A team of six cyclists from the Royal Navy submarine HMS Talent is planning to ride from Plymouth to London in a race against time and raise charity funds in memory of a colleague.
The Plymouth-based sailors Chief Petty Officers Craig Parker, Scott Yeardley, Matthew Bradley and Warrant Officer Jimmy Dyke and Able Seaman Aidan Madden and Leading Seaman Matty Mead are aiming to cover the 248 miles in less than 23 miles.
They are training and raising funds for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC). The charity supported the family of Lieutenant Joseph Wright, 26, who died in January from natural causes after collapsing while out jogging in Faslane Naval Base, Scotland.
Craig, event organiser, said: “I decided to arrange this event as I don’t believe that the RNRMC get the acknowledgement they deserve. I was inspired by the amount of support they provided to the family and friends of the late Lt Joe Wright RN, after his death and decided what better time of the year to do something to raise that awareness and remember Joe.’’
Craig manages radio and sonar engineers on HMS Talent and organises the weapon engineering departments training.
The ride will finish at the Submarine Memorial on the Embankment during Submarine Memorial Weekend in London where services will be held at the memorial and Westminster Abbey to honour all who serve and have served in submarines.
HMS Talent had spent a number of periods deployed conducting operations worldwide before her current extensive maintenance period in Devonport assisted by Babcock Marine receiving major capability upgrades to her combat system and external communications equipment. She will return to operations when completed.
Martin Gill, comanding officer, said: “The RNRMC exists to support sailors, marines and their families and makes a difference to thousands of people. It is great to be able to support the HMS Talent guys as they prepare for their cycle ride to London in order to raise money for the charity. I hope others will join in the support by donating to this very worthy cause.’’
Jimmy, an engineer, said: “I offered my support for this ride because it is for a good cause. The prospect of doing the challenge as part of a team with members of HMS Talent’s ships company is both daunting and appealing. I cycle on a regular basis and have done so for numerous years.’’
Aidan, born in Portsmouth, helps compile tactical pictures for command and helps detects threats that could hinder the submarines capabilities. He said: “This is a very good cause and deserves the credit for what it gives back to its members. Another reason is the fact that that after the ride I get to experience a brilliant parade.’’
Matty is the central fund treasurer and helps steer at sea. He is a keen cyclist: “I signed up for the challenge as I feel the RNRMC do a lot of good work for Naval service personnel and their families and saw this as a good opportunity to give something back.’’
Scott has been onboard Talent for four years and looks after the weapon system. He said: “I enjoy social cycling and saw this as a personal challenge as well as the chance to raise money and awareness for a good cause supporting serving and veteran members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marine. This is close to my heart as my two brothers are serving one in the Navy and one in the Marines.’’
Matthew Bradley advises the command in the detection and tracking of other submarines and warships. He said: “I am firstly a runner, not a cyclist! I volunteered for the cycling event to London as I am a fiercely proud submariner and can think of nothing better than to pay my respects and remembrance at the ceremonies in London. I also strongly believe in the continued help that the Royal Navy and Royal Marine charity provide to military families, children and veterans of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.’’
To support the riders please consider donating by the following: text ‘Navy talent’ to 70500 to give £5. or Donate online at virginmoneygiving.com/HMSTALENTbeatgooglecycle