COWES WEEK – Wing Commander Simon Ling is leading a team of RAF sailors aboard the J/80 – RAFBF Spitfire – at this year’s Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. The team are currently in first place overall at the halfway stage of the regatta and are noticeable as they wander around Cowes in bright pink socks.
For Ling and his team, who are regular visitors to Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week as RAF Benevolent Fund ambassadors, the results this year are particularly poignant. Ling said, “As well as flying the RAF Benevolent Fund flag, we are also wearing pink socks in memory of Flight Lieutenant Hywel Poole (28), affectionately know as H, who was tragically killed flying an RAF Tornado six weeks ago.”
Ling continued, “H Poole (28) was a good friend and valued member of our sailing team. He was aboard when we won the J/80 Class at Cowes Week two years ago, and was due to race with us this week, so it only seemed right that we do something to remember him. In addition to a logo on our transom we are all wearing our pink socks. H loved pink clothing and at his military funeral the guard of honour all wore pink socks.”
As tough as it is, the Spitfire team are determined to continue to score more top results as the week goes on. They lead the fleet with four wins and confess that the fact that H was supposed to be aboard this week is their principal source of motivation. Ling continued, “We very much want to win for H. As well as leading our fleet, we are in fourth overall in the White Fleet. So with two races to go we will very much be pushing hard to win for H.”