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For those who haven't been to the National Matches at Camp Perry, you just might be missing somethingGI2

For those that have been there, please relate some of your experiences and what you've seen or competed in while there.

For those who have competed there, please pass along some tips for those thinking about going and or shooting there.

For those who are thinking about, or planning on going next year, don't hesitate to ask question and/or share info.

Lodging, places to eat, sites to see either at or surrounding Camp Perry or what have you.
 

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I'd love to go and I'd love to shoot and I need lots of tips. Bring 'em on.

Steve
 

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I competed at the CMP Western Games this year, my first firearms competition. I shot my M1 Garand in 3 as-issued matches and really got the bug.

I'll be shooting in the local matches every chance I get, but being on the Camp Perry firingline would be a dream come true.

While in Ann Arbor on business last August, I drove down to see the National Matches for one day, that was a gas! I'd appreciate any advice about how best to set up lodging or where to stay? I have heard some of the guys talk about the spartan conditions of staying in the huts, are there other options?

Any help or advice will be appreciated.

Thanks,

Steve
 

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Hawk,
As you know, this was my first time at Camp Perry 2010 competing, and meeting you for the first time. Several years ago I started into high power rifle shooting, and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Coming from such a long distance, my plan was to stay 3 weeks from CMP week to the long range matches. I brought my M1 Garand for the CMP matches & Garand match, Armscorp M14 for the M1A match, 6mmar for the NRA matches, and T2K for the long range matches.
My wife and I rented a condo during the 3 weeks. We shopped at the local markets and ate at the condo for most of the stay there, with the exception of eating at a few of the restaurants in Port Clinton.
What I remembered most, were the people I met and were squadded with. From former national champions, to retired secret service agent, to industry leaders, etc. In the Garand match, I was squadded with Mike Sadlak. What a great guy! During the matches, I noticed my scores were better at Camp Perry, than they were back home. I'm convinced this was due to the shooters in my squad, giving me advice, and coaching me. I am forever grateful to them for those words of advice!
Shooting the long range matches at a 1000 yards was most humbling! Thanks to William Gilliland, Dr. Randy Pike, and the AMU, they were able to guide me and get my sighters on the target! Yes, this was my first time at a 1000 yards.
My wife met a lot of the shooters wives/spouses while there, and swapped stories about how fanatical the husbands were about shooting.
Another great experience was sitting in the audience during the awards ceremonies, and watching 2 buddies from Hawaii accept their distinguish rifle badges on stage.
Even with the heat, thunderstorm, pulling pit duty, rifle malfunctions/breakage, etc. would I do it again? You bet! 3 weeks away from work-anytime!
My friends say I'm nuts doing this, but then again, I used to spend 7-10 days at an elk camp in Montana every year, during November with -30 degree weather, riding miles on a frozen saddle, wading through waist deep snow, on my vacation...
Looking forward to going back and talking stories with you, Hawk.
Kelvin (Beginner)
 

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It was very intimidating to go up there and shoot for the first time 4 years ago. The information on what you need and how to register is definately out there but takes some time to discern it all and get all of your ducks in a row.
We usually stay in a hotel in Fremont, OH- 15 minute drive from base and the prices are a little lower being off the lake.
The games matches- ie M1 Garand Match, Carbine, and M1A Match are the ones I would start out with. As there is quite a mix of people and the help you will get from your squad mates is invaluable. The rifle and pistol SAFS (small arms firing school) are put on by the CMP and the AMU and are just awesome- for 40.00 they provide your, rifle , ammo, and one day of expert instruction and an EIC (excellence in competition) match- they also do a pistol safs for those of you wanting to try shooting pistols at the NM level. There are lots of options depending on how long you can stay but even just a visit as an observer is worthwhile...
 

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Read the rule book

Some do's and donts for new people.

Definitely read the CMP and NRA rulebooks.

