NAVY NEWS, APRIL 2010 47
Pulling power at Dartmouth
CLAY pigeon shooting is back
on the agenda at BRNC after an overhaul of facilities. Lt Chris Newman was
l Pete’s back... L/Cpl Pete Dunning races down the slope at Meribel
Picture: PO(Phot) Donny Osmond, FRPU North
l RN coach POPT Stu O’Connor offers some advice to featherweight AB Glenn Coe
Picture: AET Richie Price
Boxers enjoy Swede dreams
AS PREPARATION for the Combined Service Championships, the Royal Navy Boxing Team ventured overseas to gain valuable experience both in Jersey and Sweden this weekend. The senior team took part in the multi-national Rinkeby-
Tensta Box Cup in Stockholm against top-ranking opposition from Sweden, Norway and Denmark, while the second team faced Jersey’s best boxers.
Eight open-class boxers faced tough opposition in the Rinkeby-Tensta Box Cup.
Chosen specifically to box on their ‘Super-Fight Night’, five RN boxers faced opposition ranked in the top three in their respective countries. In the semi-finals LPT Gareth Smith (BRNC) faced Swedish No.2 Martin Steinberg. After an aggressive bout, Smith shone through to book his place in the final. ET(WE) Mark Flowers (Ark Royal) faced ‘local hero’ and
international boxer Michael Obin. Having offered the Swede a true boxing lesson, rocking him with heavy shots, Mark amazingly lost the bout on a majority decision – a questionable judging trend which affected the team throughout the tournament.
It was a similar story for young ET(ME) Antony Smith (St Albans) – a big ask put him against far more experienced international Lars Nilasson.
Again delivering the Swede a boxing lesson, Smith rarely took a shot – making his opponent continually miss and punishing him. But once again he somehow lost on a majority decision. LA(WT) Jason Rogers (Lancaster) faced three-times national champion Stephen Ablor. The RN boxer dominated from the start, rocking his opponent with heavy shots he made it impossible for the judges to give it any other way than in the Rogers’ favour, they did so but again on a majority. The super-fight night resulted in four Navy boxers through to the final. LPT Gareth Smith squared up to K Jansson in an exciting bout which caught the attention of all spectators, unrelenting pressure from Smith ensured a win for the gold and a trophy for best fighter of the tournament. Lt Lucy O’Connor faced Swedish No1 Lillea Strandell – a technical bout with the officer dominating thanks to her longer reach. O’Connor was awarded the gold medal but again only on a majority but was presented with the best female boxer award. And so the RN team returned from Scandinavia with two golds, three silvers, best fighter and best boxer of the tournament. “I couldn’t have asked more from the boxers – they entirely dominated this tournament with their boxing ability and fitness – this was an invaluable experience for all,” said coach POPT Stuart O’Connor.
Podium Pete battles back
FOUR members of the Combined Services Disabled Ski Team took on allcomers with extraordinary success this season at the Divisional, Army Alpine and Combined Services Winter Sports Association Inter- Service Ski And Snowboard Competition (ISSC),
writes Maj Martin Colclough, OC BattleBack.
