Page 61 - The Chapka 2016
P. 61

 The Royal Lancer Nordic ski team set out for the two day drive to Norway on a very early, very cold and very wet Monday morning in November. Sjusjoen was the picturesque location for their winter training camp, situated just outside Lillehammer - the spiritual home of Norwegian skiing. Within a few hours of arriving the team were heading to their first ses- sion with Silje Knox, who has been the Regiment’s (and its an- tecendents) coach for more than five years. The stories the team had been told did not disappoint; Silje was a tough taskmaster as she taught the novice-heavy team to ski uphill and worked them on their fitness. The first few weeks saw a lot of falls mostly com- ing from the novice members of the team; Lieutenant Gardner and Troopers Merton, Hughes, Morris, Banks and Farrington. Over time they started closing the gap on the senior skiers, start- ing to look somewhere close to graceful on skis with twice daily training sessions paying off and skill levels improving quicker than expected. This, rather unfortunately for the team, meant Silje decided they were ready to begin doing interval sessions. Everyone, including the more experienced of Lieutenant Mar- riott and, Lance Corporals Churchill and Murphy, winced at the, “10 times round the loop and...”
After six weeks of intensive cross country skiing and biathlon training in Norway, looking slightly closer to Men’s Health
models than when they left Catterick, it was time for the team to leave their Norwegian cabin and head to mainland Europe to start putting the training into practice against the rest of the Army’s Nordic skiers.
The first stop was Austria for Exercise NORDIC WHITE FIST, the combined RAC, RA and AAC Nordic Championships, held at the IBU World Cup course in Hochfilzen. A technical course with some very large climbs, it was a tough introduction to com- petitive racing. The Royal Lancers rose to the challenge. In the first race, the 10km Classic cross country, the team came fourth overall and third in the RAC, with Lieutenant Gardner taking the top novice spot and Trooper Merton coming a close second. The next day was the 4 x 5km Classic Cross country relay, where the team of Lance Corporal Murphy, Lieutenant Marriot, Lance Corporal Churchill and Lieutenant Gardner pulled themselves into 3rd overall and took the second RAC spot. The 10km Sprint Biathlon also went well although some poor shooting let a couple of people down. Lance Corporal Churchill came fourth in the RAC, helping to pull the team up the overall leaderboard. Unfor- tunately, after a heavy fall in the Biathlon relay, the team had to withdraw so missed out on placing overall for the competition.
Nordic Lancer 16
 Nordic Lancers

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