Ask questions of fellow shooters you are squadded with if you have legitimate and important questions to ask (like you dont know how to score a target, etc) and you will get lots of good advice, but don't be a pain in the arse with incessant pointless questions or mindless chatter. People go there to shoot and shoot well, and wait all year to do that, and since most people at Perry are generally considerate and don't want to tell you to shut up, be considerate in return and don't talk their ear off...

(I had a junior shooter, really, really nice kid squadded with me, but he would just not shut up. You could tell he was really excited to be there and he just wanted to talk about the whole experience as much as he could during the NTI, but finally I just had to tell him that he needed to respect that I was trying to focus and shoot)

Pay attention when you score and pull pits! You would want the same done when you are shooting...Its not a time to be goofing around or taking a break.

If you get some down time; are not scoring, shooting, or pulling pits for a string or two, watch and learn. Especially pay attention to the USAMU and Marine Rifle Teams. You will learn alot watching...

Have a plan of action in how you are going to shoot. Dont start messing with offhand holds or slings or whatever when its your relay to shoot just because you just watched someone (from the AMU for instance) else do it differently. Shoot the way you practiced leading up to Perry. Perry is not the place to experiment. The wind alone will give you enough problems if you dont have your wind down...

IF YOU ARE SCORING DURING THE RAPIDS IN THE NTI OR P100 OR OTHER CMP EVENTS, DO NOT BE LOOKING THROUGH THE SPOTTING SCOPE. THIS CAN AND WILL DISQUALIFY THE SHOOTER. I see lots of new people who seem to miss this little rule. When they call "SCOPES AWAY" that means scorers are not to be looking through the scope...

Leave your credit card at home unless you absolutely have to have it. You will spend way more money than you think will if you are not good at keeping the cc in the wallet. Bring cash and set a budget. Its just too enticing to go overboard on commercial row...

Do bring enough ammo and then some. Have extra.

Know your sight settings, and write them down. Some people dont know their 600 yard zeros. This is worth asking of a veteran shooter, even though the setting may just get you on paper..

Drink lots of water. You could get stuck in the pits for a long time, you want to stay hydrated as well as you can at all times.
There is water in the pits, but its easy to get overheated there and you cant use the provided water when shooting is taking place...

Dont become unnerved and blow your training for the year. Everyone has butterflies. RELAX and shoot it like it was any other match.

Be a happy camper! Enjoy being there no matter if your day is not going great shooting-wise!
 

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CP is our "Mecca" so be sure to walk the circle, around commercial row, five times while there!

Seriously, it is a great experience that any semi-serious rifle shooter ought to make at least one trip to. A long time shooter told me that he has gone every year since back in the 70s and he has more fun now than ever. The secret, he says, is to NOT take your rifle. His point is that the chance to hang out with people you will get to know, and see each year, is worth the trip alone.

If you go, there are tons of advice on what to do. My advice is to make sure you link up with some others - preferably some who have been there before. Plan on doing things in the evenings with others there to share the experience. I regret that the huts are diminishing. They are an experience within themselves but staying on base gives you an experience far beyond that of staying in hotels somewhere off base. I wouldn't trade anything for my 6 trips there. I had to call off going in 2010 and, though I had no choice, I have lamented it over and over. Already making plans, though, for my 2011 trip.

I've also had the pleasure of taking my two sons there. One shot with the state rifle team for three years and the other went to the pistol matches. If you have teenage kids who shoot, it is worth it to try to get them into the sport and to go to Perry. Most people there go out of their way to help a teenager who is trying.
 

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Great posts so far! I had the pleasure of chatting with Hawk at the SADLAK booth while I was there. My suggestion would be to stay on base. for me it's worth a little extra cash to get a module and have your own shower and air conditioning then walk out your door a few short steps to shoot. I had heat exhaustion last year during the M1A Springfield shoot and it was no fun so be sure to drink lots on the line and in the pits. Even though I've been 5 times, I still consider myself a new comer. I have been lucky enough to meet the nicest people there and they are always willing to help you out. I had one guy loan me his spotting scope and shooting mat while he was in the pits and I was on the line.

Commercial Row is a must see so plan to spend a few hours (and a few bucks) checking out all the stores.

