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Navy's air station staff take to water

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: June 25, 2013

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Westcountry aircrew swapped wings for sails as Royal Naval Air Stations battled it out for the Inter Command Sailing Championships.

The Naval Air Command Sailing Regatta saw personnel from RNAS Culdrose, near Helston in West Cornwall, face their colleagues from RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset.

Sailors welcomed a break in the weather for perfect sailing conditions but faced some tough racing conditions in Falmouth Bay.

A fleet of 16 lasers and bosun dinghies competed over two days in a memorable event, which included the occasional capsize.

Captain Mark Burgess, physical training officer at RNAS Culdrose, said: "All the people who took part agreed it was the perfect way to break away from the office routine and enjoy a fun few days on the water – with a competitive edge for good measure.

"Admiral Nelson would have been so proud of his sailors battling to a conclusion on the choppy seas of Falmouth estuary on a wet cold Cornish summer afternoon."

The overall championship winners were RNAS Culdrose, with Leading Seaman (HM) Natalie Roach and Leading Hand Alex Pickles winning the top prize in the gold fleet race. The nautical rivalry will be renewed next year with the championships set to return to Cornish waters.

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