TWO young Appledore apprentices have won a competitive heat in the run up to an annual ship welding competition. Jack Thompson came up tops in the heat held at Babcock shipyard for the ESABs ShipWeld competition, with Liam Sumner taking runner up. Both will now go on to represent Babcock at the grand final later in October. Jack was presented with the latest in welding helmets from ESAB and a yellow AristoTech welding screen and Liam received an OrigoTech yellow welding screen. Babock is hoping to uphold its good record at the annual event, having won the Challenge Cup in 2011 and having apprentice Harry Elliot collect the prize for best apprentice welder the same year.