The biggest online airsoft event is about to start.
Airsoft Surgeon 2013 European Championship A Big Success
In what probably is a very big breakthrough in the growth of airsoft practical shooting in Europe, over 80 shooters converged at The Grange in Coventry to participate in the Airsoft Surgeon 2013 Practical Shooting European Championship that was organised by Airsoft Surgeon, RedWolf Airsoft, The Shop at the Grange, and AIPSC UK. Players from Europe and even as far as Hong Kong, took part in what would probably that would grow into something big for airsoft in Europe. The event happened last 19 to 20 October 2013.
I arrived at The Grange a little bit worried that the weather may not cooperate as it has been raining unpredictably in various parts of the UK in the previous days. The Grange itself is not a totally covered shooting range, and I expected that Jim Septhon and his team would put up more massive tents to put into place 16 stages/courses for the shooters to go through for two days. Indeed, when I arrived, the place was wet, a bit muddy, but all shooters were determined to go through the paces of the tournament. And for the organisers, that's all what they needed to put up an event to satisfy the competitors.
At Popular Airsoft, we are determined to follow the growth of airsoft practical shooting in Europe and in the world. Whilst it may not sound as glamorous as the real steel practical shooting of the IPSC (which calls airsoft practical shooting as "Action Air"), airsoft has a potential to grow big as it can take in countries where real steel shooting is not allowed, thus the potential for more shooters is more likely. Apart from that potential, airsoft practical shooting is already an established sport, especially in Asia where highly competitive matches take place regularly and countries in that continent regularly come together to have fun whilst competing. Airsoft practical shooting has already established rules and regulations which takes from the rules of IPSC whilst other forms of airsoft competitions still could not grow due to differing visions and formats that competition standards cannot be put into place.
Having 80 shooters for a European Championship is already an achievement in itself with teams from Finland and Poland coming in strong with experienced shooters. The UK of course provided the most number shooters as shooting clubs sent in their active shooters to try and test their skills with some of the best in Europe and even from Asia. With the involvement of the Airsoft Surgeon and RedWolf Airsoft, the logistical and procedural concerns were easily overwhelmed.
Clarence Lai, the Airsoft Surgeon, and Chris Kong of RedWolf Airsoft UK, together with the AIPSC UK , The Grange, and backed up by the RedWolf Airsoft Hong Kong such as Chris Pun and Tim of RWTV, were busily coordinating all the Range Officers (ROs) and Scorers. The Grange were busy ensuring the facilities were in tip top shape and making sure that the courses are not muddy enough for shooters to go through the runs. The ROs, apart from the organisers, will bear the brunt of the tournmanet as they follow the shooters through the courses for two days which is almost tantamount to running a marathon.
And there's nary a complaint from the shooters, who are more concerned about the rules to ensure that they don't get disqualified as practical shooting is very strict in procedures since it involves a lot of safety considerations due to its real steel heritage (all airsoft guns should be treated like real firearms). And each course/stage has its own unique setup and procedures and thus all competitors will have to be on their toes and the experienced show how they prepare for each run --- they took their time to memorize all the targets and physically and in their minds, will go through the run and determine the fastest way possible. Some were incredibly fast and they did put up the pressure for other shooters in each division to do even better.
Apart from the competition itself, it's more of the curiosity of all present to know more about their fellow shooters. It is always a good experience and exposure for the shooters to know more about other shooters from other countries. The Airsoft Surgeon 2013 Practical Shooting European Championship provided the venue for shooters in the region to mingle and learn other techniques. But overall, it was also venue where new friendships and mutual admiration developed.
The shooters had to rotate through all the stages for the event, with around 8 stages during the first day and initially were not hindered by environmental issues, that is by the unpredictable British weather. Only by late afternoon did the weather worsen as the skies darkened and sporadic rain happened. This provided a concern as it was too dark too shoot and some stages were not completed by some squads and were moved to the next day. This same weather pattern manifested itself in the second day.
The second day, the stages were shorter and thus for those squads who were not able to complete all the stages in the previous day due to the weather were able to catch up. The second day also was a challenge for the shooters as the energy levels were not as the same as the first day and only the prepared and experienced show their competitive levels.
It was already dark when the last squad finished their stages. The shooters were excited to know the results and of course the possibility of winning the coveted raffle prizes such as the custom airsoft pistols from Mike Cripps and the Airsoft Surgeon. It was a happy evening, with all participants all smiles at meeting new friends and competing against other shooters in Europe. The organisers announced that they are looking forward to an even bigger and better championship next year.
We do expect it to be even bigger as there are still more European countries that can be tapped for future competitions. But with the success of the Airsoft Surgeon 2013 Practical Shooting European Championship, we also hope that it would spur on the development of more local airsoft practical shooting clubs in the continent.
The list of the winners per division is provided below and you can click here to download the results scores. Our congratulations to all the winners, shooters, sponsors, and organisers for a very successful event. More photos of the event at the Popular Airsoft Facebook Page. The videos to follow very soon.
Winners by Category
Airsoft Surgeon European Championship Results
Winner - Lai Pak Lam
1st runner up - Kamil Nowociel
2nd runner up - Andrew Brett
Winner - Tiffany Lau
1st runner up - Katarzyna Rybarczyk
2nd runner up - Paulina Wolyniec
Winner - Roy Juurijoki
1st runner up - Jake Armon Edwards
2nd runner up - Herman Mok
Winner - Jaakko Viitala
1st runner up - Mike Cripps
2nd runner up - Curtis Yat Man Choi
3rd runner up - Piotr Gawronski
4th runner up - Terry Dove
Winner - Rafal Tomanek
1st runner up - Maciej Piwowarski
2nd runner up - Roy Juurijoki
3rd runner up - Luke Williams
4th runner up - Paul Courtney