A Challenging Ten Tors for 2013
Sea King’s from CHF and a Royal Navy Lynx Helicopter were busy during this year’s annual Ten Tors Challenge on Dartmoor.
Poor weather conditions battered the 2,400 competitors who set off from Okehampton Camp in thick fog and unseasonably low temperatures; they were tackling routes covering 35, 45 or 55 miles. Each team had to visit ten check-points manned by military volunteers positioned on the high peaks across Dartmoor. Individual route selection was up to each team to decide, so map reading skills and a determination to succeed was critical.
Known as `Exercise Wyvern Tor’, the annual challenge provides the armed forces with a huge training opportunity, practicing life-saving and rescue operations as well as logistic problems. Soldiers and sailors from all over the South West support the effort: manning check points, an operations room and safety support. The Yeovilton Helicopters provided air cover for evacuations from the moor and resupply to the most remote Tors.
Two CHF Sea Kings were provided by 848 NAS, who are no strangers to wild landscapes and extreme weather conditions, as they regularly train in Northern Norway and other remote areas of the world. The Maritime Force Lynx was from 815 NAS who routinely operate off small flight decks of Frigates and Destroyers.
Brig Piers Hankinson, director of Ten Tors and Comd of 43 (Wessex) Brigade said, “It’s been really tough conditions this year. When they set off on Saturday morning there was a lot of rain, a lot of drizzle and very poor visibility. A lot of teams got disorientated early-on rivers have been quite full. We’ve had to have a lot of safety guidance on the river lines.” He added: “It’s not a race, it’s a challenge and the conditions out there have been very challenging.”