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815 NAS Lynx

Cyclists race Lynx for Sport Relief

Published: 11 Mar 2014

Twenty personnel from 815 Naval Air Squadron will race one of their Lynx helicopters in a four-hour endurance challenge. The sailors will peddle around RNAS Merryfield – satellite airfield of their home base at Yeovilton – to see who can cover more distance collectively for Sport Relief.

Sailors from 815 Naval Air Squadron face the ultimate test of man versus machine when they try to race one of their Lynx helicopters for Sport Relief.

Over four hours, 20 personnel from the squadron will peddle around Merryfield airfield near Ilminster – the satellite airfield for RNAS Yeovilton, home of the Lynx force – while a Lynx flies the same route to see which can cover the greatest distance over four hours.

As a descendant of the world’s fastest helicopter (just under 250mph in the mid-80s), on paper the Lynx should win hands down.

But it’s up against the cumulative distance the riders can manage in four hours.

Depending on wind, weather and other circumstances, the team at 815 NAS – who provide the Royal Navy’s front-line frigates and destroyers with Lynx flights to support their global operations – expect their Mk8 helicopter to cover 480 to 500 miles in four hours.

That means the cyclists – working in groups of ten – will realistically have to clock up at least 12½ miles apiece while peddling around.

And they won’t be the only ones on the ‘track’ at Merryfield, which is regularly used for training purposes by Sea King and Lynx helicopters from Yeovilton.

Also riding around will be pupils from Stanchester School, Stoke sub Hamden, as they compete in their own Sport Relief challenge to run, row and cycle the equivalent distance from Lands End to John O’Groats (603 miles as the crow flies, typically 874 miles on a bike).

Gloucester RFC captain Tom Savage will get the sailor-helicopter race going at mid-day on March 13.

Personnel from 815 have been roaming around Yeovilton collecting cash, but you can also donate online here


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