NAVY NEWS, AUGUST 2010
24-hour power trip
CYCLISTS from the RN/ RMCA were among the 2,500 riders who took part in this year’s Original Source Mountain May- hem, a 24-hour mountain
Up and Adam again
red-fl agged after an accident. We restarted after the marshals cleared the track. I got off to a fl ier and was second out of the fi rst corner and was pushing the leader for two laps until the race was red-fl agged again. “I was furious – as you can imagine. The third restart went even better
fi fth place on the grid for the main event... which turned out to be “mayhem”. Jamie takes up the story: “We managed one lap before the race was
and I was fi rst into the fi rst corner and led the race for a couple laps. “I got pushed wide at the fi rst hairpin and two got past me. I stuck on their tails the whole race and fi nished third – only half a second behind the fi rst-place rider – and got the fastest lap with a 1m 00.99s.” Jamie wasn’t the only RN rider on the track. LAET Colin Wilson (815 NAS) was contesting his fi rst race meeting on his sv650 – having just got back from a seven-month tour with 211 Flight.
his fi rst meeting on his newly-converted ZX6R so was a bit of a shake- down. Nevertheless he managed second place in his class with a lap of 1m 6s.
Fisticuffs for cadets
FOR the fi rst time since the early 60s offi cer cadets of BRNC took to the ring for an inter-squadron charity boxing night. “All the cadets were offered the chance to have a go at boxing this term,” explained LPT Ian Rooney, “and it was great to have 20 step forward – none of them having boxed before. “To be prepared to compete in front of your peers and seniors takes that extra level of guts.” Assisted by colleagues LPT Gareth Smith (who’s boxed for the RN) and POPT Sweeney Todd, the clubz drew up a training programme and readied the
quarterdeck for seven bouts. “It was amazing – the nerves
that built in the run up to the evening completely disappeared as you zoned in to what you had to do on getting into the ring,” said S/Lt James Carpenter, who was stopped in his special light heavyweight bout. “I know there was a lot of
cheering but I didn’t hear anything!”
More than £2,500 was raised for RNRM Charity courtesy of various auctions from the chance to be commodore for the day to enjoying a cream tea on the parade ground during divisions.
intermediate tyres from ninth place on the grid. With it being a last- minute decision he didn’t have time to warm them, so he slipped back a couple of places over the opening laps until the tyres warmed up. When they did, Jamie got going and climbed through the fi eld to take sixth position at the fl ag. For the second day’s racing – in glorious weather – he began in
IT’S been a while since we featured motorcyclist PO(AET) Jamie Adam... so here he is (pictured by EDP Photo News). The senior rate from HMS Sultan opened the 2010 season at Pembrey, the home of Welsh motorsport, where weather conditions were, says Jamie, “a lottery”. The track was still wet with a drying line and the biker gambled on
based at Eastnor Deer Park, near Ledbury, the race attracts riders at all levels, from full-on supported race teams and solo riders to ‘have-a-go weekend warriors’ in teams of ten Pat Adams, the event organiser, had made good use of the parkland to craft a 9.3-mile lap that had a generous 1,300ft of climbing in it. With Royal being ‘a bit busy’
bike endurance event. Now in its 15th year and
being repaired. He showed seriously-impressive
form but on the third lap another racer’s pedal punctured the sidewall of his front tyre. Unfortunately Al had lost his repair kit during the race, so had to pull out after two laps.
right now, the RN/RMCA entry this year comprised a mixture of dark blue and associate members; with teams entered in the sports male and sports mixed categories as well as the all-encompassing Inter-Service category, and half the squad never having ridden an endurance event before, this year was going to be a ‘development year’.
