The snow was perfect and grooming excellent on February 15 at the Pemi Fish and Game Club in Holderness for the first winter biathlon of the season. Two earlier scheduled events had been cancelled due to poor snow conditions.
The event was attended by seventeen biathletes and wannabees who forgave Sochi to compete more locally. The match class, for more experienced biathletes, skied 1,000 meters and then shot five shots with .22 iron sighted rifles at targets placed 50 meters away. Each out, back and shoot is called a "bout" and the match consists of four bouts and a final out and back and ranking is determined by elapsed time. Scores are listed as a hit or miss with an additional 150 meter penalty loop added for each miss. The match class shoots twice prone (lying down) and twice offhand (standing up) with the bull's eyes approximately two inches in diameter for the prone and five inches for the offhand stages. Several participants chose to snowshoe instead of ski and they went on a 150 meter loop plus the penalty loops and shot all four bouts prone and at five-inch targets.
Top shooters in the match class (listed by elapsed time and the number of misses for each bout) were Oliver Pentinmaki, 40:19 (5-4-2-2); Scott Betournay. 42:16 (4-4-3-5): Ross Roetman, 42:40 (0-1-3-4) and Matt Roy, 43:10 (0-0-5-3). Note that Matt is age 14 and requested to shoot in the adult match class for his first ever biathlon.
In the snowshoe class, top competitors were; first-timer Kaitlyn Morse, 20:41 (0-2-0-0); Savannah Thompson (age 12), 28:33
(0-1-1-1); and David Morse, 28:55 (3-2-3-2).
The next and final winter biathlon for the season at the Pemi is scheduled for March 8. See the club website, www.pemi.orgfor details. Click on Biathlon and on Event Schedule on the home page for details or call match director Fred Allen at 603-968-9944. There will be five summer events that include choices of running, walking, wheelchairs or mountain biking with the shooting.