I have stayed in Port Clinton before and there are a few nice places. The restaurants are decent and I became fond of the Irish Pub on the main drag mostly because of the beers.

If you are taking your spouse, it would be worth the drive to go to Marble Head which is not too far down the road and is very pretty. Go see the light house. Charter fishing out of Lakeside at Tibble's Marina is always fun and Old man Jack Tibble is good people. We have used his services many times.

If you are into a wild time, go visit Put-In-Bay on South Bass Island. You won't believe you are still in Ohio.
 

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I forgot to add that if your family is tagging along, and doesn't want to shoot, they can hang out at Cedar Point amusement park about 15 miles down the road. The roller coasters there scare the begeezes out of me just to watch them.
 

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While in Ann Arbor on business last August, I drove down to see the National Matches for one day, that was a gas!

Thanks,

Steve
Ann Arbor the San Francisco of Michigan. Nice place to visit but you might be overrun by Liberals. Be careful there, when I have to work in that town I make it a point not to discuss firearms around the customers. Too many anti gunners live there.GI3

John
 

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Ann Arbor the San Francisco of Michigan. Nice place to visit but you might be overrun by Liberals. Be careful there, when I have to work in that town I make it a point not to discuss firearms around the customers. Too many anti gunners live there.GI3

John
+1 John, that's why I like to refer to it as "Liberal Arbor". Every time I head to Perry I have to go thru/around it and it makes me chuckle thinking of the irony.
 

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Where do I start?

I felt overwhelmed the first few times I was there competing. Look at all that gear! Is that some sort of anemometer from the future? Why does he have sandpaper on the behind of his trousers? What's with all those paint stripes on the rifle sights? GI8GI8

First, remember that this is a simple sport. We (some) choose to make it more difficult than it really is. I will bet that any competitior will be more than happy to help you on the range, or in the pits, or out on vendor's row. With one exception, I have never met anybody who was rude, or a goon. This exception made the cut for the President's 100, I kept score at 3&6. His disposition and attitude was childish. I chose not to speak to him. I won't mention how he spoke to me. Anywho.........go and shoot!GI6 Small arms firing school is a great course. Do it if possible.

More importantly, be sure of your empty chamber indicator, and muzzle awareness. Directions are given over the loud speakers, but we are handling firearms. Always remember that.



Lastly, don't get any negative thoughts in your melon. I learned this real quick like. When you pick up your rifle, all is well in your universe..........ohmmmmm....relish in the fact that you have stood next to the best shooters in the world and competed with them. It won't be long before you're out for blood.DIEVIL Ask me how I know.

I am fortunate in that I can go home every day after competing. Many local areas welcome shooters and offer discounts for lodging and dining. Best bet is to check the chamber of commerce for that area to see what they offer. Hope to see you there! In fact, I hope to meet and see any members who can make it. Practice started at the closing ceremonies!DI2 Good luck and good shooting!

Doug
 

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Hello Again Hawk-Man,

For the Know-Nots, of which I am proud to be one of... Could you post the schedule, or let me know where to find particulars?

I.E., where it is, the date which the shoots are help, and/or where to find info on signing up, having a booth for sales, etc.

Thank You!
BDog
 

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I went there a few years in a row as a military pistol shooter.

We meet the day before the competitors show up to get our firing point assingments for the SAFS and get told to help any and all competitors. So, if you are thinking of going and are overwhelmed, just know the service shooters are there to help you enjoy Camp Perry.
 

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I love Google! I was looking for info on Camp Perry recently and found the following. Seems to be a little outdated, but still worth a read. Mods, please help correct any inaccuracies.

Camp Perry
by Jim Owens
Planning on going to Camp Perry for the National High-Power Rifle Matches for the first time? Here is some useful information to get started. If you have not shot Camp Perry before, you must contact the NRA competition division and ask them to put you on the list for a "packet." Call 1-800-672-3888, push option six, then extension 1475 and the pound (#) sign. NRA will send the packets out about June 1st, make sure you fill it out and send it back right away. One year I waited till just before the date on which you have to pay a late fee and I found myself on the waiting list. I almost didn't get to shoot that year.
You must first decide what you want to do. Some people:
1. Go to Camp Perry just to look around.


