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Skipper: Dave Meeker
(Awaiting Profile)

 

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1st Mate: Major (Maj) Richard Whithouse

Maj Richard Whithouse, aged 55, lives in Kingston Upon Thames.

I joined the Queen's Regiment in 1972 hoping to see a bit of the World. Since then I have served in Germany, UK, Gibraltar, Cyprus, South Africa, America and the Gulf, including exercises in Canada, Australia, France and Poland. From 1975 to 1978, I trained recruits at the Queen's Division Depot at Bassingbourne and, from 1992 to 1994, officer cadets at Sandhurst. In 2000, following 2 years working in New York with the UN, I left the Regular Army and now serve in the TA.

My first introduction to sailing was on the Norfolk Broads with my parents, aged 9. Once in the Army, in addition to free-fall parachuting and hang gliding, I took advantage of the outstanding sailing opportunities offered by the Services in Gibraltar and the Solent. I now sail mostly in my own small yacht and benefit from excellent Service moorings and facilities in Portsmouth. In 2005, I qualified as an offshore yachtmaster and cruising instructor, and am now working towards my ocean yachtmaster's ticket.

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2nd Mate: Captain (Capt) Oliver King

Capt Ollie King aged 35 and comes from Shropshire. Having joined the TA in 1990 as an Infantry man in 5 LI, I realised I enjoyed the Army. When I went to University (then a Polly) I joined the OTC. During my time at the OTC I developed an enjoyment of Adventurous Training, but in those days just climbing and mountaineering. I joined The First Battalion the Light Infantry in 1996 and was posted to Cyprus. In Cyprus my love of water sports began.

I became a wind surf instructor and spent all my spare time wind surfing. In 1998 my OC brought me back to sail in the Seaview regatta on the Isle of Wight, my first experience of a boat/ yacht. From then on I was hooked. I then gained my Day Skipper at the JSASTC in Gosport, and used this qualification to charter yachts in the Mediterranean in my summer leave time. I then passed my Coastal Skipper practical and my Yacht Master Ocean Theory.

Since then I have been lucky enough to be selected to be a watch leader on two delivery sailing Expeds. The first was a Challenge 67 from Portugal to Gosport and the second was a Nic 55 from Madeira to Barcelona. Both trips were very enjoyable and I learned a lot each time. I served in the Falklands in 2001 and took part in both wind surfing and sailing down there, but I am so looking forward to a Southern Ocean passage.

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Watch Leader: AB Andrew Stone (Royal Navy Reserve)

Andy Stone aged 43 is from Nottingham and works in the local University as a technician. I joined the Royal Navy Reserve in November of 2002, in the Above Water Protection branch. One of the lads in the unit took me out in his dinghy on a lake a couple of years later and I was hooked. Since then I’ve sailed weekends around the Solent or spent a week going over to France on the Joint Services boats from Gosport.

I bought an old 20 foot Corribee last year and have nearly finished getting it seaworthy. I’m going to moor it on the North East coast when I get back. I’m limited to sailing a dinghy around a reservoir in landlocked Derbyshire at the moment so I’m looking forward to this South Atlantic leg. My other hobbies include cannoning, skiing and cycling.

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Watch Leader: Corporal Jim Smith (1 Royal Anglian)

Cpl Jim Smith comes from Kings Lynn Norfolk. Jim joined the Army in January 1990, completing his basic military training at the Army Training Regiment Bassingbourne (ATRB) in Cambridgeshire. On completion of training he joined his local Infantry Regiment 1 Royal Anglian the Vikings, as a member of the Drums Platoon. Jim has served in most of the worlds hot spots over the last 18 years, but Afghanistan was the tour where we could do the job for real.

He is currently employed at HQ ARTD as a member of the BAAE & LTTA project office, before returning to 1 Royal Anglian based at Pirbright in July 2008. Jims first sailing experience was as a boy on the Wash in Norfolk and has just recently got back into sailing through working in the project office, and is looking forward to his first voyage on a challenge 67 yacht.

