SPECTACULAR FINAL RUN FOR SEAHAWK GUNNERS
HMS Seahawk Field Gunners head off to HMS Collingwood, near Portsmouth ready to challenge for the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charities (RNRMC) Field Gun Trophy, on Saturday 04 June.
Posting a spectacular time of 1 minute 21 seconds during their final run at the Fleet Air Arm’s Cornish base they depart for this closely fought competition in a buoyant mood, confident they can compete with the best of the rest. Long hours spent training together, exhausting sessions in the gym and repetitive drills on the track have produced a close-knit crew that are raring to get to grips with the opposition.
Lieutenant Commander JP Moran, HMS Seahawk Field Gun Officer said: "We’ve put together a pretty good time on our final run, which I’m really pleased with. We’ve been lucky with the weather this year. We started back in January in the Gym and we’ve had a few days away training with the Royal Marines at Lympstone. They put us through some really tough team building and we got a lot out of that.”
The RNRMC competition simulates the drill undertaken to bring a naval field gun into action during the relief of Ladysmith during the Boer War. 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 RNRMC 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 including the limber and wheels. Each crew consist of 18 men and is run over a 100 yard track. The current Field Gun record is held by Portsmouth at 1 minute 17 seconds.
“We’ve concentrated building a strong team and we’ll see what the competition comes up with next week,” added Lt Cdr Moran. “Our biggest rivals will always be the other Fleet Air Arm crew, HMS Heron. We feel pretty confident; quietly confident…it could be our year.”