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ship gives
18 leagues
back to Guz
Northumberland set up its own
version of TV’s Britain’s got
Talent as one of its fundraising
efforts during its recent NATO
under the sea
In the midst of a busy
BUT as in Jules Verne’s
deployment, many of the ship’s
original, this is length not
company found time to take part depth when submariner
in events as diverse as flightdeck
CPOET(MESM) Steven ‘Tom’
horse-racing, bingo and the
Petty of HMS Tireless took
eponymous Northumberland has
on the challenge of row-
Their efforts raised hundreds
ing 100km (or 18 leagues)
of pounds for charity, including
to fundraise for the Royal
£270 for the Dartmoor Search
National Institute for Blind
and Rescue Team in Plymouth.
People (RNIB).
Commanding officer Cdr
Tom’s original ambitions were
Martin Simpson said: “I am very as simple as a T-shirt, seeking the
proud of the ship’s company in Concept Rower Million Metres
HMS Northumberland and the shirt.
remarkable team effort that was However, once word spread of
witnessed throughout the recent his quest, the 100km Row Charity
deployment to raise funds for Challenge was set up, and the
many charities.” RNIB chosen as a charity close to
Tom’s heart. ● Cpl James Poole – he’s faster than a Tellytubby...
Lt Paul Carlton explained:
“Tom’s eldest son Morgan was
born with cataracts in both eyes.
At 13 weeks Morgan underwent
surgery to remove the cataracts See London
and have the lenses replaced in
both eyes.”
The RNIB offered support
throughout this time and have
THERE’S a slight hint of family
continued to help him throughout
by ski
focus on board minehunter HMS
his education.
Chiddingfold in the Northern
Lt Carlton added: “In prepara-
Arabian Gulf.
ONE year after swearing not to pavement, a suggestion the green
tion for the row, Tom’s training
PO(MW) Antony ‘Pinta’
take on the London Marathon beret robustly declined particularly
was confined to the silent hours,
Beer is leading the way with
again with a stupid challenge, with the kit he was hauling. So he
due to the popularity of the fitness
charity fundraising on board with
Royal Marine commando Cpl moved into the slow lane with his
projects such as beard-growing,
James Poole found himself own personal police escort...
“Supplied with copious
canteen-collections, and pen-
standing at the starting line “I was now in sight of Big Ben
balancing (don’t ask – Ed).
amounts of water and powered by
wearing ski boots and skis, and the Houses of Parliament,
Although only a small ship,
Skittles and Haribo sweets, Tom
pulling an 8ft pulk bedecked where I knew it was only a short
those on board have already
hunkered down in the confined
with a 6ft Corps flag. distance up to the Queen’s gaff
raised almost £1,000 for the
and unpleasant surroundings of
So no stupid ideas there then... (that would be Buckingham
ship’s two chosen charities –
the Tireless switchboard room
It took him ten minutes to ski Palace, then – Ed)and back down
Macmillans (which helped Pinta’s
and set to the task.
the 100m to the start-line, which down the Mall to the finish line.
aunt and grandmother with their
“The room had an average tem-
boded well for his prospects in “It was now a personal challenge
battles with cancer) and Blake’s
perature of 24˚C during the row,
the race. between me and Tinky Winky,
midwife unit at Gosport’s War
and the elbow room available to
“After approximately two miles, Lala, Dipsy and Po into the home
Memorial Hospital (where Pinta’s
Tom was limited to an extremely
I realised that this was not such straight – and I was 40m up with
son was born). (Does that make
cramped one metre.”
a great idea as the roadclearing my pulk swinging from left to
him Halfa Pinta? – Ed)
Tom knew the record time was
machines were starting to catch right.
held by a Royal Marine Vincent
me up and they had started to “I just managed to hold them
Chocolate at
Brunning at 6 hours, 49 minutes,
pull down the mile marker signs,” off to the finish line, and finished
● CPOET(MESM) ‘Tom’ Petty rows 100km on board HMS Tireless
54 seconds, and had set himself
said James. in 7 hours 21 minutes. By no
the marginally more conservative
“However the regular support- However he remained in the high- “The crowds that were means last, but a tad far behind
target of 7 hours.
ing visits and encouragement from est of spirits, rightly proud of his prominent at the start had now the winning time of 2 hours, 5
The deep’s challenge of tack-
wrapped and either gone to the minutes.”