Sgt Mick Brennan (Royal Signals) who lost both
legs above the knee in a suicide bomb blast in Iraq in 2004 and L/Cpl Pete Dunning (Royal Marines) who lost both legs in a mine blast in Afghanistan in 2008 both raced on mono skis in the Divisional Alpine Championships in Les Contamines, France. In the Individual Super G Competition, Mick came 66th whilst Pete came 89th out of 124 racers on uncorrected times and Mick achieved 73rd and Pete 101st again out of 124 racers in the seeded Giant Slalom Race. Capt Martin Hewitt (Parachute Regiment), who
and Slalom) completing both runs and taking second place on the podium. In the combination race, skiers mount the podium if they finish in the top three, but as the race is run in reverse-finish order the slower skiers are first down and are usually displaced by the faster ones. Nevertheless, Pete’s shout of joy and enormous
smile were priceless as he shunned offers to lift his rig onto the podium preferring instead to dive on top of it still in his rig, mounted on a single ski. Every member of the team has been wounded in action on operations and suffered horrific injuries. They have all been through rehabilitation at Headley Court, and now lead a largely independent life within the Forces. They have faced extraordinary levels of pain simply
was shot through the shoulder joint in Afghanistan in 2007, and Tpr Stevie Shine (Royal Tank Regiment), who lost his left leg in an Improvised Explosive Device incident in Iraq in 2007, then joined Mick and Pete at the Army Alpine Championships in Serre Chevalier, France. Unfortunately Mick had a bad fall on the downhill. He came out of his rig, spiralled across the piste and broke his nose but despite being shaken, bruised and needing four stitches in his nose he escaped serious injury but had to withdraw from the race. Despite this set-back Martin, Mick and Pete all raced in the Super G event achieving speeds of 59, 57 and 54 mph respectively over the finish line. All four athletes then went on to compete in the Combined Services ski and snowboard. As this was Pete’s first season skiing, he was not entered in the downhill but he had a fantastic result on combination race day (one run of both Super G
to learn to ski at Novice standard. To race at their current level of competition, they have had to push themselves to an extraordinary extent; they have broken their good limbs and in some cases aggravated their original wounds. All have overcome remarkable adversity just to
learn to ski and although they have already achieved truly remarkable results, this is just the beginning of the experience as they are all focussed on the truly demanding but achievable goal of becoming good enough to represent their country in the Winter Olympics in 2014.
lives of all the athletes and is open to all Services. If you would like to know more about Adaptive Skiing and Racing or any other disabled sport in which you would like to participate, please go to the BattleBack website, www.army.mod.uk/events/ sport/16267.aspx, or contact Maj Colclough at BattleBack, DMRC, Headley Court, Epsom, Surrey, KT18 6JW
Royals are kings of the ice
GREEN triumphed on white as the Royal Marines became the inaugural winners of the RN Ice Hockey Cup.
More than 40 skaters crossed the Solent bound for Planet Ice in Ryde on the Isle of Wight, with competitors split into two
divisions, writes Lt Cdr Al Bernard.
The Royal Marines narrowly
Meanwhile five RN fighters headed to Jersey. AB Ross Murray (Illustrious) put on an impressive display of boxing, proving elusive and catching his opponent on the counter but came out on the wrong end of the decision.
Mne Ant Graham (40 Cdo) dominated his opponent from the start with relaxed shots which his opponent was unable to answer, resulting in a well-deserved victory for the green beret. Fellow commando Matt Armstrong faced a challenge having moved up in weight class. After fathoming out his opponent early in the first round he landed a big right hand to floor his foe for a convincing win. Mne Jay Gardiner was involved in a tight bout: three rounds of toe-to-toe action ended with the Royal’s superior fitness, grit and determination ensuring he was crowned the victor. Finally SAC Judd Allen (RNAS Yeovilton) faced a much heavier opponent who didn’t allow the Navy boxer to throw his punches and was awarded a points decision.
defeated the Navy 9-7 in a fast- paced and exciting match in the top-flight A Division while a combined Fleet Air Arm and Royal Marines team defeated the ‘Rest of Navy’ 4-1 in the B Division. The tournament was a huge success and highlights the maturity and development of the sport in the Royal Navy over the past few years. The RN Cup will become a
period two-goal deficit with five unanswered goals in the second on their way to victory against the Kent side. Navy goalie, Mne Carl Edwards (SFSG) was once again strong in the net while Mnes Karl Sullivan (UKLF CSG AD Tp) and Adam Hankins (FPGRM) were the top point-getters with three goals and six assists respectively.
clash was a real humdinger against the Gosport Scorpions. The RN gifted the Scorpions
three own goals as they trailed 7-1 half-way through the second period.
yearly fixture used to showcase the best of Navy ice hockey talent and allow numerous new players to further develop their skills. Senior Service skaters were also in action in three other games. The representative side travelled to Gillingham where they defeated the Invicta Knights 7-4 in a close physical contest in front of support from the local RNR, RMR and cadet units, despite an unsociable face-off time.
