Airman swaps sky for equator cross

editorial image

A Royal Air Force airman is on the trip of a lifetime as he takes part in a leg of a round-the-world yacht expedition.

Senior Aircraftsman (SAC) Matthew Charles-Sweeting, from Mirfield, has been picked to take part in the Exercise Transglobe expedition, which gives airmen, soldiers and sailors an opportunity to sail the world on two yachts.

The expedition started from Gosport, Hampshire, in July and will sail 35,000 nautical miles stopping at Cape Town, Montevideo and New York.

A total of 392 women and men will take part during the 13 legs of the journey until it concludes back in Gosport in August 2016.

Matthew will be crewing Adventure of Hornet, which is a joint services Challenge 72 yacht, during Exercise Transglobe’s leg nine.

This leg starts in Montevideo, Uruguay, and ends in St Lucia, in the Caribbean. This journey will include sailing over the equator where there will be the ceremony.

Matthew, 28, joined the RAF in 2012. He is now based at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire, where he works as an ICT Technician and provides deployed communications anywhere in the world..

He said: “I never thought a career in the RAF would involve a 4,200 mile sailing expedition.

“This exercise is an amazing opportunity to take part in sailing around the world presents a unique challenge which will enable me to develop skills and life experience that cannot be gained anywhere else.”