Navy skiers struggled to dent a dominant Army side during this year’s winter biathlon, Exercise Coolshot, at Mt Hotham, Victoria, from 6-11 August.
Twenty-three Navy competitors took to the trails, a significantly larger team than last year, which included a large novice contingent.
Navy’s best team performances were second places in the men’s track team and biathlon and sprint events.
Army made a clean sweep, taking first in every category.
Lieutenant Sven Howorth was named Navy male champion and was the first Navy competitor to finish each race.
“Army fielded a very strong team which made it extremely hard to catch them but we managed to chase them down here and there,” Lieutenant Howorth said.
“They shot better than me on the day and that cost me a lot of time.”
Lieutenant Commander Victoria Jnitova was named Navy’s female champion for the second year running.
“Competition was fierce as usual, it was very much Army dominated,” Lieutenant Commander Jnitova said.
“Their women are really fast, they’re much younger than us; our team was mature and thoughtful, but that didn’t help our performance.”
The senior Navy coach, Warren Feakes, said the new competitors quickly took to the sport during the week of lead-up training.
“I was impressed by the rapid skill development of the Royal Australian Navy biathletes, in that after a mere four days many of the novices – never having seen snow before – had progressed from being inefficient and falling down to participating in a five-kilometre racing event,” he said.