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EIGHTY-TWO Army male and
female skiers and boarders from
all mainland states converged on
Perisher for a week-long program
of professional coaching and rac-
ing from July 27 -August 4.
Event organiser Maj Murray
Nelson, of HQ 1 Div, said the move
from Mt Buller to Perisher contribut-
ed to a record number of applications.
"Perisher has more terrain to
conduct a higher standard of race
and the snow cover is generally more
reliable," Maj Nelson said.
"This allowed some challenging
races that saw some familiar rac-
ers fighting for a place on the Army
team against the newcomers."
They competed for places to rep-
resent Army at the ADF interservices
championships the following week.
The giant slalom provided some
Capt Graeme Brown, of Army
HQ, narrowly beat newcomers Cfn
Michael Boole, of 6 Avn Regt, Lt
Alexander Ryrie, of 6RAR, Lt
Mathew Prasad, of 1RAR, and Spr
David Schier, of 6ESR.
LCpl Zoey Pepper, of AAB-M,
and Cpl Kris Rayner, of DSD, who
represented the ADF ski team in the
UK interservices championships in
January, were too fast for the other
females and also showed up a few of
the top male racers.
Some of the newcomers shone
among the boarders with Capts
Richard Keller, of 8/9RAR, and
Alistair Court, of ASLO, keeping
Sgt Troy Radbone, of School of
Ordnance, Pte John Kelly, of 7CSSB,
and Lt-Col James Kerr, of Army HQ,
on their toes.
Sgt Bianca Kaden, of Border
Protection Command, again proved
unstoppable, beating not only the
other females but also all the male
"The Boarder X race again
proved a favourite," Maj Nelson said.
"The knockout-style event saw
Capt Court edge out Sgt Radbone,
and Sgt Kaden beat Lt Julie Lakotij
in the finals."
Maj Nelson said the female skiers
and boarders were particularly strong
Male skier: Maj Dean Munsie
Female skier: Cpl Kris Rayner
Male boarder: Capt Alistair Court
Female boarder: Sgt Bianca Kaden
Back in the
LCPL Zoey Pepper and Cpl Kris
Rayner had an anxious wait to see
who would be crowned overall
women's ski champion at the ADF
Alpine Snowsports Championships
after the pair went neck and neck
over the five days of competition.
Though the overall results had
Army winning the event -- held at
Perisher from August 5-10 -- by only
two points, it won three of the four
race categories with Navy winning the
men's skiing category.
It was a cliffhanger right to the end
in the women's placings. The final
race determined the overall women's
result, with LCpl Pepper, of AAB-M,
coming out on top.
"Both Cpl Rayner and I competed
in the ADF team that went to the UK
championships in France in January
and I knew how strong she was," LCpl
"Fortunately the final standings
went my way, but the organisers made
us wait until the presentation dinner to
announce who won."
While LCpl Pepper and Cpl Rayner,
of DSD, steered the team to victory on
the skis, Sgt Bianca Kaden, of Border
Protection Command, continued her
dominance on the snowboard, winning
the boarder cross and finishing second
in the giant slalom and slopestyle to
take out the ADF women's snowboard-
Army took the top six positions
White-hot duel: LCpl Zoey Pepper, (left) and Cpl Kris Rayner (right) were neck and neck over the five days of competition. Photos by Capt Chris O'Brien
Down to the wire
Anxious wait for female skiers as Army team takes out ADF snowsports championship
in snowboarding with Pte Sophie
Crawford, of 176 AD, and Lt Julie
Lakotij, of LWC, finishing second and
"Pte Crawford has improved so
much in such a short period of time
so it was great competing with and
against her," Sgt Kaden said.
"I won the Army title last year so I
guess I had a bit more experience under
my belt and I just wanted to do really
well for the team and fire them up and
make them push themselves, but not too
hard so that mistakes crept in."
And while it was the women who
ultimately helped the team to over-
all victory at the championships, the
efforts of Capt Alistair Court cannot
go without mention. After winning
the men's snowboarding champion-
ship last year, Capt Court, of ASLO,
backed up to do it again.
Capt Richard Keller, of 8/9RAR
The ADF championship followed a
week of Army snowsports from which
28 of Army's best -- eight male skiers,
eight male snowboarders, six female
skiers and six female snowboarders --
were selected to represent the service.
The Army competitors benefited
from the intensive agenda of Army
week, which included specialist
race coaching, according to skier Lt
Mathew Prasad, of 1RAR.
"The instructors chosen by Perisher
had extensive race experience, many
having competed at an elite interna-
tional level," he said.
"Their tuition and guidance was
instrumental in giving us the skills and
confidence we needed to have the edge
against the competition going into the
Led by team captains WO2 Robbie
Dean (male skiers), Sgt Troy Radbone
(male snowboarders), Cpl Rayner
(female skiers) and Sgt Kaden (female
snowboarders), Team Army dominated
proceedings with multiple podium fin-
ishes in a number of events.
For results of the interservice championships,
Above board: Sgt Bianca
Kaden flies to victory in the
women's snowboard cross
at the ADF snowsports
Photo by LAC Katharine Pearson
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