High flyer swaps sky for the deep blue sea

RAF of­fi­cer cho­sen for global yacht­ing chal­lenge

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Steve Bax steve.bax@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A ROYAL Air Force of­fi­cer from Ruis­lip is swap­ping the skies for the sea as he braves the South At­lantic on a yacht.

Fly­ing of­fi­cer Jack Leonard, 27, has been picked to take part in the Ex­er­cise Trans­globe ex­pe­di­tion, which gives air­men, sol­diers and sailors an op­por­tu­nity to sail the world on two Royal Navy and RAF yachts. The ex­pe­di­tion, which

in­tended to aid

is ser­vice­men and women’s per­sonal de­volp­ment, started from Portsmouth in July and will sail 35,000 nau­ti­cal miles around the world stop­ping at Mon­te­v­ideo, Syd­ney, New York and other des­ti­na­tions.

A to­tal of 392 women and men, both re­serves and reg­u­lars, will take part dur­ing the 13 legs of the jour­ney un­til it con­cludes in Au­gust 2016.

For many of the crew this will be their first ex­pe­ri­ence of life afloat. They will have to deal with the de­mand­ing phys­i­cal chal­lenges sail­ing.

Jack, who joined the RAF in 2013, is sta­tioned at RAF Col­lege Cran­well and flies the Tucano air­craft.

He said: “One of the rea­sons I joined the mil­i­tary was be­cause of the fan­tas­tic ad­ven­tur­ous train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able.

“I’m thor­oughly look­ing for­ward to the chal­lenges and ex­pe­ri­ences that I’ll face dur­ing this trip.”

Jack is crew­ing the third leg of the global tour and

of men­tal ocean along with 28 other ser­vice­men and women which starts in Rio de Janeiro and fin­ishes in Cape Town.

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