No plain sailing for Army round the world yacht CHALLENGER 02 July 2010
- Army yacht Challenger returns home from Exercise TRANSGLOBE. The sailing was shared by members of the Army and wounded troops, many of whom had never sailed before. (117.02kb)
- Army yacht Challenger returns home from Exercise TRANSGLOBE, which saw it compete with other tri-service yachts to circumnavigate the globe in 13 months. (137.37kb)
- Army yacht Challenger returns home from Exercise TRANSGLOBE. The sailing was shared by members of the Army including wounded troops, many of whom had never sailed before. (132.60kb)
- Army yacht Challenger returns home from Exercise TRANSGLOBE, which saw it compete with other tri-service yachts to circumnavigate the globe in 13 months. (129.45kb)
- Colonel Peter Merriman, Army Sailing Association Rear Commodore (Offshore), welcoming the crew of Challenger home (118.91kb)
- Fusilier Andy Barlow, 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, who crewed Challenger on leg 13 of Exercise TRANSGLOBE. (89.02kb)
- Helen Clayton welcomes home Major Stephen Galvin who crewed Challenger on leg 8 and leg 13 of Exercise TRANSGLOBE. (136.54kb)
- Captain Gary Jackson, 28 Engineer Regiment, who sailed with Challenger during leg 12 and 13 with girlfriend GiGi Coudwell. (131.38kb)
- Fusilier Stephen O'Grady, 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, who sailed Challenger on the infamous leg 8 of Ex TRANSGLOBE. (121.29kb)
- Army yacht Challenger returns home from Exercise TRANSGLOBE. The journey was shared by members of the Army and wounded troops, many of whom had never sailed before. (142.20kb)
The Army's Challenger yacht has returned safely to shore after 12 months at sea circumnavigating the globe on the tri-Service Exercise TRANSGLOBE.
The epic 34,000 mile journey, broken into 13 legs crewed by different Army regiments, took them through some of the most inhospitable waters on the planet - knocking Challenger down four times in the Southern Ocean west of Cape Horn when it was caught in a 90mh storm.
The yacht was being sailed by Infantry soldiers from 2RRF at the time, most of whom had never taken on such a sailing challenge before let alone experienced such a storm.
Such was the strength of the storm it took two full search operations from Chile to find the structurally damaged yacht, which was diverted to the Falklands for repairs before rejoining the challenge for the next leg.
The exercise was then again interrupted by the volcanic eruption in Iceland that prevented the crew planning to sail CHALLENGER on the tenth leg during Antigua Race Week from leaving the UK, before passing the yacht over to one of the most successful legs of the exercise: Antigua to Charleston.
Wounded soldiers' opportunity to sail
This section was allocated to the Defence Medical Services who, supported by Battleback and Help for HEROES, took four servicemen injured on operations on each of the three yachts taking part.
None of the yachts are adapted for injured soldiers, something that Fusilier Andy Barlow of 2RRF who crewed on the last leg of the challenge from Boston to Gosport said caused no problems for wounded soldiers.
“I took part to prove that disabled soldiers can still sail and we can take part in adventure training,” said Andy who lost a leg while serving in Afghanistan on op HERRICK in 2006.
“It’s hard work – people don’t realise how much hard work sailing is, but it’s something I can do. I’ve only been sailing since I was injured. I can’t play football or rugby anymore so I took up sailing and skiing.
"None of the boats are adapted for me, I adapt myself to the boat and hopefully that’s what some of the other guys coming through from “Out On A Limb” will do and hopefully we should get some good sailors.”
All three yachts docked in Gosport just after mid-day today.
- The exercise took 355 days from start to finish
- The yachts sailed for 277 days
- The longest leg lasted 34 days between Auckland and Punta Del Este via Cape Horn
- The yachts actually sailed in excess of 35,000 nautical miles
- Over 500 service men and women from across all three Services took part
- Each yacht weighs 45 tonnes
- The yachts galleys cooked 11,437 meals