By Vera Koo, Women’s Outdoor News, Published February 22, 2016
I have been told that I am the type of person who will take a bite of something and hold onto it and not let go until I have it mastered. I gravitate toward activities and tasks that take a long time to master. I have the stamina and the work ethic to stay committed to that discipline for however long it takes to reach my goals.
This explains my dedication to my beloved Bianchi Cup, also known as the National Action Pistol Championship, which occurs every May at the Green Valley Rifle & Pistol Club near Columbia, Mo. This year’s competition will occur May 24-28. The Bianchi Cup will serve as a qualifier for the World Action Pistol Championship in November in New Zealand. It is my goal to represent the United States on its team at the world competition.
I have competed at Bianchi Cup for 20 years, and some shooters have competed at the competition every year since its launch in 1979.
Because of the high levels of accuracy required at Bianchi Cup, it is considered one of the most difficult championships in shooting sports. Bianchi Cup joins the International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSC) Nationals and Steel Challenge Shooting Association (Steel Challenge), as the top championship events in action shooting in the United States every year.
I have previously competed at IPSC Nationals and Steel Challenge, but I left those disciplines after seeing that those competitions did not best suit my skillset. IPSC requires a lot of athleticism, and Steel Challenge requires extreme speed. I left Steel Challenge after I saw my ceiling. I had not reached my ceiling, but I saw it, and it was not as high as I would have liked for it to have been. I left IPSC because I knew I was not athletic enough and too old to compete at the level of some of the younger competitors.
I advise shooters to gravitate toward a discipline that naturally suits their strengths. That is how I settled on the Bianchi Cup.
When I was shooting IPSC, I took many classes with the top shooters whenever they taught workshops in my area. In one class, I remember asking one of the top shooters, Todd Jarrett, what he thought about women’s performance in action pistol shooting. He told me that, at that time, some women performed really, really well sometimes, but many were not consistent. He thought accuracy and consistency were the keys to continued success.
I knew I had accuracy.