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AUSTRALIAN BOMB DATA CENTRE
2011 Annual Conference
2-4 November 2011
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July 7, 2011
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To make the adjustment to hotter
climes he is considering taking some
long-service leave closer to the race so
he can spend a bit of time in northern
Queensland before he leaves for the US.
The weather will not be exactly the
same and there's likely to be fewer Elvis
impersonators around but it will put him
some way on the path to Viva Las Vegas.
Northern Queensland is not exact-
ly foreign territory for CPL Hughes.
He used to be based at RAAF Base
Townsville and last month he finished
second in the ADF ironman-distance tri-
athlon (3.8km swim, 180km bike ride
and 42.2km run) in Cairns.
He was the first ADF competitor
out of the water but hit the wall at the
110km mark of the bike leg, something
he blames on changing his nutrition plan
for the race. From that point, he was just
trying to consolidate and he was disap-
pointed with his result.
He should not be too hard on himself
If you want to be philosophical, if it
hadn't been for Cairns, Las Vegas might
not even be on the radar.
To sharpen up for the full-distance
ADF ironman triathlon in Cairns, CPL
Hughes entered the Port Macquarie half-
ironman triathlon on May 1.
Even though it was a selection event
for the world titles, he had no intention
of going too hard. His goal was doing
well in Cairns and he merely wanted to
use the Port Macquarie race to fine-tune.
It did not pan out like that though.
Despite getting a puncture only 30km
into the bike leg, he felt good and decid-
ed to push himself. It was worth the
effort because he finished fourth in the
30-34 age group in 4hr 42min.
Only the top two finishers would nor-
CPL Hughes plans to give the
Australian Defence Sports
Triathlon Association (ADSTA)
colours a run on the world stage
in Las Vegas.
Because there is no
Australian uniform for the world
titles, he plans to wear the
ADSTA colours in the race.
And in an example of the
spirit of cooperation in the ADF,
CPL Hughes's coach is actu-
ally a Navy man, AB Michael
AB Baruch has done a lot of
fitness testing with both CPL
Hughes and CPL Owen Yabsley
over the past six months, which
has led to a successful season
for both members.
SUCH was the pain, LAC Simon
Hunt did not notice the competitor
who flashed past him 10 metres from
the finish line of the Cairns Challenge
Cramping in both legs had
stopped him in his tracks and he said
the crowd gathered at the finish line
shouted encouragement, which helped
him muster those final steps to com-
plete the race.
He never doubted he'd get there,
though. He'd come too far to falter.
He'd started June 5 with the rising
sun, swum 3.8km, rode a bike 180km
and finished with a 42.2km run in the
heat of the day in 10hr 22min and
It was only after the race, he
looked at the results and realised
someone had beaten him by 9sec.
"I didn't see him go past," he said.
Luckily, it wasn't one of the 15
Australian Defence Sports Triathlon
The Cairns Challenge attracted
640 triathletes, so the Defence event
was a race within a race.
In a 1-2-3 finish for Air
Force, LAC Hunt, of RAAF Base
Townsville, won the Defence iron-
man-distance triathlon title, followed
by CPL Pete Hughes, of RAAF Base
Richmond, nearly seven minutes
behind, and CPL Owen Yabsley, also
of RAAF Base Townsville.
LAC Hunt estimates he drank
between six and eight litres of liquid
during the race.
"But obviously it wasn't enough.
I know others also had problems with
LAC Hunt has now completed six
Why? Surely, the pain isn't the lure?
"No, it's the physical and mental
When LAC Hunt, 39, was 18 he
watched the Hawaii Ironman on TV
and decided there and then that it was
what he wanted to do.
He has not gone to Hawaii yet --
but he certainly has not given up on
securing a qualifying time.
He has now competed in ironman-
distance triathlons across four age divi-
sions: 18-24, 25-29, 30-34 and 35-39.
Next year he'll go into the 40-44
You'd think the ranks would be
thinning out now but not so appar-
"It gets easier when you're 70
plus. Not so much competition," he
So near, yet so far
mally have qualified for Las Vegas -- but
there was a catch.
The catch was they had to be at the
after-race function to sign the papers and
lodge a travel deposit.
CPL Hughes was one of about 200
people who gathered in the auditorium.
"I would like to have had a heart mon-
When the 30-34 age group winner's
name was called and he didn't come for-
ward, his heart raced a bit.
The second placegetter was there and
But the third was nowhere to be seen
and CPL Hughes, his heart fairly racing
now, seized the moment.
"It was not something I was expect-
FLYING THE FLAG
Razzle dazzle in the desert:
triathlete heads for Vegas
before their hot
lap; left, driver
cockpit of an
Photos: AB James
Whittle and CPL
LACW Kylie Mather discovered three
things when she donned a racing
helmet on June 16.
LACW Mather, of 3 Expeditionary
Health Squadron at RAAF Base Darwin,
was one of the ADF personnel who won
a hot lap with V8 Supercar stars ahead of
the sixth round of the V8 Supercar race
at Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin.
Her lap was with Paul Dumbrel
from the Bottle-O Racing Team.
The things she discovered were
When she told her husband, SGT
Mark Mather, who is deployed in
Afghanistan with the Army and is a
fast-car enthusiast, he was "super
The Ford performance team pro-
vide excellent childcare. While
LACW Mather was burning around
the track, they took good care
of the Mather sons Jack, 7, and
Jamie, 4. "They spoiled them rot-
ten with flags and hats," mum said.
A V8 Supercar is incredibly fast.
"I was very frightened of the speed
were going to reach, 170km/h
down the straight. After I was
strapped in, however, my fear
turned to pure adrenaline and I
couldn't stop screaming and smil-
ing as we sped off out of pit lane."
On June 15, the boot was on the
other foot when V8 Supercar driv-
ers Karl Reindler and Tony D'Alberto
checked out the Air Force's F/A-18s
at RAAF Base Darwin.
The fighter jets were in the Top
End for Exercise Aces North.
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