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Windy GaleCpl Darren Gale enlisted into The Army in 1989. He joined The Royal Corps of Signals and as a young soldier & he saw active service during The Gulf war. Returning from The Gulf, a chance encounter at a transit meal camp led to an invitation to spend his forth coming leave crewing a yacht for Antigua Race week. The fact that he had never sailed was neither an obstacle to him nor the yachts skipper, a certain Captain Bristow!
The nickname Windy inevitably followed and after a week in The Caribbean, Windy was hooked on sailing. Over the next few years he amassed over 5000 miles of sea time without a formal qualification. In 1992 he was promoted to L/Cpl and posted to The British Kiel Yacht Club in the German Baltic as the permanent staff bosun of The Royal Signals yacht, "Quicksilver". It was time to get some qualifications and he quickly and easily became an RYA Coastal skipper and Baltic Off shore skipper. Windy spent the next 3 years teaching young soldiers sailing.
Returning to The Green Army, he was promoted to Corporal and posted to his old unit, The 1st Armoured Division Headquarters and Signals Regiment, as a Corporal managing a section that networked telephones in operational headquarters deployed in the field. Despite the commitment of busy operational tours in Bosnia and the Falkland Islands, he continued sailing at every opportunity. He also represented his Corps in every level of sailing from racing dinghies to off shore yachts. As part of his career management he was posted back to the UK to continue his military role.
However, in September 1999 he returned to full time sailing and was posted to The Royal Signals Yacht Club based at Gosport in Hampshire, his home town. He is once again introducing young servicemen and women to the challenge of the sea and teaching sailing. Windy is now fully qualified as a Yachtmaster offshore. Through The Army, Windy has not only learnt how to sail but has progressed to being an instructor himself and helping others to push their own envelopes of ambition and development. Although he has raced extensively and made many ocean passages, he is relishing the prospect of The Southern Ocean and the opportunity to take part in an Antarctic expedition and high latitude sailing.
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