David Hill's team collect bronze at Special Olympics

David Hill and team
David Hill and team

David Hill of Ayr Roads/Harry Fairbairn Cycling Club helped deliver a bronze medal for his team in the World Games in Abu Dhabi last week.

David’s team of three athletes, accompanied by their partners, was one of the 39 sailing teams from 14 countries which competed in the Special Olympics.

His team, all from the west of Scotland, was the sole GB entry in the sailing discipline. From the stunning backdrop of Corniche Beach and the home of Abu Dhabi Yacht Club, the competitors faced unpredictable winds at 22 kmph , which helped create a great day for sailing.

In these conditions, all teams found they could go from first place to last very quickly, making it an emotional rollercoaster for both competitors and spectators alike.

David was one of the latter and he found the racing over the three days very intense. The volatility of the leaderboard meant the competition went down to the last few races.

At the end of the series, his GB Team came away with a bronze medal, with young Jamie Kearns and Darren MacGregor clinching the well-earned medal. The other members of the team were just out of the medals, with Sharron McGhee and partner Laura Carrick taking fourth place and Lewis Nicholson and Mick Kelly taking fifth.

This was the young Scots’ first venture into the Special Olympics and an ecstatic David heaped praise on the youngsters, and their partners, for achieving glory straight away.

David now returns to his coaching of another three youngsters who will be competing in the ‘Pedal the Park’ Cycling Sportive in May.

Back to cycling, and Oliver Kelly and Rory Webster headed to Lochgelly for round one of the Scottish criterium series. This year, Edinburgh RC Juniors were proud to run a Scottish

National Youth Series event in honour of Ben Forsyth. Ben was the first ERC Junior winner of a British Championship Circuit Race in 2013. The event was held in support of Cardiac Risk in the Young.

With a cold north-easterly wind howling across the exposed track, conditions didn’t favour Ollie, who was competing in the ‘B Boys’ category.

After a perfectly executed race, working well with his team mates from Johnston Jets, Ollie came in a superb fifth place. This was a credible result, particularly notable as this is the first race since moving up an age category this year and facing some experienced opposition.

Rory also rode well among a strong field in the senior men’s race, coming in 17th overall and fifth in his category.

Martin Lonie, riding for Nuun-Sigma Sport, won the race. Continuing the successful weekend for Ayr Roads riders, six members travelled to West Ferry to take part in the Dooleys 2-up Time Trail.

Calum MacDonald and Michael Curran placed a superb seventh overall in a time of 37 seconds 55, which also gained them the third vets prize. Scott MacLean and Alex McAllister recorded a time of 40 seconds 27, while John Gemmell and Archie Arthur were on 44 seconds 57. Pre-race favourites, Chris Smart and Douglas Watson, had an unfortunate incident when Chris suffered a puncture, heading to the start line.

Missing their slot, they incurred a hefty time penalty, which meant they finished well down the field. The race was won by David Griffiths and Richard McDonald, of Bioracer-Moriarty Bikes, in a time of 33 seconds 58.