Excellent weather in the lead up to the event meant that the trails were dry, dusty and fast with the exception of a new set of single track which seemed to have been fashioned out of plasticine; over the 24 hours it became a power- sapping treacly slog full of breaking bumps and ruts. As always the race began with a
Colin had an up-and-down weekend with a couple of mechanical issues to deal with and a crash on the Saturay afternoon. He had a good day on Sunday after a full day on the bike and managed a 1m 7s lap. Royal Marine Kieran Ryan was also competing with NG Road Racing,
● Power source... PO Rob Smith (HMS Vivid) negotiates part of the 9.3-mile Mountain Mayhem course
Picture: Sinead Mclaren
cloudless sky the temperature rose, warming the riders and, like geckos basking on hot rocks, both teams picked up the pace again. RN A started to chase down
run before riders picked up their bikes and attacked the course. Both RN teams got off to a good start with the lead riders completing their opening laps within minutes of each other; as the afternoon progressed and riders changed over both RN teams remained in the lower half of the top ten. All around the course there
Army Cycling C, who were ten minutes ahead and RN B tried to regain some of the pace lost overnight.
With signs of fatigue beginning
were groups of children offering ‘high-fi ves’ to passing riders and spectators and riders offering shouts of encouragement to the accompanying sound of cow bells; we were just lucky the Vuvuzela had yet to make it to Herefordshire. As dusk gave way to darkness and the kids and cows went to bed, the temperature dropped considerably but RN A managed to maintain their pace and position in the Inter-Service category; RN B lost a bit of time and dropped out of the top ten. As dawn broke the kids got up and the cows were joined by a guitarist on one of the climbs. With the sun creeping into a
Yachts’ global reach ends
AFTER just short of 12 months away, the Royal Navy 67ft Challenge yacht Adventure leads her Army and RAF counterparts (Challenger and Discoverer respectively) up the Solent towards Gosport, bringing Exercise Transglobe to a close. The round-the-world sailing event – the first by the Forces in 11 years – began in July 2009 with the aim of giving Service personnel the adventure of a lifetime (and leadership skills and grit to boot) and, on one of the 13 legs, helping men and women in the Forces injured in the line of duty get back to full fitness. The three yachts were crewed by 14 people at a time – a mix of experienced and rookie sailors on most legs.
themselves against each other and the cream of the world’s professional race teams.
“In total, more than 500 Service people have experienced the demands of tough ocean sailing, many of them never having set foot on a yacht before,” said Capt Nick Fletcher, Deputy Director for Naval Personnel.
crewed entirely by people who were recovering from severe wounds incurred on operations together with their support staff from the medical services.
On two sections – the 2009 Sydney to Hobart race and the 2010 Antigua Race Week – selected crews took charge to represent their Services, pitting
“Experience shows that demanding adventurous training helps to prepare people for the stresses and challenges of life in operational theatres.” Picture: LA(Phot) Dave Jenkins, FRPU East
“One section of the expedition was
to show the fi nish couldn’t come quickly enough, but there was just suffi cient time for most riders to get one more daylight lap in and take away fresh memories of nailing sweeping fl owing single track and climbs conquered. Having to cross the line after the
2pm fi nish time or the ride didn’t count, meant that towards the end of the race there was a lot of lurking; once the hooter sounded there was a steady stream of riders coming over the hill and into the fi nish to collect their fi nisher’s medal and receive the traditional handshake from Pat Adams. RN A were placed fi fth out of
22 Service teams (and 32nd out of 205 all-male teams), while the B team were the 13th Service side (and 45th of the 112 mixed teams taking part).
Elsewhere on two wheels, RN/
RM mountain bikers made for South Wales and Round 3 of the British Series. Usually renowned for being unbearably hot, it was the fi rst time in eight years that Margam Park hosted a wet, cold race, with visibility on the top of the hill reduced to 20 metres in places. From the traditional tarmac
Steve McCulley, Rob Smith and Shane Lawton battled on, although Shane also had to pull out on the third lap. Eventually Steve managed to hang in for 28th place with Rob in 33rd. Meanwhile, the National 25- mile Time Trial Championship was held in Yorkshire. The ‘blue ribbon event’ was won by multi British Time Trial Champion Dr Michael Hutchinson in 49m 43s. The RNRMCA’s sole representative on the day was CPO Andy Phipps who rode extremely well to record a time inside the hour – the benchmark time for this event.
The 2010 RNRMCA 50-mile
Time Trial Championship was hosted by Camel Valley Cycling and Triathlon Club near Victoria, Cornwall – near Bodmin Moor. Weather conditions again
proved to be the determining factor and although dry it was a windy day which ensured personal bests (PBs) were extremely hard to come by. WO1 Garry Drew (HMS Raleigh) was the only RNRMCA rider to PB on the day. The honours, once again, this
start, the tough course weaved its way up and down the South Wales’ hillside, before a couple of river crossings and a long climb, fi nally descending two kilometres back to the start.
would usually take approximately 22 minutes,
progressed – and the track turned into a mudbath due to hundreds of racers – lap times were down to between 30 and 40 minutes. Associate member Scot Easter put in another superb performance in the experts’ race to claim a well- deserved fi fth place, and Andy Plewes was also back on form to take seventh in the veterans’ race. Al Lovell returned to the
masters’ race having missed the previous round due to his bike
The seven-kilometre course but as the day
year went to club captain and stalwart CPO(PT) Sean Childs (HMS Raleigh) 1h 48m 18s; WO1 Drew posted second place on 1h 51m 17s, 41 seconds ahead of third place rider, the RAF’s Mike Westwell.
And so on to HMS Raleigh and the RNRMCA 16-mile Sports Time Trial. After taking a year out from competitive cycling to recover from glandular fever, Pete Vincent (Mid-Devon CC) put in a sterling performance over the undulating and testing course. In the process he set a new
course record, shaving 30 seconds off the existing time. Looking lean and fi t, the
North-Devon-based 22-year-old was 38 seconds ahead of CPO Childs on his home course. A further 45 seconds back was 1st Category Roadman James Smith (ProBikeKit.com
), who is also based at Raleigh and known for putting in some good times against the clock.
Coarse for good
THIS year’s RN coarse fi shing championships were split over two lakes and two days. The contest opened at Boddingtons Reservoir near Daventry with 35 anglers – a nice even mix of 18 RN personnel and 17 associate members, writes WO1 Hughie Welsh. Match day was a sunny day with a nice breeze, conditions perfect. Pegs 66-101 – the favoured pegs – were fi shed during the six-hour match. This contest was hard but POMEM(L) John Harvey (HMS Liverpool) proved he had mastered the water by breaking the RN record with a brilliant 170lb 8oz to win the fi rst day. Trev Conroy (Fleet Air Arm Firsts) was second with 85lb 1oz and third place was taken by Marco Middleton (The Leftovers) with 70lb 4OZ.
diffi cult, to say the least; section C and D could also have fi shed much better as well.
Sections A and B fi shing was
A section winners were: Robbie Roberts 33lb 5oz; B section: Terry Oakley 29lb 12oz (both Exiles); C section: Trev Conroy; and D Section: John Harvey.
In the team event, after day one the Exiles were leading on 27pts, two points ahead of Fleet Air Arm Firsts.
The deciding day saw competitors move across the border into Oxfordshire and Clattercote Reservoir, near Banbury.
Thirty-three anglers began the match – two fewer than day one as they returned home, one because of work commitments, the other because of illness. Clattercote was fi shing nails, as is usually the case when a large amount of pressure is put on the water.
The beautiful weather was the only positive of the day, with the exception of a few weights. PO Harvey was the star of the show again with a perfect record, winning day two with a weight of 37lb 6oz to add to his outstanding victory at Boddingtons. John’s weight mainly comprised a 15lb carp which somehow he managed to get from under the platform and a smaller carp of 6lb.
Ged Power (Exiles) was runner up with 22lb. Kev Lund (Dip it and see!) was third with 19lb 4oz.
– Terry Oakey, Michael Power, Ged Power and Robbie Roberts – won the overall contest with a total score of 51pts, three points ahead of their nearest rivals, Hansford Ex-RN Lags. Fleet Air Arm Firsts fi nished third on 46pts.
Next year Hallcroft fi shery near Retford has been booked for the championships over the weekend of June 11 and 12.
In the team event, the Exiles
Feedback received for this years champs has been positive with a good turnout, so well done.
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