2. Go just to shop on commercial row. Building after building of shooting supplies. Things you never knew existed, and once you know they exist, you can't live without them.


3. Volunteer. The NRA desperately needs the volunteers to run the matches. You can volunteer yourself and kind of get the feel of the matches or better yet you can shoot the matches and sell your wife and kids into slavery. NRA pays the volunteers $20 a day and gives them a lunch. Best of all, they give them a hut. You can live with them in the hut, more on the housing shortage later. If you or the family want to volunteer, called Grace Lee at 1-800-672-3888, push option 6, extension 1485 and the pound (#) sign. The NRA will give them a two-day training class, the first week. The adults are usually made line or pit block officials. The kids are usually made field phone operators, teenagers are usually on the maitenace crews. There are other jobs around the camp the volunteers can do. Usually they want the kids to be 12 years and older. But they will take younger ones and if they are mature.


4. Shooting. Let's first define our terms. Do you want to shoot the first week or the second week? The first week is the CMP matches or also known as the "Board Matches." The first week is for Service Rifles ONLY (M-1 Garands, M-14/M-1A or M-16/AR-15s). There are no separate classifications the first week, the Marksman shoot against the Masters and High Masters. Because the entry fees are so much cheaper, you pay less and you shoot less than the second week, therefore a far greater # of competitors.
Saturday, July 31st of 1999 is the check-in day for the first week. On Sunday August 1st and Monday August 2nd, the volunteers attend their training class. The shooters attend the "Small Arms Firing School put on by the Army and the Marine Corps. The shooters gather in the bleachers and attend the morning school. In the afternoon of Sunday and on Monday you shoot the M-16 off sandbags at 200 and 300 yds. You get a certificate of completion; the cost of the SAFS is $20.
On Tuesday, August 3rd the shooters will fire the Presidents Hundred. They will shoot 10 rounds Off Hand, 10 rounds 300 yds rapid fire, and 10 round 600-yd slow fire. The top one hundred shooter's make the President's Hundred. Again High Masters and Marksmen are together. The costs of the Presidents Hundred is $30, without ammo ($20.00 for juniors). It will take all day to shoot the 30 rounds. There will be at least six relays, three relays on the line and three in the pits. Sometimes they may have as many as eight relays.
On Wednesday August 4th you shoot the National Trophy Individual Rifle Match or better known as the "Leg Match." This match is the one in which you try to win points toward Distinguished Rifleman. Normally a Gold medal is worth 10 points, a Silver medal is worth 8 points and Bronze medal is worth 6 points. A total of 30 points are needed to go Distinguished. For civilians at the Natural Matches, ANY medal, Gold, Silver or Bronze is worth 10 points. Again, no classifications are used. Generally an Expert or Higher has a good chance of placing in the medal category. There may be a thousand or more shooters and with a hundred or more medals given. The top 10% of the Non-Distinguish shooters will place. You shoot a National Match Course; 10 rounds Off Hand, 10 rounds two hundred-yard rapid-fire, 10 rounds three hundred yard rapid fire and 20 rounds are fired at six hundred yards slow fire. No sighters are given in this match. Again it will take all day to shoot the 50 rounds. The cost is $30, without ammo ($20.00 for juniors)
On Thursday, August 5th, the adults have the day off. I would advise the adults to stay and help the juniors; they need pit pullers and coaches. The juniors shoot the "Whistler Boy" Match. That is a two-man team, National Match Course (50 Shot). The cost is $30.00
On Friday on August 6th, the Military, the State Teams and Club Teams shoot the National Trophy Team Match, that also is a National Match Course (50 Shot). That match is the 6-man team, fired on one target. All the slow fire, (off hand and 600 yds), are fired by two shooters, pair firing. They alternate shots on the same target. There is a total team time. There will be no pit change; your team has to have a couple of pit pullers. The cost is $75.00 without ammo; the juniors get free ammo.
On Saturday August 7th, the Military, the State Teams and the Club Teams will shoot the Combat Infantry Trophy Match or better known as the "Rattle Battle." It is a 6-man team shooting rapid-fire on eight targets from 600, 500, 300 and 200 yds. The cost is $75.00 without ammo; the juniors get free ammo.
After the team matches on Friday and Saturday, the John Garand, M-1, "As-issued" match will be held. The cost is $30.00
Saturday evening is the Awards Ceremony for the first week, in the Base Theater. It is a show well worth attending.
If you want to shoot on the team matches, try to get on your state team. They usually have a fundraiser to help pay your cost.

