HMS Ledbury secures Royal Regatta

The men of HMS Ledbury, one of 8 Hunt class Mine Counter Measure (MCM) ships of the Royal Navy, had the honour to act as Guardship for this year’s Royal Regatta.

Usually a role bestowed on larger warships, this was a fine opportunity for her Ship’s Company to prove quite how effective a ‘minor war vessel’ can be in one of the highest profile official commitments the Royal Navy has.

Moored in the middle of the Dart, opposite the Town Quay, the ship was in the limelight for the entire visit and proved a fitting centre piece to the event.

The regatta, with the royal patronage of HRH The Duke of York, is the yearly highlight for the town and surrounding area and included yacht and dinghy racing, rowing racing, road races, barrel rolling and curiously ‘waiter and waitress racing’.

For the visitors ashore, a full range of entertainment was put on and in the air. The RAF contributed with displays by the Red Arrows, and the Typhoon fighter.

HMS Ledbury’s job was to not just support the event from the water but also to act as the Royal Navy in the Public Eye (RNIPE) ambassador and to that end enjoyed the company of 360 members of the public for tours and demonstrations, hosted a VIP reception for over 90 with a capability demonstration as well as getting stuck into the shore side competition.

HMS Ledbury is the 5th of 8 Hunt class minehunters to receive the new Caterpillar engines that replace the aging Deltic propulsion system. After a complex refit it was thrilling for all to be front and centre on the river.

The ship’s Captain, Lt Cdr Tom Trent RN said: ‘To return to the Dart in Command of this fine ship after a few years since leaving the college as a Sub Lieutenant is such a proud moment for me.

“My team worked hard throughout the visit and with their exemplary conduct and enthusiasm were to a man the perfect representatives of the Royal Navy.

“My thanks go to the Dart Regatta Committee led by Major Ed Botterill RA and in particular the Naval Regional Commander Wales and West of England, Cdre J Miller RN OBE for his support throughout the visit’.”

HMS Ledbury returned to sea on Sunday 28 Aug with no time to relax before the FOST team embarked for some more sea training prior to assuming a period of UK duty tasks.