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Great Glen Trial Expedition

Great Glen Trial Expedition

When I went on the Great Glen Trail, I’ll admit I didn’t know I was going to have as much fun as I did. It was a great experience to be a part of and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to go on such an excellent trip away in the Scottish lochs and canals. I met so many new people on my journey that I won’t forget, cadets and staff members and had some memorable moments. I wouldn’t ask for better people to enjoy the experience with. From camping to the actually kayaking approximately 60 miles up to Inverness; I had the best experience of my life and I would recommend that others should have a go at the Great Glen Trail whether it be a part of Sea Cadets or a part of a group of friends or family.

From the whole week, I would say that my favourite part of the whole trip was the day we set off into Loch Ness. Surfing the rough water while getting soaked in the process and how we had to wild camp on a bank. It gave me a sense of freedom looking across the loch. Seeing the high mountains that towered over the water, smothered by the fog, giving such a beautiful landscape. Not only that, kayaking the next morning with the idea of finishing the whole trip felt amazing.

Having a great feeling of triumph and pride when we did the Great Glen was quite possibly the best feeling I’ve ever had.


- Able Cadet David, Maryport and Solway Unit

National Combined Regatta

National Combined Regatta

Over 450 cadets enjoyed the weather and the competitive experience as Sea Cadets staged their National Combined Regatta at London’s Royal Docks/Excel Centre.

Cadets were vocal and excited to take part in an event which tested their water-based skills in rowing, paddlesports and boat handling.

Sportsmanship was particularly on show when a Northern Area cadet stopped in the closing stages of his race, giving up his chance to win so that he could help a fellow competitor in difficulties.

Acts such as this demonstrate some of Sea Cadets’ core values to their finest –courage to do the right thing, respect, honesty and integrity.

It was Southern Area who won overall classes in three sections – Trinity Rowing, Yole Rowing and Boat Handling – while taking a share with Eastern Area in the overall Paddlesports category.

Strong, consistent performances from Salisbury’s cadets saw Southern Area take the Trinity Rowing section by just a point from the unfortunate Eastern Area (Scarborough. Worksop and Northampton).

Salisbury again combined with Westerham to narrowly claim the Yole Rowing title, the Badger Cup from South West Area (Tewkesbury and Coventry).

It was another tight competition in Boat Handling, where Salisbury, Sheppey and Herne Bay nudged Southern Area ahead of both South West Area (Milford Haven, Rugby/Shirley and Neath) and North West Area (Fleetwood and Maryport & Solway) again by the smallest of margins.

But strong performances from Eastern Area prevented Southern Area from a clean sweep by taking a share of the Paddlesports title. 

Captain Philip Russell RN, Captain of the Sea Cadets said, “It’s been another highly successful National Combined Regatta with the cadets learning new skills and having an enormous amount of fun.”

“Many thanks for all the hard work of the volunteers who prepare the teams, those who give up their time to make this event happen and especially the cadets who will take lasting, positive memories of the day home with them.”

Following the regatta, Northern Area’s Captain Peter Adams received thanks for his support of Sea Cadets’ competitions prior to his retirement.

In addition, Lt Cdr Dennis Archbold who runs Fleetwood Sea Cadets received 5th Bar to his Cadet Forces Medal in honour of his long service.

Lt Cdr Frank Cea received his Queen’s Commissioning Scroll as HQ Staff Officer for Boats.

Full results are available here

National Band Competition

National Band Competition

Hello, I am Leading Cadet McKenzie T.

Last weekend I travelled to London to take part in Sea Cadets’ National Band competition at the Tower of London.

This was my last cadet competition before I start training for the Royal Navy and over my 6 years of life in Sea Cadets, I can by far say that this stands out as my best experience.

I took part to represent Southport Sea Cadets as a Bugler and bell lyre player in our unit band, as well as competing in the solo bugling competition.

Southport Sea Cadet’s unit band won the area competition, which meant we represented the North West Area. We were the smallest band in the competition against the other areas. Despite this, after months of hard work and commitment from every member, our band placed 4th overall which felt very rewarding and proved that hard work pays off.

The standard was very high, and watching the others bands perform was also an amazing experience because seeing the hard work and skill of so many other cadets in action made everyone feel proud to be part of such a special, talented organisation and prestigious event.

However, the best part for me was definitely seeing the support from our units staff and parents, We had a large group of them travelling down to watch us and after our display, seeing their reactions made a lot of our band overcome with emotion and that was the moment when we realised that we should all be extremely proud.

In the solo bugling event, I placed 3rd, therefore received a bronze medal which feels fantastic to come away from a national competition with.  However, looking aside from the competitive element of it all, I would recommend every sea cadet join a unit or massed band if possible.

It really doesn’t matter what musical capabilities you have, there is, in every band, a role for you.

Everyone has to start somewhere, and the majority of our band had no idea what they were capable of until they tried something new.

For example, my brother Leading Cadet McKenzie O only started to practice the role of being drum major a few weeks before we played at nationals, only to receive a silver medal for being the 2nd best drum major in the country.

So, you never know! Start practising and two years from now you could be at the Tower of London having so much fun! Because, in the end, no matter where anyone placed, the whole weekend was a rewarding, proud and exciting experience. And, the support, happiness and talent radiating from everyone there was the best I’ve ever seen at a Sea Cadet event.  

Well done everyone! 


