Akrotiri Station Takes CBF Cup As Forces Athletes Do Battle In Cyprus

Akrotiri Station has taken top honours in Cyprus as hundreds of forces personnel there did battle in the island's biggest military sporting...

Akrotiri Station has taken top honours in Cyprus as hundreds of forces personnel there did battle in the island's biggest military sporting event.

The Commander British Forces Cyprus Sporting Competition - otherwise known as the CBF Cup - brings together teams from all the British bases on the island.

The tournament, which pits competitors against each other in 11 different sports, is now in its seventh year and is as fiercely fought as ever.

Cyprus CBF Cup military sporting competition 2018

It drew teams from all of Cyprus' major bases - Akrotiri, Episkopi, Dhekelia and Ayios Nikolaos - as well as one each from the resident infantry battalions, 1st Battalion, the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (1 LANCS) and 2nd Battalion, the Royal Anglian Regiment (2 R ANGLIAN).

Last year Episkopi dominated, winning five of the 11 events.

This year, however, things were different at Dhekelia Station.

From the first event, the cross country, Akrotiri Station's athletes showed they were determined to improve on last year's third place.

Cyprus CBF Cup military sporting competition 2018

On the sports pitches, the footballers and rugby players battled it out, while inside the volleyball court there were some fiercely competitive matches.

On the road, the cyclists faced a new course for the third year in a row, this one taking them from the garrison out to Kingsfield airfield and back twice.

The win went to a team of Army soldiers based at Akrotiri Station. Captain Jason Hill, RAF Akrotiri Station Adjutant, said:

"[There's a] massive cycling fraternity on [the] island and the talent is brilliant, from the very youngest and complete novices, all the way through to some of the guys that are racing at service level and Inter-Service level."

In the indoor rowing, the five teams raced over five gruelling kilometres - Aki Station dominating this too.

With 11 sports, from orienteering to squash, also taking place there was something for everyone.

Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Weston, Commanding Officer of 2 R ANGLIAN, said:

"It's just really good to get people together from across the island, in one central location, through the medium of sport."

The finale, as ever, was the tug o' war, with the teams having a pre-match weigh-in this year to try and even up the competition.

Top honours eventually went to a combined team from Dhekelia and Ayios Nikolaos, in one of three events they won.

It was a day that showed just what a great place Cyprus is for military sport.

As well as competing in the squash tournament, the Commander of British Force Cyprus, Major General James Illingworth, was on hand to present the prizes.

With Episkopi Station taking third, the kingsmen of 1 LANCS took silver spot.

Top honours, with five wins and three 2nd places, went to Akrotiri Station, the RAF's busiest operational air base - proving it's also a pretty decent centre for sporting excellence as well.

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