the lead followed by Phil Strader from the US. Lenard Lopez (also from the Philippines) is in 3rd place at the moment, followed by German shooter Gregory Midgley.
In the team standings, USA National Team ranks first, followed by the Philippines, Italy and Germany.
More results of the 3rd Match day of the IPSC World Shoot 2017
Strong performing German Revolver-Ace Sascha Back was unfortunately not able to defend his lead and dropped down to 4th place. The lead was taken over by US shooter Michael William Poggie. The second place is also occupied by an American … Joshua Lentz. Austrian Wheelgunner Gerald Reiter was able to overtake Back and is in 3rd place at the moment. But as in all other divisions, the race is so tight that nothing has been decided, yet.
The other two divisions, Standard and Production, are led by Americans at the moment, too. In the Standard Division Robert Vogel is still able to hold off the supposed favorite Eric Grauffel. It will be interesting to see if Vogel will be able to preserve this unbelievable performance till the last match day on saturday.
And in the biggest division … the Production Division with its 485 participants … Benjamin Stoeger is in the lead with his Tanfoglio. But the two Russians Pavel Torgashov and Alexey Pichugin are just behind him. Especially impressive is Russian Lady shooter Maria Gushina’s performance, who is only 3% behind Stoeger.
Last but not least let`s talk about the race in the Open Division. Surprisingly French shooter Emile Obrio is in the top spot and Saul Kirsch, who shoots for the Netherlands, is slightly behind him. The reigning World Champion Max Michel from the US is only in the 4th place so far.
Surprise on the 3rd day of the competition: interruption due to rain
The third match day was also thrilling with regards to the weather because in the morning dark clouds appeared and everybody gazed in the sky hoping for dry weather. The morning schedule shooters got lucky and left the range with dry feet.
But the afternoon schedule was hit quite badly before their last stages. At around 6pm heavy rain brought the match to a short halt.
Luckily the storm was over within a couple of minutes and the afternoon squads could finish the day before dawn.
4th Match day of the IPSC Handgun World Shoot 2017
The 4th match-day of the IPSC World Shoot is in the books and the end is near. But as of yesterday, nobody could secure a distinctive lead.The top spots are so close together that anything could happen on the last two match days. Especially since the leaders in the Standard, Open and Classic have changed.
Changes to the rankings on the 4th Match day of the IPSC World Shoot Championship
To the delight of the French fans, top-shooter Eric Grauffel was finally able to overtake Robert Vogel. But they are only separated by less than 2 points after three areas with over 1.520 match-points. Vogel`s team fellow Shane Coley is still in 3rd place.
Former leader in the Open Division, French Emile Obriot, dropped back to 3rd place. Instead, reigning World Champion Max Michel from the US was finally able to claim the lead followed by the European Champion Jorge Ballesteros (Spain) and Saul Kirsch.
Since the difference between first and third place is only 19 points nothing is carved in stone here, either. Above all another top-level Open shooter, the native-born Filipino J.J. Racaza, is closely behind. He´s only lacking one point to take 3rd place.
The lead of Jeufro Emil Lejano in the Classic Division was also short-lived because American Elias Paul Frangoulis was able to finish his three missing stages from area 5 and now he leads the pack by roughly 2.5 %. Apart from that nothing could be reported from the race in the Classic Division as most shooters in that division had their day-off today.
In the Production Division as well as the Revolver Division nothing has changed at the top. Here the US- shooters Benjamin Stoeger respectively Michale William Poggie are still in first place.
High visit to the 4th Match day of the IPSC Handgun Shoot World
A bit of disconcertment was caused by a VIP visit today. The French minister of sports and former fencing Olympic Champion, Mrs. Laura Flessel visited the World Shoot. Therefore the already high security measures (private security that controls the access to the complex as well as patrols by the police and military forces) were doubly intensified and parts of the range were alternatively closed.
5th and 6th Match day, Shoot-Off and Awards Ceremony of the IPSC Handgun World Shoot 2017
The last two match-days were once more extremely action-packed, exciting and also dramatic since living IPSC legend Robert “TGO (The Great One)” Leatham had to withdraw from the match due to health issues. Leatham suffered from food poisoning and was unable to compete in Area 1 on Friday.
Hopes were still high that he would be able to come back on Saturday and shoot the missing stages with a so-called speed ticket before returning to his squad mates in order to finish the match on the regular schedule. But in the end it was not to be. Too bad, since chances for a good finish in the Overall and Senior standings were quite high.
