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Training and Adventure
Marines prepare for 3,000 mile rowing challenge
5 Nov 07

Two Royal Marines Commandos are set to take on perhaps their biggest challenge to date - rowing across the Atlantic Ocean in nothing more than a 24 foot (7m) rowing boat.
Royal Marines Lieutenant Orlando Rogers, right, and Captain Ben Gaffney [Picture: Matt Austin, Express and Echo]. Opens in a new window.

Royal Marines Lieutenant Orlando Rogers, right, and Captain Ben Gaffney
[Picture: Matt Austin, Express and Echo]

Lieutenant Orlando Rogers and Captain Ben Gaffney, who are both based at the Commando Training Centre in Exmouth, Devon, will set out from the Canary Islands port of La Gomera in their 24ft (7m) ocean rowing boat 'Go Commando' on 2 December 2007. They hope to complete the 3,000 mile (4,828) journey and make it to the finish line at English Harbour in Antigua, in record time.

The team will be totally self-sufficient throughout a journey considered to be one of the most demanding of its type and which will test them and their rivals to their physical and mental limits. They will face a number of challenges including 30ft (9m) waves, sharks circling the boat not to mention putting up with each other's company for anything up to 70 days. The team also hope to raise money for two charities - Clic Sargent (a charity for children with cancer) and the Royal Navy Benevolent Trust.

Lt Rogers and Capt Gaffney firmly believe they will be competitive. If weather conditions are favourable, they stand a good chance of breaking the record of 37 days:

"Learning to row is only one per cent of the Atlantic Rowing Challenge, the other 99 per cent is in the mind – which is where our Royal Marines Commando training comes in," Lt Rogers said.

Lt Orlando Rogers joined the Royal Marines as a Young Officer in 2003, and completed training as the youngest Royal Marines Officer in his intake at just 19 years old. He served in Northern Ireland in 2005 and has recently moved on to instruct recruits at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines in Exmouth, Devon.
The budding rowers get in some training in their boat 'Go Commando' [Picture: Royal Navy]. Opens in a new window.

The budding rowers get in some training in their boat 'Go Commando'
[Picture: Royal Navy]

Capt Ben Gaffney joined the Royal Marines in 1999. He is a trained sniper and military parachutist and has seen various Operations around the world. In 2003 he took a Commission as a Royal Marines Officer and passed out with the award for the most 'tactical acumen' throughout training. He went on to lead a Troop on Operations before joining the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines and become a Recruit Troop instructor. Like Lt Rogers, Capt Gaffney has never rowed before in his life:

"Orlando and I have been through physical exhaustion and sleep deprivation before, and if Commando training cannot prepare us mentally for this challenge, then I don't know what will," he said.

'Go Commando' was designed and built in Exmouth. The boat was bought from the Crew of 'All Relative' after its successful crossing in 2005/2006, when they won the Atlantic rowing race in the fours category. The boat has been modified to take only a pair, meaning it wil be considerably more roomy for the Royal Marines team than it was for All Relative.

The boat itself is a fibreglass composite hull with carbon fibre cabins which are used for rest, sleep and administration. They will also be used when the weather is too bad to row and the team has to 'baton down the hatches'.

"There are two rowing positions for when the weather is too good to have just the one of us rowing, and for sprint starts and finishes," said Lt Rogers. "We will also use both rowing positions to keep up morale by rowing together once a day. We will be fully self-sufficient for the voyage, with our food, equipment and stores being kept in the storage hatches, along with our 150 litres of ballast water."

Water is made using a de-salinator, which cleverly turns salt water into fresh water and can produce up to 20 litres of drinking water per hour. All of the boats electrics are powered by an array of solar panels, which charge up two main batteries in the boat. The boat is designed to fully self-right itself in the event of capsize, even if a cabin should become flooded.

Lt Rogers and Capt Gaffney are among 25 teams taking part in the 2007 rowing challenge. They have set themselves harsh penalties to help them maintain their pace and goals, which will include extra work or less sleep if they fail at certain tasks. Although they will be at sea over the festive period they still expect to have a hot Christmas Day lunch and decorations for their boat. They will keep in touch with family and friends with the help of technology such as a satellite phone.
 
Banner said:
News Article

Training and Adventure
Marines prepare for 3,000 mile rowing challenge
5 Nov 07

Two Royal Marines Commandos are set to take on perhaps their biggest challenge to date - rowing across the Atlantic Ocean in nothing more than a 24 foot (7m) rowing boat.
Royal Marines Lieutenant Orlando Rogers, right, and Captain Ben Gaffney [Picture: Matt Austin, Express and Echo]. Opens in a new window.

