48 NAVY NEWS, JUNE 2009
Next Next monthmonth
RN lay down
AS A warm-up for the Transglobe
round-the-world race (see page
47), the three yachts were in
action around the Isle of Wight
for the Services offshore regatta,
writes Lt James Baker.
The result augured well for the
impending global challenge. As
Adventure crossed the Gilkicker
line, skipper Richard Tarr
congratulated his crew: “Five on
the trot – well done team.”
After racing 340 miles around
the Channel the RN team
fi nished in fi rst place with the
RAF second and the Army third.
In a change from the more
traditional format, the regatta
took place in Challenge 67s – all
liveried in their respective Service
logos ready for the Transglobe.
The boats themselves are
constructed massively and the
loads are an order of magnitude
higher than that found on an
average 40ft racing boat.
Luckily we had a good spread
of Challenge 67 experience in the
crew to get us into the mindset of
winching absolutely everything,
more winching and taking serious
care when easing winches.
The race committee laid a
challenging course to take us
east out of the Solent, then via
Owers and Nab across the
Channel to CH1. The three
yachts were then to leave
Alderney and Casquets
to starboard and return
to the Shambles and head
back to the Gilkicker fi nish
line via the Needles.
The RN team crossed the
line fi rst, led the Army and RAF
through the Solent and built up a
fi ve-minute lead by Nab Tower.
In the south-westerly wind the
beat across the Channel became
diffi cult as the wind started to ● AB Silivenusi Buinimasi (HMS Cumberland) tries to lay a pass to off LAET Marsh Cormack (845 NAS) during the Army’s 50-7 demolition of
the RN at Twickenham Picture: LA(Phot) Paul ‘Wheelie’ A’Barrow, RNAS Yeovilton drop and the Army, in a band of
better breeze, managed to recover
war war –
and get slightly ahead.
The Navy team made a good
call in the dying wind and
building tide to tack away and
managed to keep some useful
VMG towards the mark.
The RAF followed whilst, as
night fell, the Army continued
THE Army slapped a thick layer
from Chris Budgen and Melvyn Lewis.
to the south. Overnight the wind
that the Navy opened the scoring when he was
strengthened to Force 6-7 and
of icing on the seasonal cake
Twelve minutes into this clash the Army was on hand to receive a simple scoring pass from
veered to the west.
when they overran the Navy 50-7
fi rmly in the driving seat with Chris Budgen Barden.
Adventure rounded CH1
again revving up the front fi ve with a full tank For the Navy’s second it was Greg Barden
before a record crowd of 55,800 at
and continued beating towards
of fuel. who continued the break after strong running
Alderney. The RAF were still
The set pieces were solid, Matt Dwyer centre Calum McCrae had again split the RAF
astern but where were the Army?
The Reds were hot favourites to take their
delivered precision ball for the jumpers while defence wide apart.
Could any of the yachts make it
eighth successive Babcock crown but this
Rob Sugden and Darrell Ball soared to the Indeed much of the story of the night was
to the Alderney Race before the
victory, more than numbers, was delivered with
point of in-fl ight refuelling. how the RAF successfully disrupted the Dark
guile and panache, writes Roger Thompson.
With such a solid platform the back row had Blues at the scrum and lineout and managed to
Daylight revealed that the
The Navy were certainly not overawed at the
a fi eld day in attack and sometimes in defence. slow down the rucks and mauls.
Army were well astern of the RAF
prospect of playing what is probably the best-
Ben Hughes and Apo Satala rampaged across Playing in his last match for the RAF, Matt
and Adventure led towards the
prepared Army squad in 20 years.
Twickenham tundra before providing a further Cornish again demonstrated he full repertoire
foul tide off Alderney.
Indeed they had their moments early on but
focus for Budgen and Co to ruck, maul and of skills on the ground and was a constant
Unable to make any progress,
the Army defence responded with characteristic
deliver to eager backs. thorn in the side of the Navy all evening.
even in 25kts of wind, the RN
Centres Gerhard Wessells and Paul Gittins Greatly respected by the Navy players they will
team kedged and had breakfast
Army skipper Mark Lee led his cohorts into
failed to score but it spoke volumes that their not be mourning his retirement from the light
whilst the Army and RAF tacked
point blank contact, and the Army had only
wingers Magnus and Qasevakatini notched blue colours.
to and fro trying to make way.
to wait four minutes to show their mettle and
up four tries between them. Jack Prasad who The half time score stood in the Navy’s
As the stream slackened the
stimulate the scoreboard crew.
put on a mesmerising display of fl y half play favour at 15-9, but the match probably seemed
RAF started to make some
A fi ery ruck allowed Fiji international Jack twice crossed the line. Mal Roberts kicked closer than it was.
headway and Adventure needed
Prasad to break left where he found scrum half fi ve conversions in his fi nal appearance in a In the last quarter the Navy introduced
to weigh in a hurry.
