42 NAVY NEWS, JUNE 2011
Age over numbers
PHASE 2 air engineering technician trainees from RNAS Culdrose met for the first time on a football pitch with the aim of settling bragging rights between the Sea King and Merlin communities. Merlin personnel outnumber the Sea Kings – known as the ‘Historic Flight’ by non-Sea King personnel at the Helston air station – by about two to one so they had a larger pool of talent from which to draw a team. There were some memorable
NAVY tennis players again reigned supreme at
A* tennis from the Bs
the Inter-Services B championships, this year
hosted by RAF Halton. The Navy retained the trophy they lifted in 2010 while the ladies shared top spot with the Air Force. The men’s squad has been
performances by both sets of players including the Navy U19 star Danny Brookwell, who opened the scoring with a darting run through the middle and slotted to make it 1-0 after just 35 seconds.
Saberton and his sidekick Craig Sutton showed great leadership and the willpower to succeed as they took this game seriously from the start and ensured their team mates followed suit, cruising to an 8-2 victory.
Merlin boys never gave up. There were particularly strong
performances from the Merlin skipper
central defender David ‘Swampy’ Marsh who won almost every ball in the air.
26 miles at 51˚ South
SAILORS from HMS Clyde joined runners from around the globe at the world’s most southerly endurance race – the Port Stanley marathon. Local residents lined the streets to lend their support while children manned various water- stations on the road to keep the runners going.
Paul McNamara and Despite the trouncing, Sea King captain Paul
enjoying a particularly good run of form over the past couple of years, having also retained the A trophy last August.
This most recent win at Halton
is the fourth in a row for the men in tournaments.
Much of this is the result of early the
preparations; since last September potential team members have gathered at Portsmouth Indoor Tennis Centre every month for squad training and a formative squad began to emerge. Keeping the hunger and drive to retain the trophy very much at the forefront, the squad undertook an intensive four-day warm-weather training tour of Cyprus in March. This honed match fitness and strengthened team spirit – both key factors at Halton.
A strong coaching team consisting of CPOPT Steve Losh, Kevin Baker (a Level 5 high performance coach who runs Portsmouth Tennis Academy) and Cdr Nigel Bowen (the RN men’s squad captain/manager) took time to formulate optimum selections for the singles players and doubles combinations. Whether selected or not, each squad member put in maximum effort for preparation and team support over the tournament weekend. Traditionally
a tournament, the acrylic
marathon, the course included a loop of Stanley before heading east to the airport, west to Sapper Hill, returning to the airport before finishing with a final loop of the Falklands’ capital. Fresh from completing
Operational Sea Training, the Falklands guardship was able to field a relay team of ET(ME) ‘Lara’ Croft, AB (SEA) Ritchie Fielding, AB (CIS) ‘Timmy’ Mallett and S/Lt Edmund Read. XO Lt Midge Colvin and young officer S/Lt David Farrow were keen to run the full 26+ miles, sticking together to keep up morale with the patrol ship’s CO, Lt Cdr Carl Wiseman, poised to administer pain killers and sweets on the way from the comfort of a Land Rover. Being the Falklands, the wind
Regarded as the most southerly
at Halton had been confirmed as unfit for play and so the event was moved to artificial clay courts in the adjacent indoor dome. Despite having practised throughout on hard courts, the RN team adapted quickly to the slower surface and began to assimilate the art of sliding into their shots. The first (singles) day began
well with the RN’s No.2 newcomer Lt Chris Sharrott seeing off his Army opponent 6-1, 6-2 – a fine way to start his Inter-Services
done by all and it was a Navy win – again – with five rubbers to the Navy, four to the RAF and three to the Army. As for the ladies’ contest, Musn Alice Hudson (pictured striking a winning forehand), Surg Cdr Fleur Marshall, Cdr Diane Stewart USN and Surg Lt Cdr (D) Lindsay Falla came out on top after some well-fought matches. Ladies’ tennis is not blessed with an extensive squad, but regular training through the winter under coach Andy Ranson paid off this year. Musn Hudson, playing in her second Bs, overcame her nerves comfortably winning both her singles on the first day. Surg Cdr Marshall put in a sterling effort but suffered severe cramp. Nevertheless at the end of day one the team were ahead with three out of four points.
With a slight change to the
original plan, Cdr Stewart (playing in her last Bs before returning to the US) played with Surg Lt Cdr Falla (playing in her first Bs). Despite some well-fought
games the pair were beaten by the Army and RAF. Musn Hudson and Surg Cdr Marshall played some
tennis career. Next on court was the Navy’s
performance. He won his second match against the Army 7-6, 6-3 in a similar fashion. Although Sharrott was unable to defeat his RAF opponent at the end of the day, the RN men were in the lead going into the second day. Day two (doubles) couldn’t
have started better: the strong No.2 pairing of S/Lt Martin Shortt and PO Robert Lafferty were four match points down in the second set but came back to win against the Army 2-6 7-6 6-2. That result meant the RN No.1 pair (Sharrott/Mayell) only needed to beat their RAF counterpart to secure a tournament win. Instead,
6-0 with an accomplished
No.1, S/Lt Simon Mayell, who has had several year’s experience of Inter-Services tennis.
overwhelmed his RAF opponent 6-2
they lost 6-7, 4-6. With three matches remaining, the RAF could still win the tournament if the Navy lost their two remaining rubbers and they won both of theirs. Moreover, the overall result would tie at 4-4- 4 if the Army won both of their remaining matches and the RAF won one.
Martin. With the confidence of defending four match points under their belt, they coolly beat the RAF 6-3 6-2 to secure the tournament win for the Senior Service.
