Leg 5 preview: Perth – Sydney 2200nm
A RELATIVELY SHORT HOP TO SYDNEY by Peta Stuart-Hunt
The three yachts representing the Royal Navy (HMSTV Adventure), the British Army (HMSTV Challenger) and the Royal Air Force (HMSTV Discoverer) on Exercise TRANSGLOBE are now only days away from their fourth leg destination Perth, on the west coast of Australia. On arrival, the exhausted crews will be hosted by the Fremantle Sailing Club and will enjoy a few days respite and recovery from the tough weather conditions they have endured during the 5,000nm voyage from Cape Town across the Southern Ocean. The 4th leggers will fly back to the UK and their places will be taken by the three new skippers and a new group of 39 crew personnel with 13 being allocated plus their skipper to each of the 67ft yachts.
One such crew member, joining HMSTV Challenger, is Eddie Morrison, WO2 (Warrant Officer 2) based in Gibraltar and serving with the Military Stabilisation Support Group (MSSG) having only recently returned from Operation Herrick 10.
Eddie, who hails from Gillingham, Kent, is a highly experienced yachtsman with around 19,000nm logged including notching up a couple of Fastnet Races and numerous Baltic races. He has spent 23 years in the British Army and indicates that when he leaves the Army he may work with the Department for International Development or another organisation involved in disaster management in trouble spots around the world.
A number of Leg 5 crew members have either returned from, or are due for deployment to, Afghanistan
Challenger will also be the temporary home of Captain Murray Smith who serves with the Engineer Branch, HQ Allied Rapid Reaction Corps at Rhinedalen. Murray is 34 and has completed a tour on Operation Herrick (Afghanistan) earlier this year. He is an RYA recognised Coastal Skipper and has enjoyed many sailing expeditions in the Caribbean and nearer to home. However, his sailing ambition is to compete in the single-handed Transat (formerly the OSTAR).
Preparing herself for an adventure of a lifetime on the Royal Navy yacht HMSTV Adventure, is 35-year old CPO (Chief Petty Officer, RN) Lisa Banks. She is taking a break from the Path Labs at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, a a tri-service establishment at Selly Oak Hospital to partake in Exercise TRANSGLOBE. Lisa, from Coventry, has served in the Royal Navy for nine years and achieved a Batchelor of Science Honours degree in Biomedical Science at Portsmouth University. She is very excited about the prospect of sailing on Adventure, although she will be sad at leaving behind her 17-month twin boys and her 5-year old daughter. She will return to the UK in time for a family Christmas before her next tour of duty which is likely to be on Operation Herrick (Afghanistan) in the New Year.
Also sailing Leg 5 on Adventure is Lt Ian Perryman (below right) who is based at the Royal Naval Leadership Academy at HMS Collingwood, Fareham in Hampshire. He is qualified to Yachtmaster Instructor level and has sailed over 8,000 miles including crossing the Bay of Biscay and in the Caribbean. Ian is married and has two grown-up daughters and a son aged 15 months.
‘Bomber’ Lancaster wants to swim the Channel! Let’s hope he won’t be called upon to swim in the shark-infested waters of the Great Australian Bight or the notorious waters of the Bass Strait!
Getting mentally and physically prepared for his trip on board the RAF yacht, HMSTV Discoverer, is Welshman Richard Lee Lancaster aka ‘Bomber’, a Corporal in the Fire Service at Brize Norton. Bomber has no sailing experience whatsoever and lists his ambition as ‘to swim the Channel’. He is joined on board by, amongst others, Sgt Andy Finlay (pictured below left) who is based at RAF Cottesmore and has served in the RAF for 26 years and completed a tour of duty in Afghanistan in February 09. Although he has some 1500 sailing miles under his belt, Andy has no sailing qualifications but he is a Level 6 Football Referee.
Also on the RAF boat Disco, as this sturdy steel-hulled yacht has been christened for short, is Sqn Ldr (RAF VR(T) Air Training Corps) Kevin Tucker (pictured below centre) from Haywards Heath in East Sussex.
Apart from anything else, Kevin is the fulltime web content manager for the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority), at Gatwick Airport. He has some sailing experience but mostly on dinghies or cruising off the South Coast of England.
We wish all the crews fair winds and safe sailing to Sydney and look forward to catching up with their news via their blogs.
Exercise TRANSGLOBE is a major Tri-Service Adventurous Sail Training Exercise being undertaken by UK service personnel, Regular and Reserve. It is the largest-ever adventurous training exercise to be mounted for the services. The guys and girls who have signed up for TRANSGLOBE are experiencing the extremes of ocean crossings from the heat of the Tropics to the extreme cold of the Southern Ocean. TRANSGLOBE is certainly testing both physical and mental stamina whilst building confidence in their own capabilities and those of their fellow crew members.
Tracking, position reports and periodic blogs as well as more details about Exercise TRANSGLOBE can all be sourced at the official website at: http://www.exercisetransglobe.com