Shooting for a world championship
The Cowboy Fast Draw Association is celebrating its 15th anniversary in Fallon this year with its signature event through Sunday at the Churchill County Fairgrounds.
Cowboy Fast Draw is a western-themed shooting sport which features wax bullet ammunition allowing competitions to be held almost anywhere. Safety is always the highest concern. Six-guns and holsters are from the Old West time period and the competitors dress in period clothing and theme as well. It’s a very colorful sport with shooters adopting aliases to compete under, in the spirit of the Old West.
The main event’s preliminary rounds are held today and Saturday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday wraps up with the Magnificent 7 World Championship Finals featuring the Top 7 youth, ladies, and men and beginning about High Noon until 2 p.m.
Admission is $5, $4 military & senior, $3 under 18; and free under 12. Admission includes a free pass to try 10 shots of Cowboy Fast Draw on Saturday only at the Try Cowboy Fast Draw Range.
The championship event attracts more than 200 of the fastest guns from across America and Canada, with this year’s event bringing in competitors from Switzerland and France. Outdoor Channel is covering this year’s event, which will be featured on their long-running series, Shooting USA. The event has been covered by Northern Nevada Media, The History Channel, Travel Channel & Outdoor Channel.
The youngest person to win the overall title of Men’s Fastest Gun Alive came in 2011 when 14-year-old Todd Vonfeldt Jr. a.k.a. Oregon Ranger from Portland, won the Men’s Championship.
Oregon Ranger will defend his title again. The Ladies FGA Title will be defended by Jennifer Guerra a.k.a. Kiss-N-Tell from Alta Loma, Calif.
Men and women compete in separate divisions, as do youth shooters. About one-third of the competitors at the Fastest Gun Alive are women. Educating as many people as possible in the safe and proper use of firearms is one of the Cowboy Fast Draw Association’s primary goals. CFDA, the sport’s sanctioning and rules authority, has also established Range Officer Training and Youth Safety Training Programs.
According to CFDA’s director and event host, Cal Eilrich a.k.a. Quick Cal (Shooting Sports Legend & 17-Time World Fast Draw Champion), moved the event from Deadwood, S.D. to Fallon in 2008. “The Fastest Gun Alive has turned into a major tourist attraction for Fallon.
“Hundreds of competitors and vendors from across the nation spend most of a week in Fallon. Additionally, spectators travel from Northern California, Nevada and several other states to watch a great competition and learn about our sport.”
The park at the Churchill County Fairgrounds will also feature dozens of food, craft and artisan vendors, Great Basin Pistoleros Cowboy mounted shooting, and a classic car show (Saturday only).
The competition is a shooter vs. shooter elimination format with the bouts each round determined by “luck of the draw.” Six-guns are never pointed at anyone; instead, both shooters stand side by side with each having a 17-inch metal plate target 15-foot downrange.
A digital timer signals a start light on each target simultaneously and both shooters must react to the light, draw, fire and hopefully hit their target faster than their opponent. Hip shooting these targets at competitive speeds is very challenging, as speed and accuracy are fairly balanced.
“It’s not always the fastest shooter who wins, but rather the shooter who keeps a cool head and a hot hand,” said Quick Cal.
For information on the sport and the Fastest Gun Alive, including informational videos, go to: http://www.cowboyfastdraw.com.