War heroes in race
The RAF offshore sailing team will compete in the Round the Island Race on 20 June, pitting the skills of rookie and veteran RAF servicemen against some of the leading talents in world sailing. At the same time the RAF Sailing Association J109 Yacht, “Red Arrow”, will fly a new, especially branded spinnaker, to mark the 90th Anniversary of the RAF’s charity, the RAF Benevolent Fund.
The crew of Red Arrow represents a cross section of today’s RAF. It includes training pilots who have yet to see active Service and crew members who have been deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. The most frequent flyer award for operational Service goes to Corporal Andy Rodwell, who flies to Afghanistan in August for what will be his fifth tour of duty.
The skipper, Squadron Leader Simon Ling, has regularly deployed to the Middle East, and is a major advocate of the value of RAF Sailing, and RAF sport in general, in helping to promote the core values of the RAF. The team are also keen supporters of their chosen charity, the RAF Benevolent Fund, which aims to ensure that every member of the RAF family has access to support whenever they need it.
Squadron Leader Ling said:
“The RAF Sailing Team is especially pleased to be supporting the RAF Benevolent Fund in its 90th anniversary year. As representatives of the RAF family, the Red Arrow crew are all big supporters of the RAFBF, knowing that any one of us may need their support someday. That’s why we decided to fly their roundel on our spinnaker as we take on some of the biggest talent in sailing at one of yacht racing’s greatest spectacles, the ‘Round the Island Race’.”