Summer is the time for sand in your toes and the sweet aroma of Coppertone, right? For Ray Apelles, his summer weekends have him punching inch-wide kill zones at 50 yards with a 10.5 grain weight pellet zipping through crosswinds strong enough to keep sailors at the dock all while wearing a jacket with enough cordura and buckles to make Houdini queasy. While the rest of us make the long drive home with sandy car floors and sunburned noses, Ray is running out of wall space for trophies and plaques.
On Saturday this half of “The A Team” (the other half being his father, Hans Apelles) brought home more hardware after winning the Maryland State Field Target Championship. The twist: the WFTF PCP and Open PCP classes were combined and Ray won while shooting WFTF-style. Open Class allows for guns shooting 20 fpe while WFTF limits shooters to 12 fpe, per international rules. That’s like throwing a wiffle ball to homeplate while everyone else uses baseballs.
Two weeks after his epic six-overtime finale at the Northeast Regional Field Target Championship, Ray used a Benjamin Marauder Hybrid to shoot a 68 of a possible 72 to take the Maryland title for Open PCP class. He tied with Jerry LaRocca (shooting Hunter PCP Class with a Benjamin Marauder) for the event’s high score. Marauders also placed 8th, 11th, 12th and 17th.