Behind The Scenes At EBR – It’s A Shock!
Extreme Benchrest has long been the premier event in the airgun world for many shooters. But a successful event like this doesn’t just happen. It takes a TON of planning and effort. So, I went behind the scenes at EBR to find out what makes it such a stellar event, year-after-year.
To find out more, I spoke to the General Manager of Airguns of Arizona: Greg Glover.
Greg was very keen to stress that EBR is the product of a team effort at AoA. In fact, that’s about the first thing he told me. Yes, everyone in the company is involved in planning and running the event – he explained – although he’s the one co-ordinating the project.
Hey, someone has to do it!
Can You Believe This?
Although a major force in the airgun industry on a world-wide basis, Airguns of Arizona is not a huge company. In spite of that, AoA manages to run EBR “in its spare time” as an adjunct to the day-to-day business of selling airguns.
Below. Even Target, AoA’s office mascot, gets into the act. Here he’s supervising Jared Clark as he works on EBR details.
AoA is NOT an event management company, but the results sure look like it is!
In fact, Greg estimates that it takes over 2,500 hours of time from AoA staff to plan and run one EBR event every year. To gauge what that means, consider this…
Those 2,500 hours represent more than the average working time for one full-time person for a whole year. That’s HUGE!
Looked-at another way, for the 160 competitors who will attend EBR 2021, that’s around 16 hours of time invested by AoA FOR EVERY SINGLE ATTENDEE!
So Airguns of Arizona invests close to 45 minutes of time for every hour each shooter spends at EBR. They do that to ensure EBR will be an experience you’ll treasure.
Let’s pause and think about that for a moment as we see Larry Piercy working in the AoA support van at a previous EBR.
Now we can begin to understand why Extreme Benchrest runs like a well-oiled machine every year. Behind the scenes at EBR, there’s a MASSIVE investment of time to make sure it runs well.
There’s $77,000 In Prizes
Naturally the massive prizes on offer at EBR are a major attraction. For 2021, the prizes total over $77,000 in value, Greg told me. Yes, $77K!!!
That means that – as an average – there’s over $480 of prizes FOR EVERY SHOOTER attending EBR in 2021!
And you don’t even have to place in competition to win. The Raffle alone has prizes worth more than $30,000. Every attendee who buys a ticket stands an equal chance of winning his or her share of this outstanding airgun giveaway!
Then there’s the big cash prizes for competition winners, together with a new 4×4 truck for the overall winner of EBR 2021. Yes, the winner of Extreme Benchrest will win a Mahindra truck valued at more than $32,000!
Below. Everyone loves to watch the Speed Silhouette competition!
EBR Is A Worldwide Event
Such huge prizes are possible due to the generosity of EBR’s sponsors.
These sponsors are hard-headed businessmen, of course. They’re not giving away money for nothing. Rather, they understand the value of being a part of Extreme Benchrest and value the publicity it gives them among the elite of airgunners who flock to the event.
In fact, EBR 2021 attracts more than a dozen “headline sponsors”, plus more than 30 other companies. It’s a veritable “Who’s Who” of the airgun industry around the world.
Naturally, Airguns of Arizona itself is the Event Sponsor. In addition, other well-known companies are sponsoring specific events. For example…
Daystate Airguns (from the UK) sponsors the Extreme Benchrest 75 and 100 Yard competitions.
LCS Air Arms (USA) is sponsoring the Speed Silhouette.
Following its win in 2019, RTI Arms (Slovenia) is sponsoring the 50 Yard Benchrest. That’s the RTI Team below.
KalibrGun (Czech Republic) is sponsoring Extreme Field Target.
American Air Arms and Western Big Bore (USA) jointly sponsor the Big Bore shoot.
And there’s more!
Not to be forgotten is that Extreme Benchrest also attracts competitors from around the world. In 2019 the event was won by Nikolay Boldov from Russia. In 2018 the winner was Claudio Flores from Chile (below).
So EBR truly is a worldwide event!
Details Are The Key
With such a high profile, it’s vital that EBR runs smoothly. And it does, thanks to the investment of all that time we discovered above.
But where exactly does all that time go?
Below, targets must be produced…
As well as score sheets for the Extreme Field Target competition.
Greg Glover explained that there’s about a Zillion different issues to be covered behind the scenes at EBR. Well, maybe more! These range from major arrangements such as booking the range and banquet venue down to making sure there’s enough trash cans around the range.
Given Arizona’s famous heat, there’s unlimited free drinking water for everyone, together with the necessary daily delivery of ice to keep it cold! That also needs planning, together with transport and brute strength to place it where needed.
Then someone has to arrange and co-ordinate the quality food trucks. And hire range safety officials to ensure EBR is safe, as well as fun.
The list is endless…
Greg describes his approach as “Leave nothing to chance and always have a backup plan”. It’s that sort of professionalism behind the scenes at EBR that makes the event work seamlessly. It doesn’t just happen!
Then, of course, there’s the benefit of experience that’s often learned the hard way.
For example, the Extreme Field Target competition involves loudspeakers to provide shooter instructions along the wide range frontage. These require wires for operation. There’s also many strings to re-set the knock-down targets, of course. All of these run across the earth of the Sonoran desert.
This becomes an issue if you plan ahead and set-up the night before, says Greg. On arrival in the morning, these wires and strings are inevitably found to have been eaten by the local rodent population during the night!
That’s why the Extreme Field Target course is set-up only first thing on the day it’s shot 🙂
So when you’re at Extreme Benchrest, give a thought to the effort that was put in behind the scenes at EBR. Then thank the AoA staff who make it happen – they’ve done it to ensure that you have a great time at airgunning’s premier event!
If you’ve still not signed-up for this year’s EBR, there’s still time. Just. I’ll see you there …