Home' Navy News : September 15th 2011 Contents c d d .
S a , o S . I o Ca a Co o A a a.
September 15, 2011
...in 'sub' style!
WORKING TOGETHER: Team members LCDR Graeme Wong, PO Esa
Douglas, LCDR Adrian Pay, WO Kevin Goodwin, LEUT Sandra Fraser,
CMDR Christine Clarke, LSET Daniel O'Rourke, LSMT Jason Rigby and
WO Brian Poole. Absent: PONPC Anthony Tobias.
A COLLISION between a submarine
and a cow might seem far-fetched to
It wouldn't be, though, if your
'sub' had four wheels and was hurtling
through the Australian outback.
The Navy Bash team's 'HR
Submarine' felt the full impact of a
stray cow into its passenger side dur-
ing the Variety Bash for charity across
5500km from Sydney to Broome in
The run-in with the cow, which
severely damaged the car and no doubt
left the cow feeling worse for wear,
was just one of the many challenges
faced by the 10-person team, led by
LCDR Graeme Wong.
Mechanical skills were often put
to the test as the team pushed its four
modified cars -- also including a make-
shift 'heritage helicopter', a 'modern
helicopter' and a 'frigate' -- to the
Only one car failed to make the full
journey, with tail shaft damage follow-
ing soon after head gasket problems
combining to force 'HR Frigate' to
retire for the first time in nine Bash
The other three cars arrived -- in far
from showroom condition -- in Broome
11 days after setting out on August 6.
Getting 'HR Submarine' back on
the road after hitting the cow required
some of the finest ingenuity ever seen
and resulted in the Navy team becom-
ing one of the best-known entrants,
according to LEUT Sandra Fraser.
"Firstly, we gave it a quick fix with
some panel beating and a radiator bor-
rowed from another Basher," she said.
"Then, 16km down the road,
the radiator fan flexed and chopped
through the new radiator and the car
had to, once again, be towed.
"Out of the three radiators the
property owners had, none fitted.
"Our boys went into action and
fixed the problem with some innova-
tion and the car was rebirthed as a
'Mad Max'-type car and entered the
Bash hall of infamy without a bonnet
and with the radiator mounted verti-
The Navy Bash Team raised more
than $34,000 -- including the required
$8500 per car to enter the Bash -- for
Variety: the Children's Charity.
The Commanding Officer of
HMAS Kuttabul and Bash team mem-
ber, CMDR Christine Clarke, said the
event was great for team building and
"Every member contributed their
all to strengthening relationships
across and beyond the Navy with our
high-spirited participation in all events
and sense of camaraderie, and helping
other 'Bashers' when they needed it,"
"Apart from one occasion when
one of the cars became stuck in a river
and had to be rescued by the Air Force
workshop, I believe the Navy Bash
team did Navy very proud.
"Putting fun and friendship aside,
the primary reason we put all this
effort in was for all those children who
need a little support."
PO Esa Douglas said the journey
"As a community engagement exer-
cise, it was amazing to talk to locals
and meet a family in Kununurra whose
son was going to join the Navy after
seeing our 'submarine'," she said.
Variety uses the $1.8 million raised
by Bashers to help sick, disabled and
disadvantaged children across the
LEUT Fraser said much-needed
support went to special-needs equip-
ment for schools in places like St
George, Longreach, Tennant Creek
"These were just some of our stops
along the way as we drove the miles
to see the smiles on the kids' faces,"
"Each kid along the way was given
a Navy showbag with pens, rulers, bro-
chures, tattoos, wrist bands, and bal-
FISH OUT OF WATER:
The Navy Bash team's
'HR Submarine' takes
on the harsh terrain
and rivers (inset) during
the Variety Bash in the
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