News: Alpha Co. wins May Commander’s Cup Challenge in kayak relay
Story by Lance Cpl. Mark Watola
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Marines of Headquarters and Support Battalion raced for the opportunity to earn the Commander’s Cup Challenge in a kayak relay in hopes of winning a trophy at the Gottschalk Marina, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, May 29.
Alpha Company defeated three companies during May’s challenge for the monthly trophy and bragging rights for the company.
“The challenge benefits the Marines because it increases camaraderie,” said Lt. Col. Harry L. Gardner, commanding officer of HQSPT Bn. “It allows them to get some exercise and it’s good-natured ribbing throughout the battalion.”
Each company provided six competitors to individually race kayaks in a half-mile relay, from the marina to a buoy and back, where the next participant took over and raced until all six competitors paddled through the water.
“The kayak relay is something different,” said Gardner. “Kayaking is something the Marines might not have done a lot.”
Alpha Co. took the lead, setting the pace for the other competitors. As the relay neared the end, the other companies started to close the gap.
“We did pretty well,” said Capt. Anthony Fuhrer, Alpha Co. commander. “We had an overall solid team, and kept a consistent speed through the relay.”
Security Co. and India Co. sped through the final stretch, but Alpha Co. won the challenge by three kayak lengths.
“The Marines get to experience a new form of physical training, as well as have fun competing,” said Gardner.
The Commander’s Cup Challenge is a yearlong competition, starting and ending in June. The company with the most wins at the end of June, wins the overall challenge.
The winner of the yearlong challenge will receive a larger trophy than the trophies awarded monthly, according to Heidi Anastasia, HQSPT Bn., Marine Corps Community Services Coordinator.
The next event in the Commander’s Cup Challenge will be ground fighting in June.