Countess of Wessex watching winning team from RAF Wittering

HRH The Countess of Wessex with the winning RAF Wittering team. EMN-140630-160425001
HRH The Countess of Wessex with the winning RAF Wittering team. EMN-140630-160425001
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Teams from RAF Wittering have won the hotly- contested Countess of Wessex Cup.

The inter-services competition is fought out annually between teams from HMS Daring, 5 Battalion the Rifles (5 Rifles) and RAF Wittering.

As honorary Air Commodore of RAF Wittering, Royal Colonel-in-Chief of 5 Rifles and Ship’s Sponsor of HMS Daring, Her Royal Highness watched the teams face the Cliff and Chasm obstacle course, which includes a ten-foot high wall and massive climbing net, at HMS Collingwood, in Portsmouth.

The eight-man teams had to negotiate the gruelling course carrying a ten-foot telegraph pole, a barrel filled with concrete and a horse cart.

The RAF Wittering teams clinched the trophy after coming in more than a minute ahead of their nearest opponents.

Lance Corporal Clive Stead, 27, a gunner from 3 Squadron, who lives at the base near Stamford, led one of the two RAF Wittering teams.

He said: “The most difficult part for me was carrying the 85lb barrel over a 100 metre stretch, and getting the team across the obstacles within the specific rules.

“We were really pleased to win as we also broke the Royal Navy’s record.”

Station Commander Group Captain Damian Alexander said: “For once, I was happy just to be a spectator.

“The Cliff and Chasm course requires extraordinary fitness and stamina just to compete it, let alone compete between the Services to achieve the fastest possible time.

“The Services depend on one another on operations, so inter-service competitions such as this are great for building a closer bond during peacetime, which is beneficial in times of conflict.”