The Navy men’s ‘A’ team has kept its cool and taken out the Inter-service Cross Country Ski Relay at Mount Hotham, Victoria.
The relay was held as part of the annual Inter-service Nordic Skiing and Biathlon Championships - also known as Exercise COOLSHOT.
The senior relay event required each competitor to ski two laps of the course, using classic or freestyle technique, then tag the next person to do the same. Then, when all four had completed two laps, they had to each ski another two laps of the course.
Each lap of the course was about a kilometre long.
The Navy team of Lieutenant Sven Howorth, Lieutenant Commander Garry Lewis, Midshipman Lachlan Rowe and Midshipman Hamish Roberts led the race from start to finish and increased its lead throughout the event.
Lieutenant Commander Lewis said the conditions were challenging.
“The snow conditions were soft, which made for hard work - particularly going up hills.
“We had a highly competitive team, including Midshipman Roberts, who was a member of the Australian Cross Country Skiing Team before joining the Navy.
“We were encouraged along the course by other members of the Navy Skiing and Biathlon team and ended up beating the Army and Air Force teams by more than a lap.
“The win was a real highlight for me, as it demonstrated a significant improvement on our performance last year,” Lieutenant Commander Lewis said.
Forty-seven Navy members participated in Exercise COOLSHOT, including athletes, coaches and support personnel.
Lieutenant Commander Lewis said Navy’s achievements were bolstered by an outstanding support crew of managers and coaches, including Warrant Officer Ian Waller (Manager), Chief Petty Officer Chris Ware (Assistant Manager) and coaches Lieutenant Colonel Warren Feakes (Ret’d), Midshipman Hamish Roberts and Leading Seaman Michael Herbert.
The Navy Team is now preparing for the Inter-service Ski Marathon Event at Falls Creek - also known as the Hoppet. Four personnel from each service will compete at the event, with two from each doing the 42 kilometre marathon, and two doing the half marathon.