Ian Martin steaming up in support. Martin’s Reds shirt. Apo Satala was Sky TV’s Man of HMS Liverpool’s half back pairing of Wayne
Hauling a 42-ton steel yacht
great opening try was converted by Mal the Match for his driving runs and awesome ‘Cowboy’ John at scrum half and debutant
up towards her kedge is not an
Roberts. tackling. Dane Smallbone at fl y half.
experience to be taken lightly.
Minutes later line-out specialist Rob Sugden The sole RN consolation came five minutes With the two pairs of fresh legs continually
Despite all 14 crew heaving
took one off the top to feed No.8 Ben Hughes. from the end of the drubbing courtesy of a try probing the tiring RAF defence it was no
and winching there was no way
naval fl ight:
Hughes gave an impression of having started from Dave Pascoe. surprise that space was gradually being found
that we could get the anchor to
his charge near Waterloo station and there was But it’s not all been bad news at RNRU and also that Josh Drauniniu was on hand to
break out and after 15 minutes of
no stopping this particular train. HQ... fi nish on a couple of occasions. straining, heaving and cursing the
Individually, the Navy side played their hearts The 1st XV went into the Twickenham The champagne moment came from the line suddenly parted and we were
out but were unable to gain any momentum. showdown at least crowned with laurels of ‘Cowboy’, which was almost too fast to catch underway again, sans kedge.
After Plans A and B had failed the tank victory following a comfortable 34-20 victory with the naked eye. A fi ercely-contested ruck The RAF had sneaked ahead
was empty. The Army seldom allowed the ball over a gallant RAF team in Newbury. developed on the RAF ‘22’, John gained clean and it took considerable effort
to reach the England 7s international Josh The RN were always ahead, but the RAF possession from where he dummied the entire to claw that lead back by short
Drauniniu who remained on the wing burning were never more than one score adrift until the RAF defence, turned on a tap washer and tacking up to Casquets which
a long fuse. fourth quarter when the Mariners produced a sprinted 30m for a try. Great stuff. both boats rounded side by side.
It didn’t help that Navy fl y half Lloyd, series of punchy moves to break the air defence Parr rallied the troops once more and led the After 20 hours of upwind
seemingly as a ploy, hoofed hard-won and, behind schedule, reach calm waters. way into a string of ferocious rucks and mauls sailing, the reach and run home
possession miles into the air where it could Led into battle by No.8 Howard Parr, the and emerged through the melee to touch- were an absolute delight.
do no harm. Not so, of course, when it came RAF scrapped for every ball and every inch of down. It was a fi tting consolation for a gallant Adventure pulled out a lead on
down into the arms of the Reds back three – turf. The strategy certainly paid off as the Navy performance. the broad reach to the Shambles
Barbarian Mal Roberts, Malakai Magnus and made a series of errors – punished by the boot For most the mood at the fi nal whistle was with the helmsmen working hard
Gus Qasevakatini – and the fi reworks started of the RAF No10, Philip Thomas. subdued. The RAF had deservedly won much to keep the boat surfi ng down
again. In truth that is as about as far as it got for respect for their doggedness throughout the waves at 12-plus kts in bright
Roberts, the old Twickenham head on a very the airmen. They had plenty of possession but match, the Navy fully aware that they would sunshine and a following Force 7.
fi t body, Magnus who has made the wing berth hardly presented a threat. have to fi nd the higher gears for the Army at After the Shambles, Adventure
his own in very short time and Qasevakatini, Within a sort of forwards stalemate, it was Twickenham. ran downwind with a poled-out
stepped up from Academy rugby, crafted a the Navy’s back three who caught the eye. Both However for the fi ve Navy debutants of headsail towards the Needles,
masterful attacking game which stretched the 7s internationals Barden and Drauniniu looked Gareth Jones, Lewis Taylor, Ritchie Mayson, slowly increasing her lead through
matelots defence beyond breaking point. menacing in open play whilst between them Dane Smallbone and U23 Kev Macrossan it the western Solent and fi nishing,
It was poor return for the Navy forwards at fullback Andy Vance was always on hand was a winning introduction to representative in the fi nest traditions of the RN,
who had their work cut out to salvage anything to provide support and it was through Vance rugby. just in time for last orders.
Published by Navy News, HMS Nelson, Portsmouth and printed by St Ives (Andover) plc.
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