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Open waters
for rowers
LLung guns go for itung guns go for it
OLYMPIC gold medal winner Lt
rowing include sleek and slender
Peter Reed was put through the
boats sprinting side-by-side down
mill by his comrades – to see
mirror-calm waters of a lake or
how he fared under pressure.
The junior officer, and
Conditions could hardly have
fellow rowing gold medallist
been more different for the first
Andy Hodge, headed to the
RN competitors at the World
Institute of Naval Medicine and
Coastal Rowing Championships
its unique environmental test
held off San Remo in Italy.
Up to 24 boats per event
The chambers are typically
battled around an eight-kilometre
used to see how Service
open-water course, whipped into
personnel will respond in
steep breaking waves by near
extreme environments, chiefly
gale-force winds, with a number
the desert and Arctic.
of boats capsizing in conditions
Peter and Andy (pictured left
that were marginal, even for this
by LA(Phot) Pete Smith) – half of
extreme sport.
the coxless four who narrowly
In the bow seat of the
beat the Aussies to gold in
Mayflower offshore rowing
Beijing – pounded the treadmill,
club masters’ (veterans) coxed
had their lungs tested by a
quadruple scull, Cdr Alan Grant
Vitalograph respiratory monitor
had to contend with waves
and, of course, showed off their
breaking over his back as the
history-making skills on the
boat pitched through the steep
Institute’s rowing machine, on
chop, while cox Lt Cdr Suzannah
which Peter was impressively
Curtis steered.
recorded inhaling more air than
By the end of their first race,
an elite athlete normally would.
more than 100 litres of water
Peter, a marine engineer, will
had to be drained from the
be backed by the RN in his bid
supposedly-watertight hull of
to hold on to gold at the 2012
their borrowed boat.
The next world championships
“We had a great day,” the
will be held in Plymouth in
offi cer said. “Thanks to the
October 2009 and it is intended
Royal Navy’s Institute of Naval
that a number of Navy rowing
Medicine for taking time to
crews will enter this highly-
teach us more about our
competitive event. Thanks to the
Nuffield Trust and Babcock they
“I am delighted that the
will have their own state-of-the-
RN is fully supporting me in
art boat to race.
international rowing until 2012.
It is a fast-growing sport with
There is simply no way I would
Olympic aspirations.
be an Olympic champion
Not quite such choppy
without them.”
conditions – but a strong tide –
faced the rowers of Culdrose Gig
Club, flying the flag for the far
west in the Services Gig Regatta
Naval air too strong for Royal Marines
at Dartmouth.
Teams from BRNC, Raleigh,
RAF St Morgan and the RFA
FIVE teams competed in a slightly depleted (Middleton), Navy captain WO Pete throughout the competition and most of the champions for 2008.
were among those in the water.
Inter-Command squash championships Berrow (Excellent) and Lt Matt Ellicott (ex matches went according to expectations: the Cdre Langbridge presented the Robin
Culdrose took first place in the
held by CTCRM at Lympstone. Westminster), the RM fi elded the current Royals made short work of Scotland and Bawtree trophy to POPT Wallace and
opening event (finishing a minute
No commands were able to muster any RN Champion, Capt Damien May RM (771 Plymouth, and Air Command dominated medals to the winners and runners-up.
ahead of their nearest rivals), then
female players, but men’s teams represented NAS), NAC boasted Lt Julian Crew (660 matches against Scotland and Plymouth. He thanked the Royal Marines for
a one-two in the second race to
were Royal Marines, Naval Air, Portsmouth, Sqn), POPT Jason Wallace, AET Stephen Portsmouth gave the Royals a run for use of the facilities, Maj Paul Gellender
ensure that the air station lifted
Plymouth and Scotland. Wallace, Lt James Roue RN and POAEA their money and just lost out 3-2 which saw (Chairman RMSRA), WO Stan Bloomer
the trophy for the third time.
The championships included the majority Dave Armstrong (all Culdrose) and all RN the last match of the competition, RM vs (Secretary RMSRA) and in particular Cpl
The club is around two dozen
of the RN’s top male players distributed representative players. NAC become the fi nal. ‘Billy’ Murphy for his efforts and meticulous
rowers strong and intends to
between the commands, yet on paper it was The President of the RNSRA, Cdre Although May comfortably won his match planning to make the event so successful.
enter its two boats, Seahawk
Naval Air Command and the Royal Marines David Langbridge, turned out for Scotland at number one, Crew, Roue, J Wallace and The President also thanked all players
and Daedalus, in the world
that appeared to have the strongest squads. in their last match and recorded a win over Armstrong all overcame their opponents and offi cials for their participation in what
championships in the Scilly Isles
Portsmouth included Lt Cdr Robin his Plymouth opponent. and secured victory by four matches to one has become a most enjoyable and important
next May.
Young (Nelson), OM Richard Rowley There was some very good squash played to ensure NAC were the Inter-Command event in the RN squash calendar.