ARTD INSTRUCTOR: Sergeant (Sgt) Grahame Searle (Army Air Corps)

Novice Crew:

ARTD INSTRUCTOR: Sergeant (Sgt) Grahame Searle (Army Air Corps)

Sgt Grahame Searle comes from Buckingham and attended Magdalen College School Brackley. I was a member of the Air Training Corps for ten years 1988-1998 which lead me on to joining the Army and in particular the Army Air Corps to have a career in aviation, phase one training was at Army Training Regiment Winchester (ATR) and phase two training was at the home of the Army Air Corps, School of Army Aviation (SAAvn) Middle Wallop in Hampshire.

As being a member of the instructional staff for junior soldiers looking after training, development and welfare can be very interesting and rewarding job. After the expedition I will return to SAAvn and continue my roll as an instructor. I enjoy swimming and football for my main sports and pursue other hobbies such as family, aviation, history; I help out in the evenings at a night shelter in Winchester and also I am also a chairperson of Broughton Pre-School.

ARTD Trainee (HQ SAAVN): Air/Trooper (A/Tpr) Sam Harper (Army Air Corps)

ARTD Trainee (HQ SAAVN): Air/Trooper (A/Tpr) Sam Harper (Army Air Corps)

A/Tpr Sam Harper aged 19, comes from Bradford in West Yorkshire. I joined the army because it was recommended to me by a friend who was already serving. After a certain amount of investigation, I decided to take the plunge. I completed my Phase 1 training at the Army Training Regiment Winchester (ATRW), before completing Phase 2 at SAAvn (School of Army Aviation) as an Army Air Corps Ground Crewman.

Before joining the Army I had completed an NVQ level 2 in painting and decorating, which will give me something to fall back on if I decide to leave.. I enjoy playing ice hockey and competing in extreme sports. On completion of the expedition I will be joining 4 Regt in Wattisham.

ARTD Trainee (HQ SAAVN): Air/Trooper (A/Tpr) Robert Allen (Army Air Corps)

ARTD Trainee (HQ SAAVN): Air/Trooper (A/Tpr) Robert Allen (Army Air Corps)

A/Tpr Robert Allen aged18, comes from Cookstown in Northern Ireland. I have wanted to join the Army my whole life, seeing British soldiers patrolling the streets of Ulster was an everyday occurrence while I was growing up.

I joined the Army a year ago and completed phase 1 training at the Army Training Regiment Winchester (ATRW) before moving on to SAAvn to complete my phase 2 (Special to Arm) training. I enjoy football immensely and hope to play for my Regiment and maybe the Army team if I am good enough.

ARTD Trainee (SCHINF): Private (Pte) Andrew Olby (Infantry)

ARTD Trainee (SCHINF): Private (Pte) Andrew Olby (Infantry)

Pte Andrew Olby age18, and comes from Holt a small town in North Norfolk, attending Sheringham high School. I was an active member of the Army Cadets for a number of years, this is where my aspirations of becoming a soldier were confirmed.

Both Phase 1 and 2 of training were completed jointly at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick (ITCC), this is where I learnt my trade as a combat Infantry soldier. Once the expedition is complete, I shall be joining my county regiment, the 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment (Vikings) based at Pirbright in Surrey, fulfilling my life long ambition of becoming an Infantry soldier. My interests are Mounting biking and Hill walking.

ARTD Trainee (SCHINF): Private (Pte) Michael Kent (Infantry)

ARTD Trainee (SCHINF): Private (Pte) Michael Kent (Infantry)

Pte Michael Kent aged 21 and comes from Leeds. I attended Lawnswood High school, before completing my education at Leeds College of Building. It has always been a lifelong ambition to join the Army, everyday their seems to be new challenges to overcome and conquer, I see the Army as a means of self discovery, to find out who you really are.

I completed both Phase 1 and 2 training at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick (ITCC), During the course I was taught the skills and drills required to become a first rate soldier, allowing me to take my place as a member of an Infantry Platoon/section. On completion of the expedition I will be joining my Regiment 2 Yorks in Blackpool. My main sporting interests are football and Rugby League as you would expect from a northern boy.