Placement of the 5th and 6th Match day of the IPSC World Shoot 2017
Still in Classic Division: after taking over the lead from the Filipino Jeufro Lejano, American Elias Frangoulis stayed on top for the rest of the match and was able to secure his first World Championship title with a lead of 2,5% or 35 match-points. Jeufro Lejano and Jethro “The Jet” Dionisio placed 2nd and 3rd.
In the second biggest Division, the Standard Division, the hands-down favorite Eric Grauffel was able to fulfill all the expectations and win his 7th World Championship. With this, he holds 5 titles in the Open Division (1999, 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2011), one in Production Division (2014) and one in Standard Division (2017). A dominance that the IPSC shooting sport has never seen before.
American Robert Vogel who was in the lead till Wednesday had to settle for 2nd place with 2,6% behind Grauffel. Pretty impressive, considering that Vogel shot with a moderately tuned Glock 35 in .40 S&W. Hats off to Vogel!
Former 2014 World Champion, Nils Jonasson, placed 3rd this time. It would have been interesting to see how he would have finished if he would have been placed in the Super Squad with all the other top shooters. But due to the fact that he was not nominated for the USA national team he had to shoot the World Shoot on another squad.
Open Division, Production Division and Revolver Division at the IPSC World Shoot 2017
Defending his title was also not granted to Max Michel Jr. who had made his dream come true by becoming Open Division World Champion in 2014 in his home country. Although he was able to capture the lead on the 4th day he lost the match in the end and placed 6th.
One thing that fostered the outcome was the schedule of the Open teams. They had to shoot the dreaded Area 3 on their last match day. Area 3 was especially feared by many because of its long distance targets, difficult moving targets and physically challenging shooting positions. Two miss on Stage 17, the so-called “Asterix” Stage, buried his hopes of defending the title.
Reigning European Champion Jorge Ballesteros shot Area 3 clean and allowed him to secure the World Champion Title, too. Simon Joseph Racaza came in at a close 2nd place. By the way for the 3rd time in a row, French Emile Obriot completed the Top-3 of the Open Division.
Ben Stoeger was able to capture the lead in the Production Division right from day one and never lost it during the competition. A true remarkable and consistent performance. But the competition was still pretty tough.
At the end less than one point separated him from 2nd place finisher Pavel Torgashov from Russia. The 3rd, Eduardo de Cobos Abreu, is just 0,98% or 21 points behind them.
A truly amazing performance was shown by young Russian Lady shooter Maria Guschchina who placed 6th overall. A finish that handily secured her the Ladies title.
This dominance is best described by the fact that the second best Lady placed 116th in the overall standings.
In the smallest Division, the Revolver Division with its 66 competitors, the American Michael Poggie was able to hold up his lead till the last shot fired and crowned himself the new IPSC World Champion. Because of his constantly good scores over the 30 challenging stages of this World Shoot the Austrian Gerald Reiter was able to conquer the Vice-Title. The podium was completed by another American, Joshua Lentz.
Shoot-off and Awards Ceremony of the IPSC World Shoot 2017 in France
After over 750.000 fired shots the 18th IPSC World Championships came to an end on early Saturday evening and all competitors had the luck of looking back to a wonderful week of pure IPSC-Enjoyment amongst like-minded sport shooters.
They crowned their champions in the five divisions after a sportsmanlike competition. But before the winners could be honored at the awards ceremony the Top-10 of the Divisions and Categories had the Shoot-Off on their schedule, where they had to compete against each other in a knock-out-system on steel targets.
On Sunday evening the competitors finally exchanged the shooting outfit for their evening dress. In a merrymaking mood with music and well-tasting three-courses-dinner the winners were celebrated.
Results of the IPSC Handgun World Shoot 2017 in France
At the end of the 18th IPSC Handgun World Shoot 2017, we will of course share the results with you. On the official site of the World Shoot XVIII, you will find all the results of the Main Match and the Pre-Matches.
Video of the IPSC Handgun World Shoot 2017 Stages
In this video we have the Stages 1-6 of the IPSC Handgun World Shoot 2017 in France:
In this video you can see the Stages 7-12:
The Stages 13-18 of the IPSC Handgun World Shoot 2017 in France:
Here you see the Stages 19-24 of the IPSC Handgun World Shoot 2017.
And here you can see the sequence of Stages 25-30 of the 18th IPSC Handgun World Shoot: