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Chess dreams checked

LT DAVE Ross (Navy Command HQ) and Cpl Mike Redman RM (FPGRM) represented the Combined Services at chess in the NATO tournament in Køge, Denmark. The tournament was opened by the Mayor, Marie Stærke, on a very cold morning in the small harbour of Køge with speeches and a parade through the town by the local defence force on horseback.

tournament, taking place over seven rounds with 15 countries participating. The standard of play was exceptionally high with International Masters and FIDE Masters playing for many nations; many games lasted a very demanding fi ve hours. If you haven’t played competitive chess then it is similar to a very diffi cult exam – your head will hurt. Cpl Mike Redman produced a very creditable score on his debut of 4/7 (three wins, two draws and two defeats). Overall the UK team fi nished a disappointing 12th with the Germans taking the team and individual titles again. The UK are seeking new talent to bolster the team ahead of the 2011 tournament in Lithuania.

Anyone interested in playing contact Lt Dave Ross, dave.

The qualifying tournament will be held in HMS Nelson from May 26-30.

BRNC triumph over Crabs

THE best and the brightest of the RN defeated their RAF counterparts at the Inter-College games.

Royal Naval College and the former Royal Naval Air Station Cranwell went to the wire with the result resting on the fi nal element of the competition. The contestants from RAF

The contest between Britannia

Cranwell (we thought we ought to give it the proper title...) proved particularly strong in the cross- country and traditional ‘ramp- race’ while BRNC displayed prowess on the hockey and rugby fi elds.

‘superstars’ challenge. Designed to test physical prowess, the task which clinched the title for BRNC was the pine pole lift which required an outstanding effort from the whole team.

Dennis takes U23 trophy

 Continued from page 48

capped against the RAF at Senior level and by the Combined Services’ U23s last season. Already acknowledged as one of the best lineout exponents in RN rugby, the marine has also added a penetrative ball-carrying role to his armoury. These two attributes ensure

that he always stands out in matches. Careful observers will also note his work rate and high tackle count, which means coaches can play him more like a traditional ‘6’ than lock. Appointed captain at the start of the season he worked well with coaching staff to ensure that the entire playing group remained on message and prepared to uphold the proud heritage of Navy rugby. “Dennis was the clear choice of both coaches – CPOPT Clayton Patilla and POCIS Neil Evans – and team manager CPO Jim Hunter,” said RN Director of Rugby, Lt Cdr Geraint Ashton Jones.

“He led the front on all occasions and brought the best out of the players around him, whilst also ensuring that the whole squad bought into the team ethos. He is a player with a very promising future.”

The fi nal test was the This was the 21st offi cial

Fan-tache-tic voyage

THE sun is shining, the Rocky theme tune is blaring in the background, a group of men are taking

part in physical training. This, however, is no normal

phys session; this is the Bronson Challenge – named for Britain’s hardest man.

The challenge? 1,000 press-ups, 1,000 pull-ups and 1,000 sit ups inside ten hours. The original was devised – and completed – by the notorious hardman inside a prison and has since been adopted by athletes the world over, in this case, Cpl Aaron Laycock.

The NCO is not shy of taking on a challenge (given that he had recently run a marathon on the clearway of RFA Fort Victoria whilst the ship was alongside) and encouraged his Fleet Protection Group RM comrades to join in to raise dosh for the families of 40 Cdo men killed in Afghanistan. For an authentic feel, the Royal

Marines decided to make use of a ‘pen’ on board, and the Hudson Reel deck of Fort Victoria was converted. Royals like to go the extra mile, so there was the added extra of having a Bronson-inspired moustache for the day...

So to go back to the opening

paragraph... the sun is shining, the Rocky theme tune is blaring in the background and a group of men are taking part in physical training. Then factor in that it’s on the back end of a ship (sometimes known by our

readers as cramped conditions,

stern...), the heat is on average 35˚C,

the the

actual ‘physical challenge’ itself and suddenly what appeared to be a phys session is now no normal phys session, but one of amazing endurance,

strength and the

willpower of everyone taking part to achieve the target, not only for themselves, but for the lives and families of their former comrades. Throughout the day, members of the ship’s company trotted down to the Hudson Reel deck to witness the challenge, among them Lt Maxine Burgess, Fort Vic’s AVSO.

“Unable to get away from the high temperatures, some were even having to resort to ice/cold treatment between sets due to tendons starting to cramp up, but you looked at any one of them and in a strange way they were all still enjoying themselves [that’s perfectly normal for Royal Marines – Sports Ed], pushing themselves and others on, not just to the total

● The commandos power their way to the target in the specially- created prison ‘pen’

that they are looking to complete, but to surpass it,” she said. “A new song came on, they

were reinvigorated, and strangely enough they had enough energy to jump around to the music before launching into a new set.” Seven hours in, and the fi gures

for press-ups and sit-ups were way past the target, with fi gures very close to the target for pull-ups. More and more marines were

now using ice/cold treatment to their hands and forearms; but at no point did any man want to quit.

A quick stop to calculate

numbers achieved (and a very quick stop at that), a quick talk from Cpl Laycock – “It’s seven hours in, you’re doing really well, it’s starting to hurt, but let’s crack on and get it done. Welcome to the pain train, choo, ******* choo!” – a laugh from everyone, the music was back on and the pull-ups resumed. The only break in proceedings

came courtesy of King Neptune, as Fort Vic crossed the Equator mid-challenge.

● As if Royals need an excuse for a dodgy ’tache... The FPGRM team on Fort Vic have Charles Bronson-style facial hair painted on Pictures: Capt Daniel Eaton, FPGRM

The Royals trotted up to the flight deck, took their charges, tablet and dunking and headed back down to the ‘pen’ to carry on.

After nine hours and fi ve minutes,

completed – in some cases it had been smashed: the

the challenge was highest

individual score was 1,700 sit ups,

1,650 press ups and 1,050 press ups.

“Well done, it’s been a hard day,

but what we have achieved today is not a strength that is measured physically,

but something that

is only achieved mentally,” Cpl Laycock told his fellow Royals. The challenge raised around £1,800 for the 40 Cdo families.

Ace DC effort from Tony

TYPICALLY we only feature ‘action’ images in our sports pages.

we’ll make an exception. The Culdrose-based officer is pictured here resting after his exertions in one of the world’s most famous long-distance races: The Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC.

The 26.2-mile slog around the US capital is the eighth biggest marathon in the world – nearly 22,000 runners completed the 2010 race. No.23 across that finishing

line was Lt Cdr Dunn, CO of the Maritime Aviation Support Force. That in itself is a hugely- impressive achievement. He was also second Brit to cross the line and his time places him eighth in the UK ranking in the over 45 category – and all in his fi rst marathon. The marathon has been staged since the mid-70s and takes competitors past some of the iconic sights of Washington – Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Smithsonian and Capitol – before ending in front of the famous Iwo Jima Memorial.

But for Lt Cdr Tony Dunn,

Lt Cdr Dunn reached the latter after pounding the DC streets for 2h 38m 11s, 15 minutes behind race winner Jacob Bradosky. “It’s been a long time coming but well worth waiting for!” said the MASF CO. “I was also the fi rst over 45 to cross the line and the second fi nisher from the Royal Navy – although only by one second because we crossed the line together!” As well as the race for individual glory, the marathon sees the RN and US Marine Corps compete for the Challenge Cup.

A SMALL contingent of kayakers fl ew the fl ag for the Royal Navy on the River Teifi in western Wales at the Inter-Service Canoe Slalom championships.

Canoe slalom is an Olympic sport where competitors

a whitewater course, writes Lt Helen Coxon, secretary RNKA.

negotiate a series of gates on

Slightly more complicated than some of the other Inter-Service kayaking events, paddlers are penalised two seconds for hitting a gate and 50 seconds for missing one. With most of the regular Navy competitors

away (including the discipline secretary), fi ve paddlers made it Course.


(pictured, right, making his way through a gate in his C1) was the fastest RN/RM competitor taking 17th place in the Men’s K1 but was closely followed by LMEA Rich Moore (Sultan) in 18th.

HMS Raleigh’s CPO ‘General’

the Llandysul Slalom Patten

Heavy going on the Teifi No laughing matter

 Continued from page 48

AET Steve Riley (Culdrose) is more at home in the disciplines of sprint and marathon (on fl at water) but he transferred his skills to moving water, taking 23rd place. In his fi rst Inter-Services S/Lt Oli Fairbairn (Raleigh) came 24th, beating members of the Army who had spent most of the week on the course practising. In the ladies event, Lt Helen Coxon (Excellent) took the bronze ensuring all three Services were represented in the medals. Four of the fi ve RN paddlers also competed in the C1 competition. They were placed seventh through to tenth in a considerably more diffi cult event with the

Gosport was taken by Kev Cave and Lt Lappin and attended by 30 Service personnel from Nelson, Ark Royal and Edinburgh, four of whom showed interest in returning for more formal training. The two other grass roots sessions were back-to-back events at Plymouth Pavilions for HMS Raleigh and RNAS Culdrose, led by Lt Cdr Al Bernard (UKHO) and Cpl J Underwood (RM Poole).

competitor kneeling rather than sitting and having one blade rather than two. With only fi ve competitors the Royal Navy team accumulated 66 points which was considerably behind both the Army and the Air Force – but a perfectly good score for such a small team (the Army, on the other hand, had 30 competitors...).

paddlers; the prerequisite is to be able to pass an RN swimming test or to be confi dent in a kayak.

( All standards are welcome and training can

be provided. More details at or e-mail The Navy team is always looking for new

match award for a good defensive display despite the result. The two fi xtures were not the sole activity on the ice this past month: the association also staged three ‘grass roots’ events on the South Coast. The fi rst for Portsmouth at

Three women and five men donned RN colours in Washington with the cumulative times posted by the first three men and two fastest women counting. Sadly, in 2010, the Americans proved the stronger team.

More grass roots events are planned this year. For further details (and fi xture lists) see or e-mail Kev Cave , LS Smalley rn-admin@rniha. or Lt Lappin treasurer@ Training is at Planet Ice in Gosport every Tuesday evening at 10.30pm.

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