For one member of the ship’s company of HMAS Melbourne, a recent visit to Brunei Darussalam was more than just an overseas port visit.
Deputy Marine Engineering Officer, Lieutenant Joshua Fearnley, an avid mountain biker, found an opportunity to register in round three of the 2017 Asian Enduro Series in Brunei.
The series was introduced in 2016 to uncover talented cyclists in Asia, prepare them for international competition and to boost tourism within the region.
Involving up to 100 competitors from 17 nations race over multiple down-hill course against the clock.
The 2017 series comprises four separate race events. Round one was held in Nepal in April, round two in Chiang Mai in August and Brunei hosting round three, while round four will take place in Taiwan in December.
Lieutenant Fearnley registered in the ‘Elite Division’ which consisted of four timed race stages, along hilly clay trails in dense jungle in the sweltering heat and humidity, with a patch of afternoon rain to add to the challenge.
If that wasn’t enough to keep the heart racing, a bit of national pride was also put on the line with most of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces senior leadership also competing in the series. This was same senior leadership hosted at an official reception on board Melbourne on the previous night.
Despite missing the three days of practice rides, Lieutenant Fearnley managed to finish his four stages with a very respectable 7th in the first two legs and 8th in both of the other two stages.