Home' Air Force News : December 8th 2011 Contents 33
THE FAME GAME: WHEN former
F/A-18 pilot Matt Hall dropped into his old
base at Williamtown recently he brought
with him two Australian sport legends
-- five time Moto GP world motorcycling
champion Mick Doohan and four-time
Australian Open Ironman champion Grant
Piloting their way to Williamtown in
a Squirrel helicopter, the aviation enthu-
siasts' first stop at the RAAF base was
the Aircraft Movements Section. After
signing some 'official' paperwork for the
after-flight, which is now hanging proudly
on the fame wall in the section, the three
sportsmen shared stories from the field
with their Air Force fans.
Taking the controls in a Hornet simula-
tor was a change of scenery for helicopter
pilots Kenny and Doohan who 'took to the
skies' in a mission pitted against the other.
Having earnt their wings in the simulator,
Hall, a former Red Bull Air Race contest-
ant and now acrobatic pilot, showed his
guests over a real fighter jet at 77SQN.
MUD IN YOUR EYE, SIR: We
are sure there are plenty of club
patrons who mix it with the other
contestants in their sports -- but we
hadn't seen any until photographer
LAC Bill Solomou took this photo
of AIRCDRE Ian Meyn competing in
the Defence mountainbike titles in
Canberra earlier this month.
AIRCDRE Meyn is the patron of
the Australian Defence Cycling Club
and is obviously a skilled operator on
the whirring wheels.
He finished second in the Super
Masters' men's category (over 50)
AIRCDRE Meyn has had some
rather unfortunate luck with his
cycling over the past few years.
He injured his hand last year and in
the Scott 24 hour in early October his
frame broke in the middle of a lap.
This was the first race on his new
bike and apparently he was quite
relieved to come out of it with all
bones and bike intact.
WHEN former CAF AIRMSHL Mark
Binskin declared at the Australian
Services Rugby Union champion-
ships in 2010 that Air Force's aim
was to field a women's team in
their own right at the 2011 titles,
some people raised their eye-
Air Force could only muster
five female players in 2010 and for
some years had to join forces with
Navy to play a full-strength Army
team -- so it was a very tall order
But the Doubting Thomases did
not count on FLTLT Margie Quinn,
one of that 2010 mere handful of
FLTLT Quinn, doubling as team
captain and team manager, set
about with the Air Force Rugby
Union to find prospective players.
When the intent was
announced, she says everyone
But she likened the task to
herding cats. "I knew that I had a
hell of a lot of work to do."
FLTLT Quinn started emailing
"anyone who may have said at one
point in their lives they were inter-
ested in rugby."
Thanks to her persistence, Air
Force took 12 female players to
Canberra for this year's Australian
Services Rugby Union (ASRU)
titles in May and FLTLT Quinn
led an Air Force team in its own
right against a Navy team in a 10s
"Leading the RAAF team out
to play Navy will always be one of
the best moments in my rugby and
service career," FLTLT Quinn says.
"The team had fitted so well
together and we all just wanted to
have a crack so to win that first
match meant we were all just on
top of the world."
Remarkably, Air Force won the
At the ASRU presentations a
week later FLTLT Quinn went up
to accept the trophy for the inau-
gural game and it was only then
she realised her name was on it.
It says: The Margie Quinn Cup.
Navy vs Air Force. Women's rugby
She felt honoured but was
"slightly embarrassed and pretty
speechless" and indebted a bit to
her former Navy teammates who
had urged her on. Her attitude
was: if they can raise enough num-
bers for a team, so can we.
Fellow player CPL Rebekah
Allen, who has FLTLT Quinn to
thank for coaxing her out of four
years of rugby retirement (she had
actually converted to Australian
football), says she has done an
outstand job for women's rugby in
the Air Force.
"She really was the driving
force behind the team this year,"
CPL Allen says. "There is no way
we would be where we are today if
it wasn't for her. Her passion and
love of the game is contagious to
all the new girls and the reason
behind why we had such a suc-
cessful rugby campaign this year."
Hasn't she seen
that name before?
SURPRISE: FLTLT Margie Quinn with the trophy named in her
Photo: CPL David Gibbs
shooter LAC Matthew Stokes,
hot on the heels of being named
in the Australian squad, who took
the bronze medal in clay target
shooting, continuing a climb up
SQNLDR Richard Gardiner, one
of Air Force's top distance runner
for some years, who won the half-
golfer SGT Peter Reinke, already
the Air Force champion, who won
a gold medal and two silvers. And
good mates CPLs Pete Hughes an
Owen Yabsley, who crossed the
line in a photo finish in the triath-
lon. CPL Hughes was adjudged
In June we were writing about
CPLs Hughes and Yabsley again
but this time it was LAC Simon
Hunt who upstaged them in the
ADF ironman triathlon in Cairns.
CPL Hughes was second and CPL
Also in June, CPL Aaron Kellett
was part of the teams that won the
doubles and triples titles at the com-
bined services tenpin bowling titles
in Brisbane. Not bad for a guy who
two years before had broken his right
wrist in a motorcycle accident.
In late June, three Air Force players
figured in Australian teams that com-
peted in the touch football World Cup
in Edinburgh. FLTLT Brad Squires,
SGT John Samin and FSGT Danny
Bretherton all won silver medals and
Australia claimed five of the seven divi-
sions to win the World Cup.
The fairytale continued for Air
Force women's rugby union in July
when six Air Force players -- OFFCDT
Kate O'Brien, OFFCDT Sarah Hume,
CPL Brooke Saunders, SGT Clare
O'Driscoll, CPL Allen, FLGOFF
Gabrielle Cook and LACW Brimlea
Smyth, and assistant coach OFFCDT
Dan Bligh -- were members of the
Australian Services team that won divi-
sion two of the Australian women's
championships in Queensland. FLTLT
Margie Quinn had been named in the
services team but missed out because of
In August, FLTLT Amanda
Gosling continued her fine form
on the alpine slopes by winning
the Australian Defence Alpine
Snowsports women's snowboard
In August, OFFCDT Carrie
Fettes, of ADFA, was selected in the
Australian County waterpolo team
that toured Holland. She excelled.
FLTLT Damon Stefani celebrated
his 30th birthday in September by win-
ning the ADF road cycling champion-
ship in Sydney. After winning the title
the previous year, he wasn't intending
to compete this year but changed his
mind when Australian Cadel Evans
provided new inspiration by winning
the Tour de France race.
The Australian Defence Softball
Association celebrated its 25th
anniversary in Werribee in early
November, and invited the arms of the
New Zealand Defence Force to send
players to the ADF titles. The Kiwis
obliged with about 100 players.
No doubt, the fact the rest day of
the tournament fell on Melbourne Cup
Day -- which was held just down the
road at Flemington -- gave them some
extra incentive for coming.
Thus, we can probably add horse
racing to that diverse 2011 mix.
WORLD: They call
him Chook and
looked the part when
he was on our back
page on June 23.
WOFF Giacomo, who
coached the Air Force
football team this year,
is the only coach we
know who takes photo
requests from his
players, and he's also
one of the movers and
shakers of a charity
group called the
Xmen who, aside from
dressing in funny hats,
have raised nearly
$77,000 for breast
LOOK WHO DROPPED IN:
Grant Kenny in the pilot's seat
with Mick Doohan, centre, and
Matt Hall. Photo: CPL David Gibbs
Links Archive November 24th 2011 February 2nd 2012 Navigation Previous Page Next Page