Royal Marines Lieutenant Orlando Rogers, right, and Captain Ben Gaffney
[Picture: Matt Austin, Express and Echo]

Lieutenant Orlando Rogers and Captain Ben Gaffney, who are both based at the Commando Training Centre in Exmouth, Devon, will set out from the Canary Islands port of La Gomera in their 24ft (7m) ocean rowing boat 'Go Commando' on 2 December 2007. They hope to complete the 3,000 mile (4,828) journey and make it to the finish line at English Harbour in Antigua, in record time.

The team will be totally self-sufficient throughout a journey considered to be one of the most demanding of its type and which will test them and their rivals to their physical and mental limits. They will face a number of challenges including 30ft (9m) waves, sharks circling the boat not to mention putting up with each other's company for anything up to 70 days. The team also hope to raise money for two charities - Clic Sargent (a charity for children with cancer) and the Royal Navy Benevolent Trust.

Lt Rogers and Capt Gaffney firmly believe they will be competitive. If weather conditions are favourable, they stand a good chance of breaking the record of 37 days:

"Learning to row is only one per cent of the Atlantic Rowing Challenge, the other 99 per cent is in the mind – which is where our Royal Marines Commando training comes in," Lt Rogers said.

Lt Orlando Rogers joined the Royal Marines as a Young Officer in 2003, and completed training as the youngest Royal Marines Officer in his intake at just 19 years old. He served in Northern Ireland in 2005 and has recently moved on to instruct recruits at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines in Exmouth, Devon.
The budding rowers get in some training in their boat 'Go Commando' [Picture: Royal Navy]. Opens in a new window.

The budding rowers get in some training in their boat 'Go Commando'
[Picture: Royal Navy]

Capt Ben Gaffney joined the Royal Marines in 1999. He is a trained sniper and military parachutist and has seen various Operations around the world. In 2003 he took a Commission as a Royal Marines Officer and passed out with the award for the most 'tactical acumen' throughout training. He went on to lead a Troop on Operations before joining the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines and become a Recruit Troop instructor. Like Lt Rogers, Capt Gaffney has never rowed before in his life:

"Orlando and I have been through physical exhaustion and sleep deprivation before, and if Commando training cannot prepare us mentally for this challenge, then I don't know what will," he said.

'Go Commando' was designed and built in Exmouth. The boat was bought from the Crew of 'All Relative' after its successful crossing in 2005/2006, when they won the Atlantic rowing race in the fours category. The boat has been modified to take only a pair, meaning it wil be considerably more roomy for the Royal Marines team than it was for All Relative.

The boat itself is a fibreglass composite hull with carbon fibre cabins which are used for rest, sleep and administration. They will also be used when the weather is too bad to row and the team has to 'baton down the hatches'.

"There are two rowing positions for when the weather is too good to have just the one of us rowing, and for sprint starts and finishes," said Lt Rogers. "We will also use both rowing positions to keep up morale by rowing together once a day. We will be fully self-sufficient for the voyage, with our food, equipment and stores being kept in the storage hatches, along with our 150 litres of ballast water."

Water is made using a de-salinator, which cleverly turns salt water into fresh water and can produce up to 20 litres of drinking water per hour. All of the boats electrics are powered by an array of solar panels, which charge up two main batteries in the boat. The boat is designed to fully self-right itself in the event of capsize, even if a cabin should become flooded.

Lt Rogers and Capt Gaffney are among 25 teams taking part in the 2007 rowing challenge. They have set themselves harsh penalties to help them maintain their pace and goals, which will include extra work or less sleep if they fail at certain tasks. Although they will be at sea over the festive period they still expect to have a hot Christmas Day lunch and decorations for their boat. They will keep in touch with family and friends with the help of technology such as a satellite phone.

It could stay in this topic as Lt Rogers was in "Commando" as the Troop commander for the recruits.
 
I was with Chris Terrill in spirit on his 30 miler.. sigh.. I remember Mal Hazell waiting near the finish with a pair of RN Commando flashes in his hand which I had to hand back. He was expecting his first 2 MA Cdos in 18 months but I had failed the Tarzan assault course. I finished in 7h 20 or 40 (I can't remember the time) and as soon as all those who had passed the lot had been given their lids, Steve Sharpe (the other LMA) collapsed, albeit with his green beret. A good guy. :whew: What a silly old fart I am
 
wet_blobby said:
welcome to RR Pinkmafiosi, fair play for having a go at getting your lid, are you going to try again?

Sad to say - you'll note I called myself a silly old fart. This was back in the mid-80s. I got my statutory three attempts. Well 4 actually. I got kicked off beat-up at Seaton Barracks. Went back a bit later and got through to Lympstone. Failed the first attempt during the test phase, did the 30 miler second time around, but lost heart 3rd time and went back really as an honour thing. Still, I got to work with Comacchio for a year in glorious Arbroath and Coulport and passed, fer crying out loud, my AWT with 29 Cdo at Andalsnes :rendeer: . Thank god tentsheets were gone next time I went out there.

I'm now a 51 y o 'wish I'd passed'.
 

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