The 2023 Sir Steuart Pringle Trophy

10th October 2023
BY The CCF Team

Nine pupils competed in the Sir Steuart Pringle trophy at the Commando Training Centre in Lympstone. The competition required the squad to take part in a number of different stands that cover the key skills that build a Royal Marine.

The first day held the majority of the competition, and the Winchester squad got off to an excellent start, scoring 98 points out of 100 on the first stand. This set the team up well for a long morning on Woodbury Common, involving navigation tasks, a stretcher race, camouflage and concealment, and a full section attack.

Using radios, the squad was able to communicate efficiently throughout, allowing for quick and successful operations in all the stands, and put the squad in a strong position going into the afternoon.

The afternoon began with a leadership task, in which the goal was to build a freestanding antenna. Here, the entire team showed a fantastic ability to work together, allowing the relative strengths of each member to speed up the process. At the digital shooting range, George, Oli, Xingchen and Jeffrey showed excellent marksmanship, despite some having never used the digital range, putting Winchester in third place for that stand.

Over on the assault course, Winchester raced against Canford for the second year in a row, and finished with a strong time, ready to end the day with the observation stand and Urban Close Quarters Battle. After an intense day the squad was more than happy to get some rest before the Endurance Course on the Sunday.

Early on Sunday morning, the squad was up and ready to run the Endurance Course, which forms part of the Commando Tests. It involves a gruelling two and a half mile run through shoulder-deep water, thick mud, cramped tunnels, and the infamous “Sheep Dip”. The squad took on the challenge headfirst, and really pushed themselves, almost catching up with the school in front of them, who had left five minutes before. The team then returned to Lympstone for the final stand, drill, where their tightly synchronised marching gave them an excellent score.

The squad showed that teamwork and consistency really mattered, and despite not winning any individual stands, they finished 4th overall, coming one point behind third place and beating many large CCF schools, including Canford, Wellington, Harrow, and Charterhouse.

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