Armed forces join up to put on a show for all

SPRINT The field gun competition at the HMS Collingwood Open Day.    Picture: Steve Reid (112037-884)
SPRINT The field gun competition at the HMS Collingwood Open Day. Picture: Steve Reid (112037-884)
Picture: Isle of Wight Radio/PA Wire

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MEMBERS of the Portsmouth Naval Base field gun team thrilled crowds as they broke the record for the fastest timed run, at HMS Collingwood’s annual open day.

The navy base in Fareham opened its doors to the public on Saturday to around 7,000 people.

EFFORT The field gun competition.     Picture: Steve Reid (112037-679)

EFFORT The field gun competition. Picture: Steve Reid (112037-679)

And the Field Gun Competition stole the show as members of Portsmouth Naval Base achieved the fastest ever timed run with a time of one minute and 17 seconds.

But HMS Heron in Somerset triumphed in the coveted Brickwood Final, closely followed by Portsmouth Naval Base and the HMS Sultan A crew in Gosport.

Lieutenant Commander Tim Bailey, said: ‘It all went really well. The weather was great.

‘For us the competition shows teamwork and it’s the sort of sport that if one person doesn’t perform, the whole team doesn’t perform. Many of the public had probably got people who were involved.

‘It shows the navy off and teams from the army and the RAF put on a spectacle that is visually stimulating.’

Some of the other events on offer included a display by the Royal Navy Raiders Parachute Team and stunts using cars and motorbikes, by Moto Stunts International.

There were also a number of charity stalls, refreshments and a funfair for the children.

Kathi and Andy Martin took their three-year-old son Callum along to watch the field gun competition.

Andy, 42, said: ‘It’s a great event and it raises money for charity. You could clearly see by all the people around that they like the thrill of it. I think it’s brilliant.’

Kathi, 37, added: ‘It’s a navy community but nobody ever really gets to see what’s going on. It’s a good family day out.’

Liam Bone, 12, from Wells Close in Whiteley, was fascinated by a submariner from the Defence Diving School.

‘It’s really good fun, it’s just something different to do,’ he said.

Dad Simon, 43, added: ‘This is a cracking day out.’