Initial Sea Time Charity Challenge

  • Author: Nichola Aldridge
  • Date: Thursday 18th April 2019
Initial Sea Time Charity Challenge

Officer Cadets (OC) from BRNC Dartmouth completed a 24-hour 'charity duathlon' onboard HMS Diamond to raise money for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

The OCs were on board HMS Diamond for their initial sea time (IST) element of their initial officer training course.  IST is the last stage of the 29-week training before commissioning as Naval Officers.  

The challenge started on a static bike and a rowing machine in the ship’s hangar at 1300as the Type 45 destroyer left Devonport Naval Base. 

Assisted by members of the Ship’s Company and their Divisional Officer, the 23 cadets then kept both activities running simultaneously through day and night until 1300 the next day.  

Each person signed up for a 15-minute slot (or several, in some cases) and rowed or cycled as far as they could in the time given.  There were notable personal bests from OC Daniel Soltys, who cycled 7.4km in 15 minutes, and OC Kenny Saxon who rowed 4km.  While carrying out their challenge, the cadets also made the most of the time by revising for their upcoming exams.

At the end of the 24-hour period, the Ship’s Company of HMS Diamond came to cheer the last OCs across the line. In total, the teams managed to “travel” a distance 458 nautical miles, which would have been enough to navigate the ship from Portsmouth to Plymouth and back again.

Officer Cadet Vicky Cox, who helped organised the fundraiser, said: “I’m really proud of the effort that everyone has put in to support the event, from giving up their time in the middle of the night to baking snacks to help sustain the efforts of the people exercising. We’ve been especially lucky to have such great support from the Ship’s Company, who still found time in their busy schedules to come and support us and donate.”

Donations from the Ship’s Company, friends and family currently totals around £230, but the fundraising is still ongoing. The cadets’ next stage of gathering donations was to host a ‘clear lower decks’ coffee and cake standeasy to thank the ship for their hospitality during their time onboard.

HMS Diamond is currently conducting a trials period off the South Coast of England, following a maintenance period in Portsmouth. During their six weeks on board the OCs have spent time with each department, from weapons engineering to logistics, while also witnessing whole ship gunnery and fire-fighting exercises.  

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity is the principal charity of the Royal Navy. It exists to support sailors, marines and their families, for life.

Beneficiaries lie at the heart of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity's purpose. Since 2007 the charity has funded projects and facilities that boost morale for those who serve today. The charity has also distributed millions of pounds annually to military charities which care for the children, families and veterans of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

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