UNDER the blazing heat of the Gulf, Portsmouth sailors have been putting themselves through the wringer to win an unusual crown.
The crews of Portsmouth-based HMS Atherstone and HMS Quorn have been competing with other ships in a newly-devised Plastic Man competition.
The name of the challenge comes from the glass reinforced plastic hulls their mine countermeasures vessels are made of.
HMS Quorn ended up the victor of the first ever event, which is the sailors’ own take on the popular Iron Man triathlon.
Able Seaman Tom Hilder, a mine clearance diver from HMS Quorn, organised the event.
He said: ‘The aim was for everyone to enjoy themselves in a physically challenging and competitive environment.
‘It was great to see all four ships taking part so enthusiastically and I hope the Plastic Man competition will be repeated in such style next year.
‘The events proved challenging to even the most physically fit but I think the aim was achieved, and, of course, the best team won.’
It starts with 50 pull-ups and 100 press-ups, followed by a 2km speed row.
After that, they sprinted, before doing 20kg kettlebell swings, and a 40kg military press.
A rope pull where teams of three had to haul a heavy vehicle along the jetty finished off the challenge – and many of the exhausted participants.
The competition took place when four of the navy’s mine countermeasures vessels – HMS Quorn, Atherstone, Shoreham, and Ramsey – were alongside in Bahrain. The idea is to keep the crews fit in the unforgiving heat of the Gulf, and to encourage some friendly competition to find which ship is the fittest.