46 NAVY NEWS, AUGUST 2009
Tri stars go
Clash of gladiators
THIS year’s annual Royal Navy
THE Royal Navy Inter-
Commands tennis competition
took place at Raleigh, with
took place between Naval Air,
the relatively-short distances
encouraging many novices to
IT’S always an epic
Royal Marine/Scotland and
give the sport a go.
encounter when Britain’s
Most of the day’s play took
With so many units deployed elite fighting forces – the
place outdoors on the Burnaby
it was encouraging to see 123
Royals and the Paras – road grass tennis courts.
athletes crossing the finish line
– numbers are progressively
lock horns on the rugby
The weather did not hold up
increasing each year, which
league pitch for the
(although fortunately the level of
competition did) and the tennis
ensures that triathlon remains Trafalgar Cup.
was moved to the indoor courts.
one of the most popular mass The 2009 clash was no
The Royal Marines and
participation sports within the exception as the fixture returned
Scotland put a very impressive
RN. to the sporting calendar following
display in, with both Naval Air
The weather remained hot a three-year hiatus. Since the
and Portsmouth Commands
and sunny, which helped to last contest in 2006, the cup has
putting up stiff competition.
make the day an enjoyable one, remained in the Royals’ trophy
The most impressive
for most anyway. cabinet.
performance came from L/Cpl
After completing a 400m The build up to this sixth clash
Adrian Talbot, who won both his
swim the athletes then cycled involved the Parachute Regiment
all the way down to the small touring in Australia whilst the
His toughest match was against
village of Polbathic, having Corps warmed up with matches
Portsmouth’s number one Capt
made the outward leg they then against St Mary’s College and the
turned around and retraced RAF Regiment.
They both played a particularly
their way back to Raleigh along The RAF were overcome 28-6
impressive game with Portsmouth
the same undulating road a in the Courage Cup, another
winning the fi rst set. Undeterred
gruelling 13 miles later. annual event, in a hard-fought
Plymouth came storming back,
On arriving back at the base, match at CTCRM.
winning the next set and taking
it was a quick change before The stern opposition offered by
the third to seal an overall and
runners headed out of the the regiment proved to be good
convincing win for the Royal
transition for the run. preparation for the ensuing epic
Following the undulating against the Paras.
Meanwhile, the RNLTA
loop of the course, the runners New Welsh professional rugby
men’s and women’s teams played
headed back through the league side Celtic Crusaders
Roehampton on their immaculate
assault course gate before hosted the clash at their Brewery ● The Royals’ Sgt Ritchie Guy launches an attack with Capt Julian Apps in support during the titanic
grass courts as a warm-up for the
sprinting across the parade Field ground in Bridgend. Trafalgar Cup clash
ground to finish, some three The match began in the brutal
The team representing the
miles later with sore legs and a fashion that has become customary the vulnerable flanks. titanic battle with the score tied over-stretched on the flank and
men comprised CPO Losh,
huge sense of achievement. in this clash. The Marines kicked Another Para attack looked to at 16-16. the Marines scored in the corner.
Cdr Bowen, Mid Mayell, C/Sgt
The overall winners of the off and the Paras fielded the ball have exposed the Corps again The second half began in much The conversion was missed leaving
Devine, PO Lafferty and Mne
open event were familiar faces: and began to work it out of their but a loose pass was dropped and the same vein as the first with the the Marines 26-22 ahead with ten
the evergreen Cpl Gerrard won half. seized upon by Pichilingi whose Paras applying sustained pressure. minutes to play.
The play took place on a
the men’s open again (having A head-high tackle, followed lightning-quick feet took him clear Nine minutes in this paid off with The Paras desperately tried to
beautiful summer’s day with the
won every year at Raleigh quickly by a second one led to the of the Para defence to race in from a tackle bust down the left-hand salvage the game that they had
team’s No.1 pairing taking initial
since 2000 apart from the two Paras gaining valuable penalties 45 metres. The conversion was side and an easy run-in for a looked like walking away with in
years he was in Iraq/injured). and therefore making easy yards missed but the Corps were on the converted try. the first quarter, while the Marines
Unfortunately the other two
He was, however, chased hard with effective kicks for touch. scoreboard. Despite this early setback the threw everything into defence.
pairings could not follow suit.
by runner-up and fellow marine The Paras dominated early The Royals began to find their Corps responded and for the next The red berets piled on the
The RN’s No.1 pairing won
Maj Pennington. possession and looked a more feet and settle into the game after ten minutes a brutal front line pressure and earned repeat sets
both their following two matches
With her main rival LMA Muir complete side, obviously the initial onslaught from the developed in the centre of the after a penalty for offside and a
and this left the team’s fi nal
absent, PONN Norman easily benefitting from their tour. Paras. park with neither side making knock-on by the Marines.
outcome to the second and third
won the ladies open. The pressure was beginning to With both sets of forwards much progress until the Paras That put them in a position for
Capt Harvey was the first tell and desperate tackling from beginning to tire an opportunity were caught offside. a final attack and they moved the
With a pair of gutsy
novice home in the men’s race, out-of-position defenders led to was going to present itself for The penalty that followed ball quickly to the left where they
performances from both, the
followed by Cpl Barrow, while illegal challenges. The referee a quick man to exploit. That was kicked to touch and put the had enjoyed most of their success.
men’s team came away with a
in the ladies’ novice race, Lt deciding that the tackles were came just a few minutes later Marines in their first attacking The tackle was broken and the
Kelly pipped Surg Lt Roue. becoming dangerous, chose to when Pichilingi darted away from position of the half. The forwards try scored 15 metres to the left of
The women’s team put
As well as taking the overall sin-bin Jack Duckitt in the 12th dummy half, outpacing the marker drove in hard but again it was the posts. With the conversion to
in a brave performance but
title, Cpl Gerrard was the minute, leaving the Corps a man defence and driving straight the agility and pace of Pichilingi, come the score stood at 26 – 26
unfortunately could not transform
fastest Over 40 competitor short. through to score under the posts running from dummy half, that and with only a couple of minutes
this into a win.
ahead of CPO Gusterson. The Royals finally buckled in from 25 metres. This time the try cut through the defence, past to go.