- LC Mckenzie, Southport 

National Band Competition

National Band Competition

The Massed Bands of the Southern Area took the honours as the Sea Cadets’ bi-annual National Band Competition saw some the corps’ best musicians show their high standards within the historic setting of the Tower of London.

With cadets based in the Folkestone & Hythe, Sheppey, New Romney and Herne Bay area and led by bandmaster Sub Lieutenant (SCC) Adam Smith RNR, the Massed Bands of the Southern Area took the major prizes including the Eason Bassett Goblet for Best Band.

In addition, 16 year-old Able Cadet Callum from Folkestone took the honours as he was crowned Best Solo Bugler and Best Solo Drummer in the morning’s soloist categories.

The Massed Bands of the South West Area won Silver as Best Runner-Up, while Weston-Super-Mare took Bronze.

Southern Area were also named Best Dressed Band, Best Corps of Drums, Best Bugle Section and received trophies for Best Musical Display and Best Marching Display.

There was success too for Portland’s Able Cadet William who won Best Original Composition for “Une Source D’Inspiration” which was performed by the Massed Bands of the South West Area.

Able Cadet Walls was named Best Drum Major for his work at the head of Ellesmere Port Sea Cadets.

Ten prize categories were awarded as some of the most talented cadets and volunteers, performed in front of friends, family and the watching public.

Proceedings were watched over by a judging panel made up of senior members of the Royal Marines Bands Service led by Lt Cdr (SCC) Ali Bowen-Davies

Those taking part were just some of the nearly 15,000 cadets and 9,000 volunteers who are part of the charity which seeks to give focus and add new adventures to young lives in the UK.        

Captain Philip Russell, RN, Captain, Sea Cadets who took the salute at the traditional end of competition march-past, said; “It was a terrific day and credit goes to the cadets in the bands from up and down the country who made it to London, particularly those who travelled large distances.”

“Congratulations go to the Massed Bands of the Southern Area who have done very well for the second band competition in a row. They deserve every success. It takes hours of practice and above all, nerve to perform at such a venue as the Tower of London and everyone who took part should be thoroughly proud of themselves.”

Martin Coles, CEO, Sea Cadets said; “Of course the stars were the cadets and volunteers who were as amazing as ever, both in the standard of music and indeed backstage. Thank you to the volunteers who entered bands and ensured such a good day.”

“It was a first-class event which I hope entertained the watching crowds as much as those connected to the Sea Cadets.”



BEST SOLO BUGLER for The Silver Bugle Trophy:

GOLD: Able Cadet Callum (Folkestone & Hythe, Massed Bands of the Southern Area)


BEST SOLO DRUMMER for The Alan Wain Brass Drum Trophy:

GOLD: Able Cadet Callum (Folkestone & Hythe, Massed Bands of the Southern Area)


BEST DRESSED BAND for The City of Plymouth Cup

WINNER: Massed Bands of the Southern Area

BEST ORIGINAL COMPOSITION for the Seamans Cutter Cup:

WINNER: Leader Cadet William (Portland Sea Cadets, Massed Bands of South West Area) for “Une Source D’Inspiration”


BEST CADET DRUM MAJOR for the Directors Award:

GOLD: Able Cadet Walls (Ellesmere Port Sea Cadets)

SILVER: (Jointly awarded) Able Cadet Owen (Southport Sea Cadets) & Leading Cadet Elise (Sheppey Sea Cadets, Massed Band of Southern Area)

BEST CORPS OF DRUMS for the Haynes Shield:

WINNER: Massed Bands of the Southern Area

BEST MARCHING DISPLAY for the Display Trophy:

WINNER: Massed Bands of the Southern Area

BEST MUSICAL DISPLAY for the Sumner Shield:

WINNER: Massed Bands of the Southern Area


BEST BUGLE SECTION for the Bugle Section:

WINNER: Massed Bands of the Southern Area



BRONZE: Weston-Super-Mare Sea Cadets



SILVER: Massed Bands of the South West Area


BEST ALL-ROUND BAND for the Eason Bassett Goblet

GOLD: Massed Bands of the Southern Area

Opportunities at Sea Cadets

Opportunities at Sea Cadets

I have been at Sea Cadets for four years. I started at the age of 10 and at age 14 I’m still here and still enjoying it!

I have done some really amazing things with Sea Cadets. In 2018, I escorted the mayor of Maidstone to France with 3 other cadets. We had to parade around a little area showing the French what we do.

Another great thing I love about Sea Cadets is that we go to some really cool events, like Combined Military Ops at Headcorn Airfield.

It’s also taught me so many different skills like first aid and because of this I now want to become a paramedic.

When I put my uniform on I feel free and feel I can do whatever I put my mind to, it’s a sense of pride I feel where I don’t get anywhere else.

As sea cadets, we try to get as much time in the water as possible like kayaking, sailing and rowing.

I have been on BCU kayaking course and loved it I know go kayaking with my cousin as much as I can. I have also entered kayaking competitions and came first in the 500m sprint. I was put through to the Area competition. This is another great opportunity to make more friends on the way, as courses are available to all cadets.

All the staff are very friendly and most have lots of stories to tell from when they were cadets them self or from when they were in the navy. The officers we meet are some of the kindest and most interesting people and great to talk to.

I would recommend Sea Cadets to anyone.

We are not just cadets that see each other twice a week we are family and we stick together.


-Holly, Maidstone Sea Cadets 

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