A Sqn RWxY spent 3 days in Gibraltar in June 2012, with the aim of conducting adventurous training activities as well as competing in the Gibraltar Rock Run, a grueling 4 mile run from sea level to the top of the Rock of Gibraltar. Flying from Luton Airport, we arrived to find our accommodation at the Emile Hostel – a very genial and relaxed youth hostel from which we would base ourselves.
Summer temperatures in the Mediterranean region provided us with very testing conditions to complete the run, which all the attending members of the squadron managed to complete. SSgt Kershaw led the way up the winding roads through the town, and then onto the paths of the nature reserve at the top of the Rock, where a different challenge was faced! Several Barbary Apes stood guard as all the competitors ran the final furlong to the top of the Rock. With a beautiful view at the summita as a prize, we formed a squad and jogged back down to the town with a deserved sense of achievement.
A visit to Gibraltar would be wasted without appreciating its fascinating history as well as the enormity of the engineering that the Rock hides so well. The group was given a tour of the military tunnels used in WW2 by Peter Jackson MBE, an experienced guide and ex WO2 in the Royal Gibraltar Regt. We were given a full resume of the history of the Rock, military uses and tour of approx 2 miles of the 34 miles of tunnels in the Rock. The group visited the Trafalgar Cemetery where sailors killed at the Battle of Trafalgar were buried, which provided a deeper insight into the history of Gibraltar.
Apart from the Rock Run, the aim of the expedition was to participate in adventurous training activities hosted by the Gunwharf Adventurous Training Centre. The group was divided into 2, both going through the kayaking and waterskiing / wake boarding activities. SSgt Cox, a open water kayak instructor, took all participants through the basic skills and drills of kayaking, followed by a challenging open water paddle around the coast of Gibraltar. A Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) gave everyone the opportunity to water ski or wake board. Waterskiing is a fast, challenging and fun sport which boosts confidence in personal ability in the water. The majority of the group were novices and found getting out of the water very difficult, but most achieved this by the end of the trip.
The group returned to the TA Centre in Bovington having achieved the main aims of the trip. Everyone successfully completed the Rock Run in decent times and the Adventurous Training activities tested and challenged the group. In addition to this, we learnt about the rich history of the key part that Gibraltar has played in Britain’s past.