With RN tennis having plenty
And the green berets lifted the 19th minute with a short- was converted bring the score to four flailing defenders to score The pressure on the kicker
of new faces it was a good sign
the Inter-Command title. range converted try. 12-10 to the Paras. his hat-trick after 59 minutes. The was immense. Combined with
for things to come with a fi rst win
After a plate of pasta and The Paras were unrelenting and From the kick-off the Royals conversion followed and the scores the energy that he had already
from the fi rst match of the season.
a well-earned beer, the huge continued to test the wide defence secured the ball and Foxy broke were once again tied: 22-22. expended in the previous 78
arrays of prizes were awarded, of the Marines and in the 26th the line, charging 40 metres Ten minutes of stalemate minutes it caused his kick to falter
great event, good feeling, minute the Paras stand-off ran downfield and into the opposition followed with the forward packs and go wide.
mission accomplished. at the line, chipped and with no half before throwing an inside pass trying and failing to gain the There was little time for either
The event could not have full-back at home and four Paras to Ben Quick who raced in from upper hand. side to score again and when
been have been as successful chasing, the result was inevitable – 40 metres. The tables had been Only a mistake or a stroke the referee blew for full time the
without the support of various an easy pick-up and run in under turned; in just seven minutes the of brilliance was going to break fairest result stood.
departments and individuals the posts for another converted try Corps had scored 16 points. the deadlock. That came on 69 It had been an epic encounter
at Raleigh, notably LPT Medlin for a 12-0 lead. That sparked another major minutes. A good set of six was played by two teams who were THE RN canoe slalom
and POPT West, plus the With their confidence growing effort by the Paras, who had just finished with a high kick into the described as gladiators in the post- championships were held in
base’s Phase 2 trainees who and the Marines hardly getting one set of six left before half time. heart of Para territory. The ball match speeches. excellent conditions on the River
did a tremendous job as race a chance to get the ball in their With the last play, the ball was was fumbled and possession went As holders the Royal Marines Teifi in Llandysul, west Wales.
marshals. hands the Paras continued to quickly moved to the left wing back to the Marines. retain the title of champions, it The normally shallow and
Full results and more harry the defensive line and were for a score right in the corner. On the next play the ball was was nevertheless decided that it rocky course was replaced by
information about the sport can making good yards each attack The conversion was missed and moved wide to the right and this was fitting to present the Trafalgar moderate-to-high water levels
be found at www.rnrmtri.co.uk
. and moving the ball effortlessly to the teams left the field after a time it was the Paras who were Cup to both captains. which enabled the novices to
hone their new-found moving
Mike takes a spin around Silverstone
water skills whilst the more
experienced competitors were
presented with a challenging
descent resulting in an unusually
high proportion of missed gates.
A VERY wet Silverstone hosted rounds two and three of
Lt Mark Weilopolski (RNAS
the British Automobile Racing Club’s Classic Clubman’s
Yeovilton) and Lt Charlie
Jones (HMS Collingwood)
The Royal Navy Automobile Club was represented by its
dominated the men’s and ladies’
newest member, Brig Mike Hickson (PJHQ Northwood),
K1 (individual kayak) class
competing in his 1700cc Mallock Mk20B.
respectively while a number of
Saturday turned out dry and with slicks on the officer
beginners fought it out for the
(pictured right in No.3) headed out for his first qualifying of
the year, taking a very respectable fifth (row 3) on the grid
AET Sam Thompson (RNAS
in a time of 1m 2s and an average speed of 95mph.
Culdrose) won the ladies’ novice
The car felt fantastic and after a tussle with the middle-
K1 whilst ET(ME) ‘Dionne’
runners which saw him fluctuate between fifth and seventh
Warwick (Portsmouth Command)
position, the senior officer took fourth place from Andy
took the honours in the men’s
Ayres at the end of Club straight.
After that, he chased the leaders but they had too much
Meanwhile, the C1 (individual
of a run on him; he held on to fourth to complete the 14-lap
canoe) contest became more of a
race in 14m 45s.
race to fi nish the course upright.
Sunday saw the weather take a turn for the worse (major
Lt Matt Twiselton (RNAS
downpours), today was not going to be a day for slicks.
Yeovilton) claimed the title in
The brigadier headed out on qualifying determined to
post a fast time.
Slalom continues to be one of
Disaster struck on his third lap when he spun near
the most popular kayaking and
Brooklands and ended up in the gravel trap. canoeing discipline as refl ected
Despite that setback (and another half spin at the same by the steadily increasing level
spot a few laps later), he posted a solid time of 1m 15s to of attendance, particularly in the
take seventh place on the grid. novice categories.
By the time of the race, the track was drying but still The Royal Navy Kayak
slippery – leading to numerous spins. Association (RNKA) organises all
Those mishaps and some very determined driving from competitive paddling within the
the officer (which also provoked a 360˚ degree spin) brought RN and paddlers of all standards
the brigadier to within spitting distance of a podium finish. are welcome to take part. More
That just eluded him and he settled for fourth, taking the information on all disciplines and
chequered flag on 16m 2s having conquered the weather. local RN clubs at www.rnka.
Picture: PO Dutchy Holland, HMS York co.uk
046_NN_August.indd 1 21/7/09 16:14:47
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