Tonight, on SAS Australia: The mother of all beastings triggered the voluntary withdrawal of actor Craig McLachlan, the ninth recruit to leave the brutal desert course.
With three days remaining on the unforgiving course and only six recruits left, the first task of the day had the recruits performing an excruciating rope hang above a 100-metre drop to the canyon floor below.
Thai cave diving hero Craig Challen impressed the DS with his stamina in the task, while actors Craig McLachlan and Tim Robards drew criticism from the DS by dropping from the rope almost immediately.
The DS turned up the pressure for the second task, with a speeding exfiltration from a military vessel into choppy seas before a perilous climb to the safety of a hovering Blackhawk.
Partnering with international rugby star Mahalia Murphy, Tim coached her through the exercise, but unwittingly put both their lives in danger when he ignored the DS’s instructions and climbed up the ladder immediately after her. They passed the task but there was no praise from the DS.
Recruits were presented with letters from home, but Mahalia refused to accept hers, fearing it would break her focus.
“I love my family but I’m guilty of being distracted very easily. When you lose focus, you can go off track. I want to be at the end. And I will do everything I can to be at the end,” explained Mahalia.
Later at night, the recruits were given the mother of all beastings, with the DS aiming to weed out the weak. After push-ups, sprints, press-ups and sand crawls, Craig M asked to see the doctor about the pain in his stomach.
His request was refused with DS Ant Middleton telling him he had to either VW or continue with the beasting. After initial hesitation, Craig took off his armband and handed it to the DS.
“I came into the course with all sorts of personal issues, having gone through a number of years of trauma, really. I really lost sight of who I was. And I’m leaving with a real sense of who I am.
“I’m leaving with trust in people again. It’s been a life-changing experience, really. I feel very privileged to be invited along.”