Royal Air Force Sailing



Royal Air Force Sailing


Relates that Ken Hicks took up sailing in Egypt on the Great Bitter Lake, and subsequently took part in sailing competitions back in the United Kingdom





One-page typewritten document


IBCC Digital Archive


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The Royal Air Force provided excellent opportunities to take part in all manner of sports,
and once having reached my optimum playing rugby, athletics, pole vault, high jump
and tennis at station level, my posting to 107 MU on the Great Bitter Lake (Egypt)
offered me a chance to sail. I discovered that i was a natural, and whether it was my
knowledge of the theory of flight or the feel of the wind and tide, I was hooked.

My rapid progress to racing helmsman, plus my determination to win, resulted in my
winning four monthly races and “The Annual”, before i left.

On returning to England i won the Transport Command Competition at the Welsh Harp,

Then came my posting in November 1950 to the King‘s flight where the safety and the
serviceability of the aircraft took priority over everything, sport, although encouraged,
was way down the list.

Of course. there were slack periods on the flight, and at such times the “occupational
therapy” of polishing the Vikings until they gleamed , seemed to be the favourite

I was chuffed to say the least, when the E.O. sent for me and told me that i was to be
detached to R.A.F. Hendon for 4 days to take part in the Inter Command Sailing
Championships. Not only did Transport Command win, but i personally won the
Individual Championship Trophy. From then on, i always had time off for sailing.

In 1954 Chief Tech Bill Owens and myself won the London Corinthian Sailing Club
Trophy which was then displayed in the entrance to the Officers Mess, Benson.

In 1956, at Seaview, Isle of Wight, i was a member of the R.A.F. team that won the
Inter Services Team Championship. “The Coningham Cup”. I was then selected for the
Inter Services Team v Universities, at Graham Waters. We lost, but put up a damn good

For all the time off work taking part in sailing, i must sincerely thank members of the
airframe bay, who carried out my work in my absence, also thr Engineering Officer, the
C.O, and finally, Air Commodore Sir Edward Fielden, Captain of the Queen‘s Flight,
who i am sure must have known everything that went on.

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Ken Hicks.




Ken Hicks, “Royal Air Force Sailing,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed August 9, 2022,

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