Home' Navy News : October 29th 2009 Contents NUTRITION
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October 29, 2009
By POPT Travis Lovell
ADVENTURE training was the
name of the game as mountains
were conquered and team bonding
experienced by a group of sailors
from HMA Ships Penguin and
The group participated in a one-
week adventure training activity at
Perisher in the Snowy Mountains
from September 7-11.
Twenty four personnel of all
ranks from LCDR to SMN -- PT
staff from both establishments --
joined forces to mount the assault
on the mountain.
From day one it was evident
that the event would be worthwhile.
Some members did not know some
sailors from their own establish-
ment, let alone others from across
The exercise allowed fears to be
conquered, new skills to be learnt
and relationships to be forged.
A great time was had by all who
participated, who made a special
vote of thanks to the Penguin and
Waterhen command "for making
fantastic events such as this pos-
Bases combine to
HARD SLOG: PTs from HMA Ships Penguin and Waterhen recently
joined forces to conquer the mountains while participating in a one-
week adventure training activity at Perisher.
By LCDR Steve Arney
DESPITE having some experience
in adventure racing, it was akin to a
magical mystery tour for the five Navy
teams that recently descended on the
mountainous bushland north of Sydney
to compete in the annual Kathmandu
Max 12-hour adventure race.
None of the competitors knew where
the September 19 event near Wisemans
Ferry would take them with the race for-
mat incorporating trail running, mountain
biking, kayaking, and a surprise disci-
pline or two such as tubing or caving
with course and checkpoint locations
revealed only with enough time to study
the map and plan course and race tactics.
LEUTs Jeff Rayner and Paul Davison
were the first Navy team over the line in
7hr and 13min, just over an hour behind
the leaders. They were relegated to third
of the Navy group thanks to time pen-
alties for missing several checkpoints.
LEUT Bill Veale and CPOATV Rai
Winkler were over next in 7:53 followed
by CPOCSM Chris Boardman and POPT
Mick Hutchesson in 8:33.
Then the "navigationally challenged"
LCDR Cliff Kyle and myself crossed in
10:53 after adding an extra 15km bike
leg to the course following a navigational
Finally, LCDR Andrew Dawes and
LEUT David Jarrett limped over the line
well after dark in 13:20 with a front bike
wheel resembling a boomerang.
The race began with a descent into
the valley on foot. At the base, the course
followed a steep canyon where competi-
tors could elect to swim or tough it out
through the thick foliage.
Few survived this section without lac-
erated chins or being 'coat-hangered'
by a vine, and one competitor was seen
digging his team mate out of waist deep
At the end of the canyon, the long and
ridiculously steep climb out of the val-
ley and up to the bike transition began.
The bikes were mounted with relief, the
competitors having completed 14km on
foot, and the 30km mountain bike leg to
the kayak transition began in terrain that
varied from slight uphill climbs to high
speed descents where the handle bars
were gripped for dear life and competi-
tors hoped they hadn't missed sight of a
rock or dip in the track.
The 15km kayak leg then gave com-
petitors a chance to enjoy the surrounds
at a more reasonable pace before fin-
ishing off the race with another 12km
mountain bike leg.
Adventure racing is drawing signifi-
cant interest in Australia with many races
scheduled around the country catering
for all ability levels. The Max 12 is in the
middle of the road when it comes to the
endurance events, with others lasting as
long as 10 days.
Shorter, more regular events are also
programmed that last 3-6 hours. All pro-
vide great mental and physical challeng-
es and are extremely satisfying to com-
plete and give participants opportunities
to visit some remote locations in some
The Navy Adventure Sport and Solo
Extreme Association is operating on a
trial basis with a mandate to measure
the viability of an ongoing Navy Sports
Council-endorsed association and a view
to establishing it officially in the next
If you are interested in joining such an
association, register your support via email
to POPT Michael Hutchesson (michael.
firstname.lastname@example.org). If you would
like general information about adventure rac-
ing and solo extreme events contact POPT
Michael Hutchesson, LCDR Cliff Kyle or me.
SPLASH!: LCDRs Cliff Kyle and Steve Arney run through a creek during
the adventure race north of Sydney.
RUGGED TERRAIN: The
bush was so rugged in some
parts that the officers were
forced off their bikes.
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