A LADIES’ charity night at the
the ship’s company gave him the achievement.”
ling 100km (or 54,680 fathoms
finish, or gone to the pub.” The green beret raised a total
WOs, Senior Rates and Sgts’ in submariner-speak) was further
added strength and drive to con- Tom’s efforts have so far gath-
But the commando battled on of £1,326 for the Royal Marines
Mess at HMS Excellent raised hampered by the submarine’s
tinue,” said Lt Carlton. ered over £1,400 of sponsorship
with his oversize footwear until the Benevolent Fund, and is keen to
£1,695 for the Rowans Hospice depth changes which meant on
“He finished very strongly with from the boat alone, with the total
ten-mile mark, where the bindings thank everyone who sponsored
in Purbrook. occasion the sailor was rowing
an astonishing time of 6 hours, due to be bolstered by friends
snapped on his skis, catapulting him.
The night included a catwalk uphill or downhill.
53 minutes exactly – only three and family when the submarine
them into a nearby BBC van. In particular – as he knows that
of Service personnel in various Tom’s training regime had only
minutes off the record. returned to Devonport.
“After much cursing I then names in print can be a ‘crateable
outfits – apparently the show was taken him as far as 50km, and he
“On completion, Tom’s biggest And as for that T-shirt – well,
picked the useless planks up offence’ – he names L/Cpl Jon
stolen by the Tri-Service Hot admitted that the stretch from ailments were his aching ham- at last count, Tom had rowed
and had to carry them over my Cermak Mne Arron Moon, Mne
Chocolate Dance Troop at the 50 to 64km was the toughest for strings, thighs and biceps, as well 860,000 metres. Only a few more
shoulder for the remaining 16 Tom ‘Benny’ Hill, Mne David
end of the night. him. as considerably blistered hands. sessions to go then...
miles – winner. ‘Monglebeast’ (? – Ed) Welsh,
And another
“However I was gradually Mne Rob Everson, Mne Lee
pulling my way back up the field, ‘i/c Partymaster’ Whitfield, Mne
overtaking the 101-year-old and Dale Blackman and Mne ‘Kiwi’
some women on stilts,” added Kristianson.
James cheerfully. As a final note, James adds;
The race officials by now “Next year I will run it properly!”
IT’S not just submariner CPO
were trying to reopen the roads We’ll believe that when we see
‘Tom’ Petty who has his sight
and move Cpl Poole on to the it...
set on the One Million Metre row
Fifteen students from all
THE luxury of a Sunday three Services at the Defence
morning lie-in was a big lure Academy Shrivenham intend
for fundraising trainee sailors at to start June with a blast –
HMS Raleigh. committing to complete this
The penultimate week of their endurance event over 72 hours,
nine-week training course offers with each participant rowing
them one chance to break from for 30 minutes in every seven
their usual 5.45am wake up call. hours, notching up a total of
They can lie in bed for as long 70km each over the three-day
as they like – provided they make period.
a donation to the Guide Dogs for In between their rowing
the Blind Association. stints, the students will be
Each class of the upcoming attending lectures and writing
Fisgard Division gets this dissertations, before casting
tempting offer, which is pens aside to take up the
enthusiastically received. artificial oar once more.
However by the time the The focus for their efforts will
trainees get to enjoy their lie-in, be the Help for Heroes charity
their body-clocks are so well and Macmillan Cancer Support.
adjusted that they’re invariably It is expected that at least
out of bed by 9am... 1,500 spectators will witness
The Guide Dogs for the Blind the row, that will take place
Association has been Fisgard in Shrivenham’s large reception
Division’s adopted charity for hall.
over 50 years. As Navy News went to press,
Pam Gratton and Pat Reed arduous training was gaining
from the charity, with guide pace amid the pressures of a
dog Zorbee and trainee puppy demanding course programme.
Brooke, recently visited Raleigh The team have two web pages
in Cornwall to collect the latest set up for those wishing to give
donation of £1,000. donations: www.justgiving.
com/jscsc_million_meter_row ● Trainee sailor Sarah Denning
with 12-week-old trainee guide and
dog Brooke charity_row_macmillan
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