Armed Forces Rally Team

raf.mod.uk

Armed Forces Rally Team

vice Report

prior to their going back out again.

As an Intelligence Analyst I found

this rather taxing so I let the REMEs

lead the way while I helped with

re-fuelling and cleaning. This work

ethic was fine until a few Land

Rovers came in with minor damage

and there weren’t enough REMEs

to cope. I was given a spanner

and told to remove the rear shock

absorber. I set to work hoping it

would look something like a mini’s

shock absorber (which I am slightly

more familiar with); luckily it

did, albeit somewhat larger,

and I am pleased to report

that I was able to remove

and help replace it in quite a

respectable time.

The next day the rally

moved further inland which

meant driving cross-country

to the service area, which

was easier said than done

as Icelandic roads are no

more than well-travelled

paths across the lava fl ow.

During a particularly

bumpy section I managed

to rupture one of the

benzene fuel cans (for the

team Subaru), which

gave the Land Rover

a particularly toxic

and unpleasant smell.

The service area was

overlooked by Hekla

Mountain, over which

the stages ran, and which

is surrounded by ancient

lava. The scenery was

truly breathtaking and I

found it a pleasure to be

working in such beautiful

conditions.

The RAF crews, which

included Flt Lt Steve

Partridge, Sgt Jim Eaton

and MACr Flo Shouls, were

doing well and had suffered no major problems. On the last day of

the rally we drove very early in the morning, in convoy, to a place

near a lake. It was a freezing cold so I spent the majority of it

curled up in the back of the Land Rover, only coming out to service

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the vehicles. In the afternoon we

were back in Reykjavik for the fi nal

service followed by an evening

of prize-giving and fi reworks. The

crews picked up some prizes and

we all received a nice glass to take

with us as a memento.

On the fi nal day the team took

a well-earned rest. We visited the

Blue Lagoon, a geothermal bathing

spa situated in the middle of a lava

fl ow on the South West peninsula

of the island. The water is actually

the outflow from a geothermic

PowerStation. This sounds bad but

the water is actually very clean and

incredibly hot (like kettle water)! Around

the pool are boxes which contain a

natural exfoliating silica mud which is

applied to the skin (it stings a bit) and left

there for a few minutes. After washing it

off your face it feels as though it’s been

scrubbed with scotch bright but in a

painless kind of way if that’s possible!

This mud also covers the bottom of

the pool but a brief examination of the

stuff revealed more human hair than

I care to write about; needless to say

we had great fun getting people to rub

that into their faces and then actually

looking at what it was.

Although the pace of life during the rally was exhausting, the

team had a superb time and I gained experience unparallelled by

anything so far. I hope to continue to help as a member of the

team and even return to Iceland next year.

Dudley Walker

5

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