A dry Autumn and relatively warm conditions transformed the usual Somme-like conditions of the Meedies into the series’ fastest race course. Whilst the course has none of the technical features of Glen Gorm Castle or Irvine, it generally makes up this for in mud or this year in slippy corners.
Words: Eric Easton
Photo: Andy Innes
Paul Zarb and his crew put on a slick champs with competitive racing at all levels. Harry Johnstone continued to dominate the senior men’s category with an exemplary display of flat out out ’cross speed whilst Isla Short attacked early and held on to become the Senior women’s champ.
Finn Crowther, on his home race, continues to dominate this class and put 29s into next placed rider, Iain Rae (Royal Albert) . Finn has been riding flat out from the gun in every race this season and has a tenacity and race face of a much older rider;. Isaac Baird and Iain Rae battled for second but Iain left Isaac on the lst lap to take second 5 seconds in front of Beard.
Orla Burn won the girls race in fine style by 44s from Effie McGhee who was nearly a minute in front of Jenny Candlish.
U12 boys put on a fantastic race with around five riders jostling for the podium. Paddy Barnes and Elliot Rowe lead for lap after lap but were closely followed by Finn Mason, Luis Ryder, Fraser Thom and Rhys Edwards. Paddy Barnes looked to be the stronger rider but Elliot Rowe sat on patiently until the last lap and sneaked past to win from a tiring and disappointed Paddy Barnes. In the final lap, Luis Ryder put in a massive attack to overhaul Finn Mason and move into third position. He tried to bridge to the two leaders but couldn’t though managed to hold onto third to the end. Finn Mason dropped into fourth only 6s behind Ryder with the battle of the race between Thom and Edwards. Rhys tried to get past Thom in the final meters but just couldn’t nose ahead and took a well deserved but ultimately 6th place a second behind Fraser Thom.
U12 Girls raced separately as the fields are so big in this class. With only girls racing, it was much easier to see how competitive and high-level the racing is at this stage. Emily Carrick-Anderson really dominated on this course and ultimately won by 16s. However, the best racing was for second and third with three riders finishing on 16s. Christina McGorum rode hard in front of a pair of fast sprinting hopefuls and held onto take second whilst Katie Galloway tried to overhaul Anna Reid for third with a very fast sprint. Anna held her nerve and closed the door on the final corner to hold onto third and her podium place. Rudie Shearer is nearly at this level though a year at least behind in age and finished 5th at 46s.
Under-Fourteens & Under Sixteens
U14 males was won by Callum Reid who dug very deep to win a real competitive battle with a sorely disappointed Corran Carrick-Anderson who looked the stronger rider for much of the race. Callum Thornley took third. U14F was won by Eva Young who left Elena McGorum behind in the closing stages. Eilidh Shaw was third in front of the ever competitive Imani Pereira-James. Katherine McLeod had a fanastic race to take fifth.
U16F was won in wonderful style by the ERC rider Ishbel Strathdee. This course really suited Ishbel’s powerful style as she pushed her main rival Anna McGorum onto the silver step with Estelle Fuller in bronze position, U16M Gold was taken by Charlie Aldridge who maintained his season long form to win again in front of Rory McGuire and Jamie Johnstone. These three have raced so consistently over the season and have been nipping at each other’s heels throughout.
There were really only two riders in the male junior race with each of them winning races so far this season. Sean Flynn and Cameron Mason are very evenly matched in speed and skill and this was always going to be a hard battle to be won by who was the freshest, fittest, healthiest and most motivated on the day. Flynn has been training harder than ever and is now on the BC development squad and maybe his legs were empty from winter training but Mason’s weren’t and he attacked Flynn with a lap to go to ride away to a great victory by 15s. Both riders are probably the most skillful on the Scottish SX scene and both were capable of hopping the Meedies super high barriers. Struan Pryde made up the podium finishing some 2.22 back on our top two. Megan Wilkinson won the Female Juniors by a good margin (1.33) from Eleanor Strathdee and Katie Allen (2.48)
Vet50M & Vet60+M
Brendan Roe and Mick Nally, both of the Dunfermline, have been stuck together for race after race with nothing much between them. Again Roe pushed on in the few hundred meters to beat Mick by a “vulgar fraction” with a resurgent Kenny Kentley at 1.09. Alex McAllister took the over 60s Gold from the ever competitive Sandy Wallace at 44s with Ronald Mill in bronze position.
Isla Short continued her strong form to assert herself over the Kerry MacPhee winning by 28s. Kerry and Jane Barr chased for most of the race but MacPhee attacked Barr in the second last lap and really chased Short but couldn’t close. Kerry finished at 28s and Jane at 2.41. Anne Ewing rode strongly on a course that suited her strong powerful road chops to finish fourth in front of Maddy Robinson-Pope.
Female Vet40+ & 50+
Sian Tovey powered to a Gold medal in front of Caroline Harvey of the Edinburgh RC (Silver) and Janet Erskine (Bronze) in the Vet 40 class whilsty Brenda Callander maintained her winning form to take the 50+ gold over Liz Clayton and Anne Chisholm.
A cracking race with all podium contenders finishing very closely to each other. Gary McCrae continued to assert his dominance in this field but only by 20s from Stephen Jackson who continues to push McCrae all the way to the finish. Graeme Cross fought hard with Craig Hardie - these pair have a good strong rivalry - but it was Cross’s day today and his seated power gained him bronze over the hard riding Hardie at 59s. Ride of the day was from Franco Porco who is back on competitive terms taking 6th.
No surprises in this race as season long victor, Harry Johnstone rode to another win and is the new Scottish CX Champ. Davy Lines put on a great performance to take silver, it was clear that Lines was determined to put some time into his main rival and pulled out a 2 minute gap on bronze medal winner Gary MacDonald with Davie Duggan in fourth.