The Second Week
The second week cost a lot more, so there are fewer people shooting, but you get to shoot a lot more. The second week is broken down, by both classification and type of rifles used. A Marksman Service rifle does not shoot against a marksman with a Match Rifle. The Marksmen do not shoot against Sharpshooters or Masters.
First you have to decide if you want to:1) Shoot the NRA Championships, across the course, ONLY, cost is $221.00, $111.00 for juniors. 2) Shoot the Long-Range Championships, 600,1,000 yds and the Palma Match, ONLY, the cost is $135.00 or 3) Shoot BOTH the Across the Course and Long Range Matches, the cost is $281.00.
The people who shoot second week, usually drive down on Saturday and check-in. There is a match on Sunday called the "Rumbold Team" Match; it is a good warm-up match for the National Championships. This match is a 50 shot Natural Match Course with sighters; you can use a Match Rifle or Service Rifle. The Rumbold is a four-man team, usually Local Clubs or State Associations. The cost is $60.00 per team. You can have one member from an adjoining state fire on your team. You can form a team with members from states that are not adjoining, but you must enter in the RNDC Match, it is held at the same time as the Rumbold. You have a snowball's chance in hell of winning; there is only one winner given and High Master teams from across the country shoot it. Guess who wins.
The NRA Championships are held on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. August 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th. You shoot three 800 aggregate matches, but it takes four days to do it. You will shoot two sighters and 20 rounds Off Hand Slow Fire, that is a match in itself. Then you shoot two sighters and two, ten shot strings of sitting rapid fire, that is also a match by itself. You then shoot two sighters and two, ten shot strings of 300 yard rapid fire. No 600-yd slow fire is shot on the first day. Each day you shoot three stages of the 800 aggregate.
The Long-Range Championship, only shooters start on Tuesday, August 10th and shoot Wednesday and Thursday at 600 yds. They are the 5th relay. They have to come down to the pits on the last pit change to help pull the targets.
Thursday evening is the Awards Ceremony for the second week, again in the Base Theater.
On Friday August 13th, if you are a long range only shooter or are shooting both the Championships and long-range, you shoot 1,000 yds Iron Sights, Individual in the morning and a four man team in the afternoon. On Saturday August 14th you shoot 1,000 yds. Scopes may be used on the rifle if you have one, Individual matches in the morning and four-man team matches in the afternoon. Team Matches cost $60.00.
On Friday and Saturday the High Shooters on each relay in the Individual Matches will be in the "Shoot Off" for the Championship.
On Sunday, Aug. 15th they shoot the Palma Matches; 800, 900, and 1,000 yds. Most people use that Sunday as a day of travel and head back home and return to work on Monday. NRA squads that morning, on the line, so they know how many shooters they have.
NRA has a long-range Firing School held the next few days after the Long-Range Championships. The 13th, 14th and 15th are classroom instructions and the 16th and 17th are range time. The cost is $150.00

Weather
Camp Perry is right on Lake Erie; in fact, the bullets go right into the lake. It can be freezing cold first thing in the morning and hot as hell and the afternoon, so be prepared. Storms can pop-up any time. Leaving your rain gear on the 200-yd line while you are soaking wet in the pits will not enhance your reputation as "being smart."

