Royal Navy sailors from Portsmouth drum up £3,200 in epic endurance test

SAILORS on one of the Royal Navy’s veteran minehunters ‘dug deep’ as they tackled a mammoth feat of endurance for charity.

Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 7:00 am

All 42 members of HMS Chiddingfold’s ship’s company committed to covering 37 kilometres – almost 23 miles – either running, rowing, cycling or swimming in a week.

The effort was all in aid of Fareham-based charity The Rainbow Centre, which helps children with cerebral palsy and adults with MS, Parkinson’s and those recovering from strokes.

Sailors from the Portsmouth-based vessel – which is currently in the Gulf – could choose to break up their efforts, cover it in a single go or, as most did, smash their targets entirely.

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The crew of HMS Chiddingfold pose in front of their ship following a charity fundraiser for The Rainbow Centre in Fareham. Photo: Royal Navy

Chiddingfold’s oldest crew member, Petty Officer Jimmy Green cycled 37km in one go – three times over.

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Some sailors chose to complete 37km in every discipline – that’s 1,480 lengths of a pool, before running the best part of a marathon, then rowing five-and-a-half Oxford-Cambridge boat races and doing a good hour of cycling to round things off.

‘From the start, every member of the ship’s company stepped up to the challenge, updating their distances every day on the progress board – the “small ship” close team spirit defined the week,’ said marine engineer officer Warrant Officer 1st Class Lee ‘Pat’ Paterson.

Chiddingfold sailors in the outdoor pool at the US Base in Bahrain. Photo: Royal Navy

‘For people who maintain a high level of fitness, 37km in a week is an easy target; but as the entire ship’s company were involved the idea was to allow each person to set their own goals.’

By the time the challenge ended, the crew had covered 345.25km in the water, ran 653.5km, cycled 2,005km – the distance between Portsmouth and the southern tip of Sicily – and rowed 185km.

All in all, the crew collectively clocked up 3,188.75km in seven days, raising £3,200 for The Rainbow Centre.

‘In difficult times, it is important to remember those who are doing extraordinary work to improve the lives of others, which is why the whole of the crew dug extra deep,’ added WO1 Paterson.

‘When many wanted to get out of the pool on the 215th length or stop running after 30 kilometres, the amazing work this great charity undertakes kept them going and kept the generous sponsorship funds rising, far surpassing the goal of £1,000, reaching a total of £3,200 for this fantastic charity.’

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