Chuck & Doug's Blog - Feb 15

Race Day #2 - Sprint

Up at 5:00 AM with Joseph and Brandon, Doug and Gail.  Breakfast in the cafeteria at 5:45 AM and off to the bus by 6:30 AM.  Paul already on site, catching the 5:30 AM bus, hard at work on the skis.  Pick up the guns and off to Martock at 7:00 AM.

Very tough conditions today - only about -5 C or so but winds at 30-40 km/h and gusts up to 70 km/h.  Wind chill of about -12 C and as low as -16 C at times.  Snow that was falling was going straight sideways. 

Joseph and Brandon both sighted in well despite the conditions resulting in some significant corrections from yesterday.  The boys had 3 loops of 3.3 km in length each time and shot twice (PS) with penalty loops in effect.  Joseph ended up with 2 missed prone and 3 misses standing, while Brandon had 1 miss prone and 3 misses standing.  It was a Team NWT finish with Joseph and Brandon both coming in to the finish within seconds of one another.  There are a few pictures of them finishing in the photo gallery.  When the standings were posted, Joseph had a strong ski time and was in 15th again today and Brandon was in 38th postion overall.  There were 39 biathletes in the field again today and Alberta took the three medals once again.

During the boys race, we got news from Halifax that the girl's bus did not show up at the designated pick-up site.  It took the organizers awhile to recover from the error and it was an hour later before they were on the way to Martock.  The race was delayed an hour as a result.  Once the girls arrived, we went through the pre-race routine of skiing the 2.5 km route and penalty loop and sighting in the rifles and NWT Spare.  Again, the winds were strong and swirling around the range.  The Girl's Sprint started at 2 PM.  Gaylen finished in 28th today, missing 2 prone and 4 standing and Charlene arrived in 39th after hitting 4 in the prone but 0 in the standing position. 

It was a tough shooting day for everyone today.  It was also a real learning experience for me as a coach and for the athletes to compete in those types of conditions.  None of the biathletes were thrilled with the shooting results; Team NWT hit 4, 4, 5 and 6 out of 10 targets today.  Evidence of the tough conditions was evident in the overall results....of the 39 x 2 = 78 scores for the men, there were only 7 clean shoots in total.  In the Girl's race, there were only 3 cleans in the 78 bouts of shooting.  The wind blew and gusted all day long and most definitely impacted the results.

It was great to see Charlene back out competing after her fall and injury on Monday.  Her goal was to finish the race and you will see her with a big smile in the photo gallery as she finished her race this afternoon. There are also pictures of Gaylen looking strong and coming in to the finish as well.

It was back to Halifax at 5:15 PM and then off to the coaches meeting at 6 PM.  The race tomorrow is the Pursuit.  The biathletes will start in the order of the finish of the Sprint with 5 seconds in between starts.  All competitors will be out on the course within 3 minutes.  The boys are racing 12.5 km and the girls 10 km.  Shooting sequence is PPSS and penalty loops are in effect.  Biathetes are assigned lanes to shoot from as they arrive in the range, basically starting at Lane 1 and moving down to Lane 24 as they arrive. 

Team meeting at 9:30 PM to review the race ahead and right off to bed for another 5:00 AM start tomorrow!  Weather man calling for temps around -12 C for the boys and -8 C for the girl's race.  Wind is still predicted to be blowing but not as strong as today.  The one piece of good news is there is no more snow in the forecast!

Pictures of the Sprint can be seen in the Photo Gallery - check it out!  Another great day for NWT Biathlon at the Canada Winter Games!