Diver sets sizzling pace in biathlon

This article has photo gallery Published on Leading Seaman Physical Trainer Callan Mcdonald (author), ABCSO(A) Matthew Riley (photographer), ABBM Thomas Darcy (photographer), LSET Pia Bartl (photographer)

Location(s): Balmoral Beach

Topic(s): HMAS Albatross, Sport, HMAS Penguin, HMAS Diamantina (M86), Running, Swimming, Biathlon

Male competitors sprint off at the starting line as the Physical Training Instructors start their clocks during the HMAS Penguin mini biathlon held at Balmoral Beach. (photo: LSET Pia Bartl)
Male competitors sprint off at the starting line as the Physical Training Instructors start their clocks during the HMAS Penguin mini biathlon held at Balmoral Beach.

Conditions were perfect at Balmoral Beach in Sydney for the course record to be broken at the HMAS Penguin annual mini-biathlon.

Nearly 30 competitors took to the course, which comprised of a 250 metre beach run, 250 metre ocean swim and finished with another 250 metre beach run.

The deployment of HMAS Choules at short notice to assist with Queensland flood relief efforts resulted in a few late withdrawals.

After a quick adjustment of the heats by the Penguin Physical Training Instructors, the event got underway.

The competition was fierce, but Able Seaman Clearance Diver Kevin Mcewan, currently posted to minehunter, HMAS Diamantina, set a new course record of 6 minutes and 24 seconds in the open male final. 

Able Seaman Mcewan commended the physical training instructors for staging the event.

“It was great to compete against personnel from other units, I hope there are a few more things like this organised,” he said.

“I’d encourage other people to get onboard for next year.

"It’s a good day, well run and it’s nice to get out in the sun."

Now in its third year, the Penguin mini-biathlon is open to permanent personnel, reservists on continuous full-time service and Australian Public Service employees.

Lieutenant Kathleen McTaggart from the Penguin Maritime Operational Health Unit took first place in the veteran ladies category. 

Mr Mark Gibson from HMAS Albatross had a convincing win in the veteran males, while Lieutenant Commander Louise Stodulka, Maintenance Manager at Mine Warfare and Clearance Diving Systems Program Office dominated her heat and taking out the open female.

Commanding Officer Penguin Commander Ian Campbell presented prizes to the winners and said the mini-biathlon was one of a number of fitness events organised during the year.

“The mini-biathlon supports the fit to fight objectives of the Fleet’s warfighting campaign plan and helps to build underlying toughness and resilience in personnel,” he said.