SUDBURY—On Saturday, February 25, the Manitoulin Sea Cadets Marksmanship Team took part in an annual shooting competition at the Sudbury Armouries. The cadets competed against eight other cadet corps from the Sudbury area and featured Team Captain Chief Petty Officer Nick Harper, Petty Officer Second Class Miranda Mackay, Master Seaman (MS) Abby Harper, Ordinary Seaman (OS) Dayna Beauchamp and Ordinary Seaman Darwin Wood.
The Team took first place in the Team Competition with MS Abby Harper earning a third place finish in the junior category and PO2 Miranda Mackay taking second place overall. This first place finish is the eighth for the team in the last nine years of competition. It also marks the last time that outgoing assistant coach Lieutenant (Navy) Denis Blake will take part as he is retiring from the Cadet movement in June 2017 after 12 years in the program. Coaching duties will be fully taken over by Acting Sub Lieutenant Tara Pascoe. 2017’s results proved to be a good start to her coaching career.
It is noteworthy that cadets Wood and Beauchamp only joined the cadet corps in November 2016. After trying out for the Marksmanship Team, their natural ability was quickly recognized and in three short months, they honed their skills to the point that their performance contributed to the team’s success. The other three cadets are Marksmanship Team veterans. CPO2 Nick Harper routinely can shoot five pellets into a target half the size of a dime from a distance of 33 feet. Although most shooting is done from a prone position, recently shooting from a standing position is part of the competition. This is understandably a more difficult challenge. PO2 Mackay’s specialty is shooting from a standing position and she regularly achieves the highest marks for the team in this manner.
The team now waits for the results of other competitions held in other Northern Ontario cities to see if their marks were high enough to allow them to participate in a provincial marksmanship competition later this spring.