Thursday March 18 2010 Author: PRPETA Location: none selected

Discoverer and Adventure set off from Montevideo on Leg 9 to Antigua

The Army boat participating in the year-long Exercise TRANSGLOBE, HMSTV Challenger, has arrived safely in the Falkland Islands at the end of Leg 8 of the 13-leg tri-services expedition. Alongside in Mare Harbour, her crew can reflect on an exceptionally eventful passage across the Southern Ocean from Auckland that started in January and ended up with them now berthed in a different venue to their two sisterships.

The mast problem that caused Challenger’s return to Wellington for repairs, extended the time they have spent on board by nearly two weeks and placed them well behind the other yachts. The weather faced by the crew of Challenger was far more severe than that encountered by their fellow crews on board HMSTV Adventure (RN) and HMSTV Discoverer (RAF) both of whom finished Leg 8 on schedule in Punta del Este, Uruguay last Thursday.

All crews are safe but the crew of Challenger have suffered some minor injuries from the relentless battering of several days with winds in excess of 50 knots. Challenger suffered a number of ‘knock downs’ where the boat heels over to an alarming angle during the last few days around Cape Horn. However, each time the yacht responded as the Challenge 67s were designed to do, and righted itself quickly. The skipper Becky Walford and her crew have shown enormous fortitude and resilience in getting Challenger safely to Mare Harbour and family, friends and supporters should take great pride in the outstanding effort and achievement of sailing over 6,000 miles and rounding the fearsome Cape Horn completed by this magnificent crew. Becky has praised the team work and resilience of her crew from the Royal regiment of Fusilliers. They have faced exceptional seas and hardship with fortitude, boundless stamina and good humour.

Reporting restrictions lifted

The ‘technical difficulties’ quoted on the official TRANSGLOBE website for the past few weeks has in fact been covering reporting restrictions placed on the Project Team back in Gosport. As Project Leader Sqn Ldr Neil Cottrell explains, “We were advised to restrict reporting of the Exercise whilst the vessels were close to Argentinean waters. Now that two yachts are in Uruguay and Challenger is in the Falklands, we are lifting that restriction to let all family, friends and supporters of the crews know that they are safe and well. We apologise for having to take down the position mapping and blogs for the last few weeks but will now be able to post the blogs in the order that they were sent from the boats. Thank you for being patient with us during the period of restricted news release.”

As soon as the immediate repairs are complete, Windy Gale, the Leg 9 skipper of Challenger and his new influx of Army crew, will make passage to Antigua and try to get there for a planned maintenance stop at the start of May. As a result of the delay, there may well be a knock-on effect to the timings for the Army crew change over in Antigua. Meanwhile, for Disco and Adventure, their Leg 9 has just started as they have this morning cleared customs in Montevideo and have begun the next leg to Antigua – 4,150 nm and around five weeks away. The crews of all three yachts are eligible to join the exclusive membership of the International Association of Cape Horners (IACH) for those who have completed a sailing passage of the Cape Horn route.



The aim of TRANSGLOBE is to provide members of all three British Armed Forces with the opportunity to develop their personal qualities and team skills in a challenging environment that will test their physical and mental stamina, their courage and help them develop self confidence and powers of leadership. Every other leg is being used as an adventurous training exercise whilst the emphasis on the alternate legs will be to encourage a spirit of Corinthian competition between the Services.

The Exercise re-affirms to members of the Armed Forces and the wider public that the Armed Forces are committed to the personal development of every sailor, soldier and airman, regardless of rank or gender, to reach their full potential. It also serves as a demonstration of the superb Adventurous Training opportunities and facilities available to all service personnel throughout their careers.

Offshore sailing is arguably the most demanding environment in which personnel can test their mental and physical toughness by getting the best out of their boat to arrive safely at their destination. Exercise TRANSGLOBE has the honour of the Royal patronage of HRH The Duke of York, and the full support of the Service Chiefs.

Of special interest is Stage 11 taking place in May 2010 is between Antigua and Charleston. Each yacht will include crew who are recovering from wounds received in recent military operations and some medical support staff, all from Hedley Court and the Help for Heroes initiative. Individuals may have lost limbs in combat but they are determined to prove themselves as effective members of their respective service crews in all respects. On arrival at Charleston they will be conducting joint land-based Adventurous Training with members of the US Forces Wounded Warrior programme.

During each stage crew blogs are periodically uploaded to the official website but the crews are very restricted in the bandwidth and air time they can use, limited to two data bursts per week. It also means that crews cannot send photographs via the Iridium system, but they are captured and posted on the website after they reach their next stopover. -- Peta Stuart-Hunt Press Officer Exercise TRANSGLOBE +44 (0) 1590 679 621 +44 (0) 7711 477 707 Skype: PRPETA


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