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Clyde Naval Base personnel participate in Cairngorm challenge

12 October 2017
Royal Navy personnel from HM Naval Base Clyde recently headed to the Highlands to take part in Exercise Cairngorm Crusade.

Cairngorm Crusade is a four-day multi-activity adventure training package which happens four times a year, in June and September and has been running for the past ten years.

The event is organised and run by Physical Training staff from HM Naval Base Clyde and is based at Rothiemurchas Lodge, the excellent MOD facility in Aviemore at the foot of the Cairngorms.

The package, which is offered out to the whole of Northern Region, can accommodate 18 people, broken down into three groups of six.

This year attendees included personnel from 43 Commando, HMS Neptune, Submarine Flotilla, Catering Services, Flag Officer Sea Training, HMS Eaglet, HMS Victorious, HMS Prince of Wales, HMS Audacious, First Mine Counter Measures Squadron (MCM1), HMS Artful, HMS Bangor, HMS Shoreham and Manchester and Salford University Royal Naval Units (URNU).

Over the four days the naval personnel were treated to a selection of adventurous training activities including hill walking, mountain biking, kayaking, rock climbing and zip sliding at a local zip slide park in Aviemore.

This year’s event was organised by Clyde-based Sergeant Gorman, supported by four instructors, one storeman and two Royal Navy chefs. The chefs did a great job, providing top quality food for 25 people during each week of the Cairngorm Crusade.

The event is growing in strength each year and it is great to see the competitiveness and banter between all the services.

Sergeant Gorman, Adventurous Training Instructor at HM Naval Base Clyde

In addition to the Crusade, the highly competitive Rothiemurchus Challenge also took place on Wednesday 20 September.

The Tri-Service challenge is a four-man team adventure race open to regulars, reservists and URNU members. The contest consisted of a 11km hill walk navigating between a series of check points, a 15km mountain bike ride with check points and finished with a 800m canoe on the beautiful but cold Loch Morlich.

Thirteen teams took part in the challenge - First Mine Counter Measures Squadron (MCM1), 71 Engineering Regiment, HMS Iron Duke ‘A Team’, HMS Iron Duke ‘B Team’, Royal Marine Reserve Scotland, Maritime Battle Staff, 43 Commando Logs Company, 48 Field Squadron 39 Engineering Regiment ‘SQMS Dept’, 48 Field Squadron 39 Engineering Regiment ‘B Team’, MOD Caledonia and 43 Commando O-Squadron.

The winners, with a time of 3 hours, 6 minutes and 7 seconds were Faslane based 43 Commando O-Squadron, who were closely followed by Royal Marine Reserve Scotland finishing with a time of 3 hours, 19 minutes and 9 seconds.

The army took third place with 48 Field Squadron 39 Engineering Regiment ‘B Team’ completing the challenge in 3 hours 27 minutes and 51 seconds.

As well as competing in the event, Commander Nick Unwin, Commanding Officer of MCM1, also presented the prizes to the winning teams.

Corporal Joe Donnely, of the winning 43 Commando team said, “We are delighted to win this year’s Rothiemurchus Challenge and even though we knew the area fairly well, as we have conducted adventurous training at the lodge before, we found the event a lot harder than anticipated.”

“The 2017 Rothiemurchus Challenge was a massive success,” said organiser of the event, Sergeant Gorman Adventurous Training Instructor at HM Naval Base Clyde.

“This is the third year the event has run and my first year of organising the event myself. The event is growing in strength each year and it is great to see the competitiveness and banter between all the services.”

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