This past weekend, RC Red Star took a team over to Melbourne to compete in division 2 in the first round of the 2012 Paintball Association of Victoria Series (PAVS). PAVS is a 5 man, 5 tournament series that is held at multiple Victorian paintball fields over the course of the season. Round 1 was held at Snipers Den in Mirrabin. Troy, Brett, Ed and Scout drove the 8 hours or so to Melbourne where they were gracious enough to pick me up at the Melbourne airport. When I got in the car I had to put my gear bag across three laps in the back seat. Apparently, Ed and I will have to enter a ‘packing light for paintball road trips’ clinic. We stayed the night at a local hotel room alongside most of the Reffs Inc team. We played with new pump guns, and super fancy chrono/bps guns late into the night while exchanging paintball stories over some bourbon.
The next morning, we were all at the field by 7 as Jilli, Tricky, Em, Fuzzy and Bretty were going to ref the division 1 comp which took place before division 2. Troy, Scout, Ed and I had the morning off to get gear sorted, and watch how the field played. I should mention that the facilities at Snipers Den are, in my opinion, ideal for playing and spectating paintball. The tournament field is completely contained by netting allowing up close and safe spectating, and it’s within a short drive of many conveniences. Not that I needed to go anywhere because Snipers Den was cranking out good food themselves. We spent the morning watching the Div 1, hoping to refine our plan for our turn. Brett had to ref this entire time, but it’s okay because I’m pretty sure I saw him napping in the shade of a bunker at one point.
Our rough plan was to send Bretty up the Dorito side with Scout supporting, Troy stays back center, with the plan of heading up the middle at the right time. Ed stayed back center until he could bump out and support/fill in for me in the snake. The first of our games was a disappointing loss. We hadn’t settled into our game and were probably pushing a bit hard. Our second game, however was an action packed win that came down to Brett and Scout vs one opposition player. While Scout battled, Bretty bunkered. Over the course of the day, we had wins and losses. We were even proud of those losses because we made every team work for it.
As Snipers Den is such a spectator friendly venue, many players and spectators watch from the sidelines. We felt some great excitement and love from the spectators throughout the day. The reactions of onlookers when RC would pull out a win definitely got us fired up. All the players that day were great sports and were very complimentary of our game.
We went into our 9th game of the day with 4 wins and 4 losses. I don’t really remember the events that unfolded, but we were thrilled to pull out a win. Thinking our day was over, we ripped our pads of celebrating that we’d won more games than we’d lost. Until Aaron, who was running the chrono, called us up for the last game of the day. We were in a slight state of shock but we managed to get padded up and ready just in time. Well, ‘just in time’ is probably not what Reffs Inc would call it as they were all lounging in the middle of the field after being stood up for the last game of the day. They were understanding and only stirred us up about it for a minute or so. Again, I’m not sure how the game unfolded but I remember seeing only Scout on the D side while I was in the snake. For what seemed like an eternity, an unbroken stream of paint rained into the gap of the snake, preventing me from bumping. At some point I made the bump into the 50, but the steady stream of paint continued and I copped a hit in the shoulder. Scout worked like a monster from his D side bunker and kept the wolves at bay for a short while longer but in the end we finished the day with 5 wins and 5 losses. Despite the loss, I found myself fist pumping as I ran off the field. As I was remarking about how hard we made the winning team work for their victory one of the opposing players came up to chat. He explained that in that final game he and his boys were so determined to win that he personally used 8 pods of paint to lock me down in the snake. As dramatic as that is, it’s even more so since RC shot 2 cases of paint over the course of the entire day. At the end of the day, as is customary, the field owners and event organizers took to the stand to extend their gratitude and congratulations to players and support staff alike. The placement of the 10 teams was announced from position 10 up. When we were announced as 5th all in attendance gave us a very gracious applause.
For me, this tournament was easily one of the greatest weekends of paintball/paintball related stuff I've had in years. I've been living in Aus for a few years now, but am only just getting to the point where I can recognize players, reffs, and staff from other tournaments. So, I thoroughly enjoyed getting a chance to connect/reconnect with you all. I'm not sure who I want to thank first because the event was run so well, the venue was tight, Reffs Inc did a solid job as usual, and the general atmosphere was truly enjoyable... so I'd like to give that first shout out to my team mates Ed, Troy, Brett and Scout. Thanks for agreeing that making an 8 hour road trip to enter a semi tournament with pump guns was a good idea. I've read some generous comments about my day in the snake (I got lucky), but I was only trying to match the level of play that I knew the rest of my team were putting out. Thanks to all you who supported us from the sidelines. I'm not going to lie, that was a hard days work for us. Hearing the cheering and kind words helped us dig deep as the day went on. Again, the entire weekend was a positive experience for me so I couldn't really begin to explain my appreciation to everyone who deserves it. That said, I'd like to thank Tricky, Fuzzy, Em and Jilli for looking out for me on Sunday. It was nice sharing a meal with you all and getting to know you all a bit better. Jilli, and Troy if it weren't for you two I'd either be still stuck at the airport trying to get to the field, or stuck at the field trying to get to the airport. Thanks for looking out for me, I owe you guys. RC is going to make it's best effort to enter in as much of the series as we can... at least we can't complain about paint expenditure!
(bumps heart with fist)
(bumps heart with fist)
I’m trying to get raw footage of the other players online but have been having technical trouble. I’ll get it up guys. Meantime, here’s a split screen of our 2nd game of the day: