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Lt Will Scown, Lt Jon Ford and PO Tex Marshall
Mongolian Rally Royal Navy Team

Royal Navy Trio Set For Mad Mongolian Rally Adventure

Published: 26 Jun 2012

An intrepid team of Royal Navy Airman are preparing their equipment and bodies for an adventure of a lifetime. The three sailors based out of the Royal Navy Air Stations at Culdrose and Yeovilton are coming to terms with the enormity of the “Mongolia Rally Challenge 2013.”

In August, the Royal Navy team, comprising of Petty Officer Tex Marshall, Lieutenant Will Scown and Lieutenant Jon Ford, will be driving a 1 litre ten year old Nissan Micra across Europe, over the high plateau of Central Asia and finally into Mongolia, a distance in excess of 10,000 miles. The record is 2 weeks although the holders took a fairly direct route across Russia without much thought about taking in some of the more interesting surroundings.

As a team, they are raising money for the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity. In addition some monies will go to personal charities yet to be decided. They hope to raise in excess of £10,000 pounds (the hope being a pound per mile) and have already raised nearly £2000 with 13 months still to go before they pull up on the starting grid.

Starting at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose in Helston they will drive to Goodwood race circuit for the start, after that they will be proceeding via ferry from Portsmouth to Santander. Once in Spain they head through the Pyrenees to Lourdes, then Grenoble and the Alps, continuing through to Switzerland and Austria and them on to the Prague checkpoint. Following checking in, they will make their way through Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia and into Romania to drive the Transfagarasan highway, regarded as the greatest road in the world. They will then proceed through Moldova, enter the Ukraine and head for Kiev to pay a visit to Chernobyl before Russia, through Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, back into Kazakhstan, back into Russia before the final 1000 mile stretch through Mongolia to the finish line.

Tex Marshall sums up the dangers ahead: “Once leaving Europe we face a further 5000 miles of some of the most treacherous roads in the world and some of the most erratic fellow drivers! There have been fatalities on the rally and numerous injuries; there is also the prospect of encountering banditry and the less rule abiding of Police Forces. This is also completely unsupported, if we face a breakdown or other issue, it’s just us. No back up.”

But the worst time will undoubtedly be enduring 4 weeks living in and out of a tiny Nissan Micra, being they are all six footers. There will be no short cuts in that respect no hotels or spas. The plan is to camp by the roadside or sleep in the car all the way.


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