Name This Sporting Event: Cannon + Obstacle Course
May 29, 2007 2:52 PM   Subscribe

What is this sporting event? Teams compete to move a functioning artillery cannon from one end of an obstacle course to another, requiring them to disassemble, move, and re-assemble the cannon.

I recall seeing this on a news show, like 60 Minutes or something. It seemed to be an annual British sporting event, with teams drawn from the various military services.

The object seemed to be a timed competition for teams to move a functioning, 19th century, artillery cannon from one end of an obstacle course to another. In order to move it over the obstacles, teams would have to first disassemble the cannon and then move it and all of its parts and ammunition over the course. The course, about the size of a soccer pitch, included hills, water hazards, etc.

If I recall correctly, the obstacles change every year, and there are few fixed rules as to how the cannon is moved, just that it is moved and assembled to working condition, and fired three times. The fun, then, is seeing how the different teams solve the obstacle course problems with different strategies ("OK, you four guys carry the barrel...").

What is this event? Is it really an annual thing? Tell me more!
posted by frogan to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It is called the Field Gun Run or Field Gun Competition. I think the first link shows that there were actually quite a lot of rules...

It's not on the telly anymore as a result of the inevitable defence cuts, but is still run quite often, mainly amongst naval types. I used to love watching this when I was a kid...
posted by prentiz at 3:09 PM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

I think you are referring to the former 118-year-old event Royal Tournament the last of which was held at Earls Court in London and has been replaced by the 'People's Tattoo' and the Royal Navy Field Gun competition.
posted by ericb at 3:10 PM on May 29, 2007

Or, what prenitz said!
posted by ericb at 3:11 PM on May 29, 2007

Prentiz rocks! Thanks!
posted by frogan at 4:14 PM on May 29, 2007

Field Gun Video Clips!
posted by roboto at 9:00 PM on May 29, 2007

Randomly, I was talking to my partner about this yesterday (he does gun running for the RAF), and he mentioned that the Royal Marines have been banned for participating in the sport for 200 years, as of 150 years ago. Apparently they cheated by stealing one of the competition gune the night before and shaving off extra metal to make it lighter...
posted by methylsalicylate at 6:01 AM on May 30, 2007

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