Housing
Camp Perry is a World War 2 prisoner of war camp. The "Huts" are a 14-ft. by 14-ft. concrete slab with a building on it; there is a door, three windows, one on each side, one light bulb in the center, four military racks or beds with a shelf and a rod for hanging things above each bed. Bring cleaning supplies, you'll want to clean the huts out before using them. Do not bring an air conditioner to use in the huts, the electrical outlets will not handle the load, it's a fire hazard, and the MPs will confiscate them.
You do not want the "double letter" huts. They are in the South 40, far from the Ranges, Commercial Row and they are in the poorest condition. Worst of all is the bathrooms. You can sit on the toilet and shake hands with the guy next to you. The showers are one large room with showerheads (if they work) around the room. Ask for the huts between the Mess Hall and Commercial Row. The Huts themselves aren't that much better, but the bathrooms sure are. They have individual stalls for both the toilets and showers. The huts used to cost $8 a day per bed. They now cost $2 a day per bed, the trick is to get them. The other housing they have is the modules. They are a two-man Room with their own bathroom, and they have air-conditioning. You better like the person you are living with because with all your gear you are very close. $38.15 a day for both beds, again they are hard to get.
They do have some beds in the barracks. The cost is $5.45 per bed per night. You don’t have to walk to the bathroom in the rain like you do if you are in the huts. Housing office telephone number is 614-336-6214.

Food
A tornado has torn the roof off the Mess Hall and it is no longer usable. The Army use to run the Mess Hall and you could eat there. They no longer run the Mess Hall. IGA Supermarket ran a lunch and dinner last year; I ate there once. There are a lot of good restaurants in town, and several have all you can eat dinners.
Some people bring a small refrigerator. Most people have one or two ice chests. Milk and cereal will do for Breakfast in the morning, Lunchables and a drink to take with you on the range for there are no lunch breaks. You have to get ice every day to keep things from spoiling. You can get the ice at the PX or at the snack bar. Most people pick up the ice right after they have supper in town.

Commercial Row
After you have spent all your money on Commercial Row, you'll soon realize that Commercial Row is a social event. People will walk up and down Commercial Row, running into their friends and talk about the day's events. One of the other meeting places is the building that houses the Wailing Wall. People gathered to look at the day's scores and talk about how well they "could have" shot.

Swap Meet
On Tuesday Aug. 3rd and Monday Aug. 9th there are competitor swap meets; you get to sell your junk to some one else and buy their wonderful stuff from them.

Competitor Meeting
On Thursday Aug. 5th there is a meeting for the competitors with both the CMP and the NRA about the rules. A lot of rule changes have come out of this meeting.

Location
Camp Perry is about 40 miles East of Toledo right on Lake Erie. It is on Ohio Route 2 four miles west of Port Clinton. To reach Camp Perry from the East use Route 2 or Ohio Turnpike I-80 & 90. From Ohio Turnpike exit gate 7, travel North on Route 250, then west on Route 2. From the West use Route 2 or exit Ohio Turnpike exit gate 6, travel North on Route 53, then west on Route 2.
 

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I just registered for Camp Perry, it will be my first trip there. Looking forward to a good time. I am signed up for as many events during CMP week as I can muster. I don't own an M1 Carbine, so I'm not shooting that event but I registered for the M16 SAFS, P100, Hearst, NTI, Garand and M1903 Springfield matches. Psyched to say the least.

Just hope my M1903 is back in time from the gunsmith.
 

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Awesome. I would love to go - if nothing else than just to be there. Competing would be icing.
 

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Had a wonderful time at Perry. Got my first LEG in the M16 EIC which was fun. Finished 12th out of almost 600.
The rest of the week went downhill from there. Had replaced the rear sight toggle which holds the rear sight apeture on my AR15 believing that it was stripped. New toggle changed my zero by 4 minutes and wrecked my zeros.

Learned a lot in the process during my rookie trip to Perry. Enjoyed it nonetheless. Looking forward to next year already. Looking for more LEG points for sure. The hunt for Distinguished has begun.
 
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