Colonel Adrian Thurgood
As Chairman of United Kingdom Armed Forces and Army Nordic skiing I have seen both triumph and challenge. As predicted the 70th Army/ InterService /National championships (Exercise RUCKSACK) was a superb showcasing of the best talents nationally coupled with some gutsy performances from new junior and novice athletes. The standard was high, as should be expected, but regardless of the competitive streak in every racer the atmosphere was collaborative and friendly, something that our Australian Defence Force colleagues who travelled to compete alongside us especially excelled at. So, for me the triumph has been in seeing through another year of excellent competition, with dedicated athletes and officials delivering superb competition.
As we approach the new season I know that team captains are having to be ever more ingenious and manoeuverist with their financial planning and in the devising of their training programmes. I applaud their perseverance and the efforts they are making to deliver this excellent opportunity to our soldiers, sailors and air personnel.
I trust that come the Regional Championships in early Jan 18 we will once again have a healthy crop o f keen athletes ready to battle it out to make the qualification standard for the 71st Ex RUCKSACK. For those units and Armed Forces personnel who have already made it out on to snow I wish them all the best in their preparatory training.
My team of officials are prepared and working hard to deliver Ex RUCKSACK in 2018 in the usual format and, our home from home Ruhpolding, will be host once more. The Championships will be taking place from 25 Jan to 9 Feb 18 and we look forward to welcoming visits from many of the Chain of Command and our sponsors, who without their support, none of this could happen.