Sultan and Collingwood sailors run with the guns

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Naval field gun runners pounded the concrete of their shore bases to compete for trophies ahead of a major competition.

Teams from across the country will compete on Saturday at HMS Collingwood’s open day in Fareham.

HMS Collingwood B crew during the challenge''''Picture: Sarah Standing (151069-2922)

HMS Collingwood B crew during the challenge''''Picture: Sarah Standing (151069-2922)

But in a prelude to the main competition, crews from Sultan and Collingwood held their own internal field gun runs yesterday.

HMS Sultan’s two crews competed for the Burgess Trophy and Collingwood’s for the Pounder Cup.

Phase 2 trainee Engineering Technician (Weapon Engineer) Owen Goodridge, 30, of Lee-on-the-Solent, was part of the winning A team at HMS Collingwood.

He said: ‘This is the first year I’ve competed in field gun and I’ve loved every minute of it.

This is the first year I’ve competed in field gun and I’ve loved every minute of it

Engineering Technician (Weapon Engineer) Owen Goodridge

‘My dad, Mark, also once competed and it is a privilege to be running in the same position he once did.’

Elsewhere, HMS Sultan’s field gun crews successfully completed their own competition, the Burgess Trophy challenge, after a malfunction saw their first attempt cut short.

A broken slat on the limber box had prevented the full runs and timings of the A and B crews being completed last week.

However on this occasion the 100-year old gun survived as the 18-man crews put all their energy into pulling, dismantling, reassembling and firing it in the shortest time possible.

One of the field gun teams at HMS Sultan during a run Picture: L(Phot) Dave Jenkins

One of the field gun teams at HMS Sultan during a run Picture: L(Phot) Dave Jenkins

During the challenge for the Burgess Trophy, the A Crew took the initiative to beat off a very competent performance from the highly competitive B Crew.

Lieutenant Gavin Lumsden, No 1 trainer for HMS Sultan said: ‘It was a real shame to see the slat break last time around, but the guns do take a real battering over time so it’s always a possibility.

‘Completing the Burgess Trophy run and getting past this challenge has made us even more determined that we can perform well in the main competition.’

HMS Sultan A and B have been training three times a day, pushing their bodies harder than ever as they carry on their preparations to represent the establishment against 20 crews from all three armed forces, from across the UK and Gibraltar in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) Field Gun competition at HMS Collingwood on Saturday.

The team photograph from HMS Sultan  Picture: L(Phot) Dave Jenkins

The team photograph from HMS Sultan Picture: L(Phot) Dave Jenkins

Lieutenant Commander Joe Wood, the First Lieutenant of HMS Sultan who presented the A Crew with the Burgess Trophy, said: ‘Field gun is a tough competition, but the crews have performed very well today running really well in tight units. Both should be very proud of what they have achieved so far and have every chance of performing well in the main field gun competition at HMS Collingwood.’

Visit royalnavy.mod.uk/Collingwood-Openday for more information about the weekend’s event.