This write-up is long overdue. Apologies!
585 Rideau Squadron sent three biathletes to compete at the Provincial level competition in Sault Ste. Marie on February 10th, 11th , and 12th. FCpl Baillon, FCpl Marsh, and Cdt Stringle competed in the two day event. After a very slow and very long, nine hour drive in a blizzard, our cadets settled in to the accommodations, the Sault Ste. Marie armouries, where they slept on camping mattresses on the floor. They got up early, ate, and headed to the Algoma Rod and Gun club to zero rifles and compete. “The Soo” had received loads of snow in the days leading up to the competition, so snow on the trails was almost too deep. The trail crew had worked hard to groom the night before the competition but the snow was falling faster than the groomers could groom. It made for difficult and slow skiing conditions. The snow also made shooting difficult as snow was getting in the sights, the breach, and the muzzle. Many competitors had stoppages.
Despite difficult conditions on both days, our cadets performed very well. Baillon and Marsh competed as a team in the Junior Male category, while Stringel competed in a mixed group as an unofficial team. Their times were also ranked as individuals. Baillon placed 4th in a time of 32:12. Stringel placed 5th in a time of 35:12. Marsh placed 21st in a time of 52:54.
Unfortunately, none of our athletes advanced to the Nationals, which were held in Valcartier, Québec, this year.
The squadron now has four sets of skis, bindings, poles, and boots. We also have money in the bank to purchase a few more sets. If you are interested in trying out the sport of biathlon, show up in the fall for biathlon/range practice. Keep up your aerobic fitness up over the summer by running regularly.
The Squadron would like to thank Capt. Earle for coaching the biathletes. The Squadron would also like to thank all the donors who generously helped us purchase ski equipment this year.