FVO to the Four

by Steven Scott — 14th April 2024.

The U12 Mini Relay team added the British title to the JK one from two weeks ago The U12 Mini Relay team added the British title to the JK one from two weeks ago

The British Relay Championships in North Yorkshire brought amazing FVO success, with four championship titles making their way back to the Forth valley after racing at Hutton Mulgrave.

The Men's Premier team was bidding to join an elite group of JK-British Championship winners in the same season, but had a late setback as Peter Molloy was unfit for action, having fallen into a chest-deep pool of mud yesterday. Fortunately, Graham Gristwood was poised to take his place off the bench, and action was underway.

Chris Smithard skipped the Individual yesterday to keep himself fresh for the relay, and was 5th at the first radio control. However he ran on in the second part of the course, and handed Graham a 20 second lead. Having run in the Veteran class on the first day, this was his first look at the terrain, but he maintained his composure to retain the lead, giving James Hammond an advantage of 48 seconds over EUOC.

The youngster is normally used at the front end of the relay, with his only closing experience coming in junior races, but he took to the task like a dog on gravy, and pulled more than three minutes out of GB#1 Nathan Lawson to anchor the team to the win in 96.20.

FVO Junior Flyers (Esme Finch, Matthew Owen and Hannah Inman) added the final leg of the junior Triple Crown to their trophy cabinet, as they won the Mini Relay in 39.18 to add to the 2023 Scottish and 2024 JK titles already secured . Hannah was able to turn a 53 second deficit from the 2nd leg into a two minute win, after good work by Esme and Matthew to set the team up.

We took the top prize in both M and W50 races, as Natasha Conway and Vicky Thornton kept the women's team in the hunt, allowing individual silver medallist Beccy Osborn to race through in a sprint finish (81.16) for the title. Roger Goddard returned just over a minute back in 2nd place, but Ben Stansfield stamped his credentials on the race with a lead of over three minutes, allowing Jason Inman to embark on a solo victory lap, where he increased the lead to 13 minutes for gold.

We have the silver medal in M14, as debutants Fraser Cheyne and James Edward were ably assisted by staunch effort from Eilidh Connor, who was running out of gender, and their lead over 3rd place was over 25 minutes, or the equivalent of a 4th lap. (81.47).

The W60 team was strong enough that Vicky could be released to the W50 outfit, and Hazel Dean, Alison Cunningham and closer Heather Fellbaum were all prominent on their leg for another silver to the collection (81.17). Bronze for the U18 boys, as Alexander Hunt's top run in the middle leg was the filling in a Peter Owen/Sam Hunt sandwich (84.10) and the final medal of the day came for the M40 squad of Steve Feltbower, Paul Hammond and Dom Edward, in 142.38.

There were a number of near misses at the podium, with the 2nd W50 team, the U18 girls and an ad-hoc team with assistance from TAY and INT all 4th in their class.

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Filed under:  Success