Technical sailors race into 2015 with Ford Performance Racing

Published on LEUT Ben Willee (author), LCDR Don Hogarth (photographer)

Location(s): Melbourne, VIC

Royal Australian Navy technical sailors with the Ford Performance Racing (FPR) V8 Supercar in Melbourne.(Rear from left) Able Seaman Aviation Technician Aircraft (ABATA) Cameron Cummins and Leading Seaman Marine Technician (LSMT) Danny Green. (Front from left) LSMT Kate Greenwood, ABATA Sam Dever and Able Seaman MT Sarah Battenally. (photo: LCDR Don Hogarth)
Royal Australian Navy technical sailors with the Ford Performance Racing (FPR) V8 Supercar in Melbourne.(Rear from left) Able Seaman Aviation Technician Aircraft (ABATA) Cameron Cummins and Leading Seaman Marine Technician (LSMT) Danny Green. (Front from left) LSMT Kate Greenwood, ABATA Sam Dever and Able Seaman MT Sarah Battenally.

The Royal Australian Navy's partnership with Ford Performance Racing raced into its fourth year on January 19, with the latest rotation of Navy's technical sailors stepping into the high tech world of V8 Supercars.

The unique industry outplacement program places an Aviation Technical sailor and two Marine Technical sailors within the team for 12 months.

The scheme aims to recognise and develop the technical skills of high performing sailors in a cutting edge and high pressure environment.

Leading Seaman Marine Technician Kate Greenwood said she was thrilled to be spending 12 months with the crew as they strive to win the V8 Supercars Championship - Australia's premier motorsport category and one of Australia’s biggest sports.

“We’ve developed a new word in the last few days - 'nercited' - it's a combination of nervous and excited,” Leading Seaman Greenwood said.

“I can’t wait to get my hands dirty,” she said.

Able Seaman Marine Technician Sarah Battenally said she was honoured to be one of the first females selected for the outplacement position.

“I’m ecstatic that two women have been selected,” Able Seaman Battenally said.

“It’s my first shore posting in four and a half years and to have been selected for this position is amazing and humbling,” she said.

For the second year the program includes an Aviation Technician, Able Seaman Sam Dever, who will be working on composite materials for the Supercars.

“It’s a mixed bag of emotions - I’m nervous as anything and stoked, this is a dream posting,” Able Seaman Dever said.

“It's a great opportunity to learn a different skill set and put it into practice,” he said.

Marketing Director of Ford Performance Racing, Peter Trevaskis, said the sailors had become integral in the structure of the team.

“This is the fourth year of this program and we’ve had nothing but success,” Mr Trevaskis said.

“The Navy sailors are very well trained, have a great attitude and adapt well to every challenge we throw at them,” he said.

The three take over from the 2014 sailors: Petty Officer Marine Technican Nathaniel Martin, Leading Seaman Marine Technician Daniel Green and Able Seaman Aviation Technical - Aircraft Cameron Cummins, who will take their skills back to the Fleet.

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