‘dead rubber’. Sharrott suffered a fairly severe shoulder injury by this stage so was substituted by ET Mark Allen, playing on his final day in the Service. Having boldly won their first set,
they finally succumbed 6-3 5-7, 1-6 but the work had been already
This made the final match a Next on to court were Rob/
tennis winning both their matches in straight sets. The
last match of the
competition saw the Army and RAF No.2s meet. An RAF victory meant that they equalled the five matches won by the RN. Countback on sets was also ten-a-piece so the RAF and Navy were declared joint winners.
The last time the RN’s name
was on the trophy was in 1998, so this victory was long overdue. The team is now looking to retain the Inter-Service A trophy for a double-winning season. The squad is desperate to
expand. Training takes place on Mondays at 7pm in Portsmouth’s tennis dome.
There are also regular training sessions throughout the season and a small number of fixtures at high-profile clubs in London. Contact Surg Cdr Marshall on 93932 5573/02392 625573 or fleur.ma
Hoofing time in Egypt
YOU’LL be amazed by how many Navy News readers get in touch, asking us to feature more images of RN kitesurfers and camels in the paper... Well now we’re able to oblige: one
was always going to be a deciding factor, and although gusts stayed under 20 knots the head wind returning from the airport to Sapper Hill was set to be a certain psychological barrier, especially at the 18/19-mile mark. Needless to say, all six runners
persevered and finished well, cheered by the spectators at the finish and around the town hall. With the relay team finishing in a strong fifth place, it was down to the XO and the SFT YO to keep up the results.
a ‘second wind’ at the 18-mile mark to finish ninth out of 48 with a time of 3h 45m 18s with S/Lt Farrow plodding over the line 15 seconds shy of four hours to finish 18th. Both have decided to adopt a more conventional training programme next time as opposed to a two-week OST package and diet of action messing. Also participating in the
Lt Colvin crossed the line after
dromedary, six kitesurfers (they’re the ones in the background...), wonderful blue skies and silvery waters.
Following the success of the first Royal
Navy Royal Marines Kitesurfing Association training camp to Fuerteventura a couple of years ago, snatching the Inter-Services title from the RAF in 2010 and victory in the inaugural Inter-Services cross-Channel race, the association wanted to maintain the growing momentum with another winter training camp. This time the kitesurfers headed to the Egyptian resort of Sharm El Sheikh and the lagoon of Nabq Bay with a week’s training
for 16 riders, helped by the RN Sports Lottery, writes Lt Kat Rawlinson. The surfers found perfect conditions –
flat, waist deep water, wind every day, and an excellent safety set-up run by a local (British-owned) company. The wind rose up early every day, making the 7am starts a little challenging as the sun had yet to warm the water, but everyone was on the sea as soon as conditions allowed for their level.
Individual development targets were set at the start, and with encouragement and in-house instructor support, all 16 RN kitesurfers surpassed them. Those fresh from their Level 2 British Kitesurfing Association courses were up and running, holding ground and starting transition turns by the end of the week, while the more advanced concentrated on
kiteloops and unhooked moves. The result – a few bruised and aching bodies – more than matched by big grins and a real sense of achievement across the group. Bring on the competitions... ...which begin in Weymouth on June 1-3 with the RN championships, followed by the Inter-Services in Saunton, North Devon, from October 28-30. This relatively new three-dimensional sport is open to all members of the Royal Navy.
The association is organising beginners’ courses during this year, as well as training days to advance your riding – check out www.kitenavy.com
for details, or get in touch with Lt Cdr Bob Bowman (bob. firstname.lastname@example.org
) or 93781 7222, the RNRMKA membership secretary.
Hard Leiba pays off for rower Collin
CPO Collin Leiba (HMS Talent) set two British records competing at the annual Farnborough Indoor Rowing competition.
The submariner (pictured above, in case you were wondering) made his mark in the 500 and 1,000-metre races in the men’s heavyweight 40-49 age group, writes WO1 Paul Winton.
Having come close to beating the 1,000m record just a few weeks earlier, the Farnborough organisers had set up a special record race attempt as the opening event of the meeting. Maintaining an even pace over the distance – and spurred on by an expectant crowd – the senior rate withstood the growing oxygen debt and lactic acid related muscle pain, powering to a time of 2m 58.2s to beat the previous record by three tenths of a second. Four hours later Collin was back on the rowing machine for the 500m race, this time confronted with rival competitors of a similar calibre. Once again, the man of
Talent managed to maintain an even pace over the whole race distance to set a time of 1m 19.6s, with unplanned consistency to repeat his 0.3s improved time over the previous record.
The old record may well have
been broken earlier this year at the English Championships had the machine not broken under the strain.
Both of Collin’s performances set world-leading times in the category for the 2011-12 season.
CPO Leiba’s ability to achieve these performances owes much to his long term dedication to a strength and fitness regime. Over the past 18 months,
through an indoor rowing training regime, he has managed to develop greater aerobic fitness and performance without significant loss of strength and power, thus improving his ability above ‘sprint’ distances beyond 1000m.
marathon was Alan Rowe, founder of The Baton charity, established to highlight and support the work of British forces personnel across the world. Smiling and giving words of advice throughout the race, Alan carried the baton with him, crossing the finish line, just under five hours, cheered by Cdre Tim Lowe Commander Maritime Warfare School and the team from Clyde.
Underlining his achievement is the fact that seven months of that time was spent on an operational deployment in the T-boat whilst training in cramped conditions with temperatures exceeding 40˚C. Regularly representing the Royal Navy at high-profile indoor rowing competitions, the chief petty officer finished 17th at the World Indoor Rowing Championships in February over the classic 2,000m race distance in a time of 6m 38s. Accepting that he is much better suited to shorter race distances, he is committed to further develop aerobic capacity, fully aware that his 500m/1000m times predict 2,000m times close to 6m 10s and the chances of medals at the national and world championships.
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