Run in the sun
Code determination
MAD dogs and Englishmen go
out in the mid-day sun.
took the initiative early on in a defence prevent Lancaster entering the contest (they marina Continued from back page
And the dawn sun. And the
were very much an unknown quantity. In
dominated half but could not get clear of registered with fi ve minutes to spare).
late afternoon sun.
imperious form and far better prepared for
the battling Aussies, refl ected in a 10-4 half First up were the RAF. They had 41,000
It took the men and women
the climate, GB ran riot against the South
time score line. personnel to call upon to provide a 7s team.
of HMS Kent 12h 19m 57s
Sea islanders, notching up 16 tries and 11
Early in the second half GB stretched Lancaster had 190.
to complete the Mike Till
conversions. Once again the RN/RM were
the lead to 20-8, before the Aussies threw So the fi nal score of 47-0 to the Crabs
100 x 1-mile relay – one
well represented in the points scorers, with
everything at the visitors. wasn’t entirely surprising, but Daz says his
hundred different runners each
a brace apiece for Jim Barnes, Lee Rossiter,
Nerves and stamina held even when the men “never let their heads down once”.
completing a mile (seven
Silivenusi Buinamasi as well as one for Kev
home side came within 4 points at 20-16. Next came the Pyrenees (a French
laps) of the upper deck
Botwood. Played as a curtain raiser to the
The match was effectively settled by a national division two team, not the
of the Type 23 frigate
(the race is named in
England vs New Zealand World Cup match,
marvellous try at the death from RNRL mountain range) who had already lifted
honour of the CPO
GBAF were urged on by England’s ‘Barmy
Inter-Services skipper Sgt Jamie Goss and the 7s trophy twice (and fi nished runners-
and keen runner who
Army’ of travelling supporters to an 86-6
with the conversion GBAF were home at up twice too). Again all Lancaster’s efforts
was killed in HMS
victory who, as history will refl ect, had little
26-16. came to naught, with the French clocking
Sheffield in 1982).
else to cheer about on the day.
The fi nal whistle signalled ecstatic scenes up 69 points with none in reply from the
Executive Officer
Moving some way inland to the Penrith
among the players and management. sailors.
Lt Cdr Mike Smith
Panthers’ home ground, the Forces faced
Ray Unsworth congratulated his charges A day’s break gave Lancaster a chance
was the first out of
hosts Australia in the third clash.
on their triumph: “These guys are a pleasure to rest, soak up some of the other matches
the ‘blocks’, setting
By now confi dence in the squad was high to be around. We all know how professional being played. The lay-up worked, for the
off as the sun rose
– especially as previous meetings between they are in their day-to-day attitude to the Lancastrians trotted on to the pitch for the
over the Suez Canal.
the sides had gone the way of the visitors. work they do and it’s no different in sport.” clash with Vauxhall Motors from one of the
By midday, the
This match was no exception: a powerful Head coach Wayne Okell added: “Five Midlands leagues fi red-up.
temperature was topping 30˚C,
start had the hosts reeling and by half time games in 12 days and never having been After a ding-dong first period, the Red
but that didn’t stop some of
GB were ahead by 20 points. The second behind on the scoreboard for one second. Rose were 14-10 to the good. They held
the ship’s company donning
half went the way of Australia early on They are a credit to themselves, the British off the Midlanders’ fightback in the second
fancy dress.
seeing them pull back to 20-10 but GB Armed Forces and their country.” half and a breakaway try with seconds to
Lt Johnny Stanton RNZN
were not to be beaten and a couple of late To round off an amazing month, go sealed a famous 21-10 victory akin, says
was not one of them. He was,
tries was enough to ease the GB nerves and the squad was promptly named 2008’s Daz, to “David beating Goliath”.
however, the fastest man of
the score line to 36-26. Combined Services sports team of the The victory ensured a place in the plate
Kent, completing his requisite
RN points scorers were Dane Smallbone year. quarter-finals against CSG Old Boys from
laps in 4m 54s.
with four conversions and Jim Barnes And from 13 back to seven again... Wales.
Beyond raising body
continuing his fantastic scoring record with It wasn’t just Greg and Josh on It would prove to be the end of the road
temperatures, the race
another try. international duty in Dubai: thanks to the for the Lancastrians. A mad minute in the
generated £1,000 for Kent’s
This victory effectively ensured GBAF energy of HMS Lancaster’s clubz LPT Daz second period turned the score from 14-7
various charities, bolstered
qualifi ed for the fi nal but just to keep the Hoare, the Type 23 also asked to enter the in the Welshmen’s favour to 28-7.
by a further £1,300 donated
momentum going, the side ground out a Dubai 7s. The sailors fought back to 28-12, but
during a horse-racing night
hard-earned victory in the extreme heat of Daz was told there was a huge waiting the gap was too great and the team’s
(which wasn’t quite as hot or
an Aussie summer against the unfancied list but as the Red Rose prowled the Gulf, involvement in the 7s came to an end.
physically demanding, but did
Cook Islands by 40-20. an email landed in his in-tray. “It was better “When you think that all the other teams
prompt yet more fancy dress
So to the big one – the fi nal against the then Charlie fi nding the last gold ticket for were gearing up for these championships,
Aussie DF. the Willy Wonka factory,” he said (and the training day-in day-out and our guys were
It was played as a curtain-raiser to the XO apparently jumped somersaults in his doing defence watches, seven on, seven off,
World Cup semi between Australia and cabin...). fi ve on, fi ve off, and they never complained
● My spidey senses are
tingling... or it could be the
Fiji, so there was minimal support in the A rigorous training regime ensued with of being tired, they did HMS Lancaster, the
sweat running down my face...
stands. clubz waking the players up at 6am for RN and themselves proud,” said Daz.
AB Benbow runs his mile on
Before kick-off current Wigan coach and SAQ (Speed, Agility and Quickness) drills “The team played with heart, pride and a
Kent dressed as the webbed
TV summariser Brian Noble passed on a plus burpees competitions. desire to win: you could see their will to win
few words of wisdom and encouragement. Once in Dubai, the city’s legendary/ as soon as they stepped on the park – they
Fired-up by the national anthem, GBAF infamous traffi c almost conspired to wanted to win even to the very end.”
0046_NN_Jan.indd 146_NN_Jan.indd 1 99/12/08 18:36:16/12/08 18:36:16
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