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SMI seeks to defend its Reginald Fessenden Challenge win

SMI took to the Solent this week to defend its 2020 win of the Reginald Fessenden Challenge, a day of yacht races competed by teams from across the defence industry. While our team didn’t equal the triumph of last year, it did place a highly creditable fourth, just behind Raytheon UK, Expleo & Stirling Dynamics, and worthy winners, Servowatch systems.

The Reginald Fessenden Challenge is a wonderful team-building opportunity and raises money for Not Forgotten, a long-established services charity that provides entertainment, leisure and recreation for the serving wounded, injured or sick and for ex-servicemen and women with disabilities.

Money was also raised for the Submariner Memorial Appeal, which was set up to create a fitting tribute to submariners and their families. Its target is to fund the creation of an iconic monument at the National Memorial Arboretum. This will be a vital place for personal reflection, repair, and renewal, and somewhere for the submarine community to come together as a family in remembrance.

Under the guidance of professional skipper Pete Burwood, SMI’s Keith Wells, Jenny Shaw, Carl Evans, Amber Flower, Jo Burke and James Farquharson did their best to pull or let go of important-looking ropes, as well as scamper from one side of the boat to the other, at exactly the correct moment. Experience within the team ranged from ‘salty’ to complete novices but, fair to say, everybody learned some new tricks. In our last two races of the four races series, we placed second and third.

We’d like to congratulate Servowatch and will be writing to thank the organisers, who put on a brilliant event. We’ll be back next year and hopefully, we’ll find ourselves back up on the podium.