Page 62 - The Chapka 2016
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  Hochfilzen was a positive start to the racing season and with some medals already in the bag and some key lessons learnt, the team moved on: Exercise PIPEDOWN, the 1st (UK) Divi- sion Nordic Ski Championships, based in the beautiful French Alpine village of Les Contamines was the next stop. A massive dump of snow just before the competitions made the condi- tions almost perfect for races. The competition started off with a 15km Classic, which the team performed strongly in, taking sixth overall against teams with multiple GB athletes. Lieuten- ant Gardner also managed to take the top Novice spot. The next day was the ‘4 x 5km’ Classic relay which the team; Lance Cor- poral Murphy, Trooper Merton, Lance Corporal Churchill and Lieutenant Gardner, putting in another strong effort finishing seventh. The next week two biathlon races took place and the competition culminated in an arduous 20km patrol race. The team put in an excellent performance and managed to come in fourth after 2 hours 13minutes of racing with bergens and SA80s. Overall, the team came seventh, comfortably qualify- ing for the Army Championships for the second year in a row. Qualifying wasn’t their only achievement as they took the top individual novice prize, the overall novice team prize and with
some help from good performances on the downhill slopes, won the combined RAC Nordic and Alpine team prize.
The final stage in the Nordic Team’s tour of Europe was Exercise RUCKSACK. This is the 2017 British National, Inter-Service and Army Biathlon and Cross Country Ski Championships. It is held in the picturesque Bavarian town of Ruhpolding. All six team members started well, putting in strong performances on another World Cup course which tested the ability of even the best skiers. The team put in some strong results; the best being thirteenth in the military patrol race. The Royal Lancers fin- ished sixteenth overall, an improvement on last year and highly impressive for a new and almost entirely novice squad.
The year has been very successful with the Regiment qualifying for the Army championships the second year in a row and man- aging to secure some silverware for the first time in years. Ex- ercise NORDIC LANCER 17 will deploy people straight from Canada to Norway in November with the aim of building on the great base of the last two years and climbing up the Army leaderboard.
Lance Corporal Murphy kicks off the relay
  Trooper Merton and Lance Corporal Churchill complete a successful handover
Fourth in the Divisional Patrol Race

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