Cue the comeback of all comebacks. By the third period, the two teams were locked at 9-9... until Adam Hawkins (FPGRM) popped up with a blistering snapshot to clinch a dramatic Senior Service win. The developmental side took to the ice in Bracknell against their Army counterparts. The Navy had won the previous encounter in Gosport 9-3, but had difficulty clearing their zone in this clash, and would eventually lose 9-4.
The game was still hugely useful, The most recent representative The Navy overcame a first-
allowing novice and intermediate players to get good quality ice time against similar-strength opponents. Developmental side games will make up a significant part of RNIHA fixtures this season in an attempt to attract more players and develop a sound base to the sport in the senior service. Game scores and all RN ice hockey news is available through the RNIHA website www.rniha. org.uk and the association’s fan page/group on Facebook.
h Continued from page 48
brilliantly saved by the visiting keeper.
saw his shot hit the post and rebound to safety with the keeper well beaten. Seconds later RN keeper Jim Mullen had to be on his toes to make a fine save from the visitors’ forward.
Indeed, despite the best efforts of both sides in the second period, the score remained fixed at 2-1 to the RN. A great run by Gary Hampson
Alpine ski racing has made a huge difference to the
determined to get the sport back on track when he joined the staff at Dartmouth. After returning from his time as a divisional officer with Initial Fleet Time cadets, Chris, along with CPO Bill Amery, the International and Squadron Support Senior Rate – and a fellow keen shot – set about restoring the range. “To start with there was a lot of self-help gardening that we had to get done,” said Chris. “We needed to clear away quite a bit of overgrown scrub and foliage to ensure that a clear view of the clays could be achieved. “I’ve been shooting since the age of ten,” Chris explained. “Lots of practice is the only way to become proficient in the sport and it is a great way to enjoy being in the fresh air.” After refurbishing the springing teal and crossing target clay traps, everything was set for Cdre Jake Moores, Commodore BRNC, to take the official first shot. “Throughout training cadets
face many challenges which have to be underpinned with an awareness of safety routines,” said CPO Amery.
“Respect for the rifle and strict safety protocol is at the root of this sport so it complements training development very well.” At present the range is open on
Wednesday afternoons, but now lighter evenings are here, the cry of “pull” is likely to be heard on a more regular basis.
Big fish, big pond
SAILORS from Faslane travelled to Loch Etive at Taynuilt, near Oban, for some deep sea fishing. The fishing trip was part of
a series of ‘grassroots’ sporting events introducing RN and RM to less-known sports and pastimes open to them in the Forces. Although the weather was unkind initially with rain and snow blizzards in the morning, by 11am the day had cleared leaving the afternoon open for some extreme fishing. Loch Etive holds a variety of species – cod, spur dog, lesser spotted dogfish, mackerel, pollock, gurnard and whiting. Experienced angler PO Warren Malcolm made sure that the group was well prepared, using a ‘ruby dubby’ (fish stew), which was mashed and hung over the side of the boat to lure the fish. PO Chris Bell was the first angler to get a bite on the day, catching a young thornback ray which set a high standard for the others.
PO Malcolm soon followed with another thornback, and CPO Steve Losh was not far behind, catching the group’s first shark of the day – a young spur dog. It was novice PO Jamie Cockfield who stole the show, catching the only cod of the day.
Green vs Red
THE two elite units in Britain’s regular Forces lock horns on April 1 as the Rugby League Trafalgar Cup is up for grabs once more.
the Royal Marines and Parachute Regiment will serve as the curtain-raiser to the Super League showdown between Leeds Rhinos and Bradford Bulls at Leeds’ Headingly Stadium. On the six occasions that the cup has been contested, the Royals have triumphed four times, while last year the trophy was shared following a 26-26 draw.
Thursday with tickets available from www.therhinos.co.uk or 0844 248 6651, quoting the code LRHFH01; 50 per cent of the proceeds will be shared among Help for Heroes, and RM/Para charities.
Kick-off is 5pm on Maundy The regular clash between
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