Director Nordic Championships and Chairman Nordic
The 2019 season has got off to a racing start with three Royal Marines and three Soldiers and being selected to represent their country in Biathlon. Capt James Smith, Marine Brett Stevens, Marine Adam Peacock (all 45 Commando), Cpl Williams (6 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps), LBdr Fountain (16th Regiment Royal Artillery), Pte Cawood (1 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps), will all be sporting their country’s colours in the coming months as they race the world’s biathletes competing on the International Biathlon Union circuit. I’d like to personally wish them all the very best of luck and offer my thanks to their units, coaches and team mates for supporting and pushing them towards this impressive achievement.
As Chairman of United Kingdom Armed Forces Nordic skiing I am very much looking forwards to delivering a season of competition and racing that will build upon the success of recent years. The achievement of the six marines and young soldiers mentioned above is, without a doubt, the product of their dedication and hard work, but without the opportunity and facility that the UKAFWSA affords our soldiers, sailors and air personnel they might not be able to achieve their potential. With this understanding at the centre of what I and my team will deliver we embark on the 2019 season with vigour and enthusiasm.
Ex RUCKSACK 18 was as challenging and rewarding as we’ve come to expect from the Army/InterService/National Championships. The competition was fierce and the top teams and individuals left everything on the track as they battled to be the best. The Royal Marines won the InterService title, 1 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps fought to remain the male Champion Nordic Team and defended a number of individual titles as well, and the Royal Artillery Ladies retained the title of Champion Ladies team. RUCKSACK 19 will see these top teams fighting to defend their titles against what we expect to be talented and skilful opposition. All Army teams will progress through the Divisional Championships prior to arriving at Ex RUCKSACK 19, and I wish them and the Exercise Directors of PIPEDOWN 19 and SPARTAN HIKE 19 safe and rewarding competition.
Teams are already deployed on pre-race training camps with a great deal of hard work put in by coaches and team captains. I’ve seen innovative and flexible thinking maximise the opportunity that our personnel will enjoy and I know that those of the Nordic fraternity are doing their best to ensure that our sport which has such obvious value to our organisations is made accessible for as many as possible. For those who have already made it out on to snow I wish them all the best in their preparatory training.
Ex RUCKSACK 19 – 24 Jan to 8 Feb 19 is
On the RUCKSACK front we are all looking good. Snow is bountiful (too much in certain places), teams are all here and we have a viable National competition. We are a little disappointed that we only have 3 female Corps teams (RA, RLC and AGC) despite trying to pull through more at selection. The REME had an option but their weakest skier had to return to the UK (Sgt at a Phase 2 training unit). RAF and RN/RM are here which is great and we are expecting a few civilian entrants (both local and British).
Watch the website for any updates!