Sandhurst Tug of War vs. Triumph Rocket III

Men versus machine in an old fashioned, brute force, give it all you've got contest






"Does my arse look big in these jeans?"

The Sandhurst team consists of some of the most frightening-looking individuals you will ever meet. Like a cross between the SAS and the Orc hordes from Lord of the Rings, these wiry, lean pulling machines have rough, leathery skin and regard us with dangerous eyes. If you spilt their pint, they'd probably gut you from ear to ear with their flensing knife. "Don't worry," says Simon Mitchinson, our point of contact and liaison, "they're not as dangerous as they look. There are different weights in tug of war. It's a mix of great strength - our eight-man team can exert a force of 1.6 tons - and endurance, as a match can last anything from five to 10 minutes. We've held back a Mercedes car, so I'd be interested in seeing what that bike can do."

We start with two pullers on the rope. With half-a-ton of Rocket putting down more torque than a Volkswagen Golf, the two don't stand a chance and the Triumph lunges forwards. Simple. With three on the rope, we give them time to dig their heels in and feed in the power. Ye gods, we're struggling. I've got three wiry men behind me on a two-inch thick rope and the Rocket is puffing hard. The rear starts breaking traction, JB bounces on the back and it grips again. The Triumph is howling, and we feel the resistance fade. We've beaten them, just.

Christ, these Orcs are strong. The Rocket's clutch is feeling frazzled as we drop the tyre pressure down to 10psi. With the clutch cooled and a fourth puller on the rope, it's showtime. We take the strain, steady the Triumph on the brakes and pull! I'm feeding in the power as steadily as I can, but she's not moving. We can hear the grunts from behind, and I feed more power in. Still nothing. The heat is intense and the Rocket snakes sideways and the tyre smokes, but no forwards motion. Need more power. Feed in 3,000rpm, there's a tremendous roar, and then we notice the rear wheel isn't turning. At all. With the clutch fully disengaged. Arseholes.

It's taken just four tug of war pullers to crush the heaviest, largest-engined motorbike in the world. "If you'd had eight fat blokes out of a pub, you'd have dragged them a mile up the road," grins Simon as the smoke clears and the stench of fried clutch dissipates. "But this is what these guys do, they're some of the best in the world."

THANKS TO THE CHAPS AT SANDHURST. IF YOU'RE INTERESTED IN JOINING A TEAM OF THE HARDEST MEN IN BERKSHIRE, CONTACT THEM THROUGH THEIR WEBSITE:

WWW.SANDHURST-TUGOFWAR.CO.UK

A Triumph Rocket III makes an incredible 135ft/lb of torque and with two people onboard it weighs 524kg, more than half a ton. The Sanhurst Tug of War team weighs 560kg and each man can pull 200kgs of weight. So right now, who's your money on?

The Sandhurst team consists of some of the most frightening-looking individuals you will ever meet. Like a cross between the SAS and the Orc hordes from Lord of the Rings, these wiry, lean pulling machines have rough, leathery skin and regard us with dangerous eyes. If you spilt their pint, they'd probably gut you from ear to ear with their flensing knife. "Don't worry," says Simon Mitchinson, our point of contact and liaison, "they're not as dangerous as they look. There are different weights in tug of war. It's a mix of great strength - our eight-man team can exert a force of 1.6 tons - and endurance, as a match can last anything from five to 10 minutes. We've held back a Mercedes car, so I'd be interested in seeing what that bike can do."

We start with two pullers on the rope. With half-a-ton of Rocket putting down more torque than a Volkswagen Golf, the two don't stand a chance and the Triumph lunges forwards. Simple. With three on the rope, we give them time to dig their heels in and feed in the power. Ye gods, we're struggling. I've got three wiry men behind me on a two-inch thick rope and the Rocket is puffing hard. The rear starts breaking traction, JB bounces on the back and it grips again. The Triumph is howling, and we feel the resistance fade. We've beaten them, just.

Christ, these Orcs are strong. The Rocket's clutch is feeling frazzled as we drop the tyre pressure down to 10psi. With the clutch cooled and a fourth puller on the rope, it's showtime. We take the strain, steady the Triumph on the brakes and pull! I'm feeding in the power as steadily as I can, but she's not moving. We can hear the grunts from behind, and I feed more power in. Still nothing. The heat is intense and the Rocket snakes sideways and the tyre smokes, but no forwards motion. Need more power. Feed in 3,000rpm, there's a tremendous roar, and then we notice the rear wheel isn't turning. At all. With the clutch fully disengaged. Arseholes.

It's taken just four tug of war pullers to crush the heaviest, largest-engined motorbike in the world. "If you'd had eight fat blokes out of a pub, you'd have dragged them a mile up the road," grins Simon as the smoke clears and the stench of fried clutch dissipates. "But this is what these guys do, they're some of the best in the world."

Thanks to the chaps at Sandhurst. If you're interested in joining a team of the hardest men in Berkshire, contact them through their website: www.sandhurst-tugofwar.co.uk