Culdrose Brickwoods field gun crew
HMS Seahawk Field Gun Crew head-off to Portsmouth for the annual Brickwoods Trophy competition in good spirit, after posting a personal best at their final public run in front of personnel from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose.
Clocking a cracking time of 1 minute 24 seconds on their final run at the Navy’s Cornish air base they depart for this closely fought competition in a buoyant mood, confident they can compete amongst the best Navy crews. Long hours spent training together, exhausting sessions in the gym and repeating drills on the track having produced a close knit group, raring to get to grips with the opposition.
Petty Officer John “Jumper” Collins, First Trainer for HMS Seahawk, said: "We're looking pretty good, after today we head up to Collingwood with a personal best time under our belt. Once we get a look at the enemy the lads will start to get a stronger sense of their Seahawk identity, pride will shave seconds off our time. I can’t wait for the competition to start.”
The Brickwoods competition simulates the drill undertaken to bring a naval field gun into action during the march to Ladysmith during the Boer War over 100 years ago. Up to 16 Crews from across the Naval service in the UK and two from Naval bases in Naples and Gibraltar take part, with the Army and RAF also entering teams.
Knock out heats take place on the Friday before the main event on the Saturday where the 'Men of Seahawk’ hope to be lining up in the final once again. The Brickwoods trophy itself is a reproduction in silver of a 12 Pounder field gun and a gun crew of seven sailors.
The Gun weighs in at 850 pounds with a total weight of just close to a ton when you take into account the Limber and wheels. Each crew consist of 18 men and is run over a 100 yard track. The current Brickwoods record is held by Portsmouth at 1 minute 17 seconds.