ARTD Trainee (ARMCEN): Trooper (Tpr) Andrew Wood (Royal Armoured Corps)

ARTD Trainee (ARMCEN): Trooper (Tpr) Andrew Wood (Royal Armoured Corps)

My home town is Weymouth in South Dorset; I went to Wey Valley School and then completed my A-Levels at Weymouth College. I joined the Army to undertake new challenges and to see the world. Upon joining the Army I attended phase 1 at the Army Training Regiment (ATR) Winchester, before moving on to 2 phase at the Royal Armoured Corps (RAC) training centre Bovington, to complete my training as a Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance Tracked (CVR(T)) Crewman.

On completion of the expedition I shall be joining my Regiment the Queens Royal Lancers (QRL) based at Catterick in NorthYorkshire. I play Rugby for Weymouth Rugby Club and enjoy skiing, surfing, swimming and other outdoor pursuits.

ARTD Trainee (RSA): Gunner (Gnr) Sophie Etheridge (Royal Artillery)

ARTD Trainee (RSA): Gunner (Gnr) Sophie Etheridge (Royal Artillery)

My name is Gnr Sophie Etheridge I come from a small village called Barlestone near Leicester. I attended Barlestone Primary School, Market Bosworth High School and finally Bosworth Community College where I completed my GCSE’s. Before joining the Army at 17 I was a member of the Hinchley Army Cadet Force for 4.5 years, attaining the rank of Sgt.

For as long as I can remember, its has always been my ambition to enlist into the Army, which is quite strange, as Knowone in my family has any affiliation to any of the Arm Services. I completed my basic training (phase 1) at the Army Training Regiment in Pirbright (ATRP) before moving onto phase 2 training at the Royal School of Artillery (RSA) in Larkhill, Wiltshire. Once my training is complete I hope to join 12 Regiment in Thorney Island as an Air Defender. I’m interested in all kinds of sports but my main interest is skiing.

ARTD Trainee (RSA): Gunner (Gnr) James Palk (Royal Artillery)

ARTD Trainee (RSA): Gunner (Gnr) James Palk (Royal Artillery)

Gnr James Palk comes from Chandlers Ford. I completed my GCSEs at Thornden School before attending Barton Peveril to compete my A Levels. I joined the Army to experience things that most people will never be able to experience; I wanted to be part of a team who I could rely on and them to rely on me.

I initially joined the Infantry at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick (ITCC) before transferring to the Royal Artillery and therefore began my phase 2 training at the Royal School of Artillery at Larkhill, Salisbury. I am pursuing a career on the 105mm light gun and hopefully gain a commission as an officer. After the expedition I will be posted to Colchester and hopefully be eligible to join the end of 7 paras tour of Afghanistan. I am a keen sailor and enjoy kickboxing and shooting.

ARTD Trainee (RSME): Sapper (Spr) Ryan Ostler (Royal Engineers)

ARTD Trainee (RSME): Sapper (Spr) Ryan Ostler (Royal Engineers)

Spr Ryan Ostler aged 17, comes from a little village close to Ipswich in Suffolk. He attended Clayton High School, and later attended its Sixth form where he studied physical education, geography and business studies, completing his AS levels before enlisting into the British Army within the Royal Engineers.

He wanted to join the Army as he liked how it gave him the opportunity to choose your own job and participate in those activities that you most enjoyed all over the world. He completed his Phase 1 training at the Army Training Regiment Lichfield (ATRL) in Staffordshire as part of Waters Troop. On completion of basic training he moved to 3 RSME at Minley to complete the first part of Phase 2 training, a course in Combat Engineering which all sappers must complete before moving on to trade training at 1 RSME at Chatham. Ryan’s chosen trade within the Engineers is that of a Draughtsman. He selected this particular trade as its well paid within the Army, but is also a recognised civilian qualification should he choose to leave the Army later on in his career.

On completion of the expedition Ryan will move to 1 RSME, where he will complete a 6 month trade course before being posted to 32 Engineer Regiment where he will put into practice all that he has been taught. Ryan enjoys football, golf and cycling. He hopes to represent the Army at Football in the future.


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