Nicole Ritchie made it five years on the bounce in winning the Scottish Championships in 2015. As the top seed entered in the girls race, the pressure was there for the Glaswegian racer to perform on the day and with a winning margin of over four seconds, there was no doubt that she wanted the win again. Claire Winthrop and Alannah Lawrie joined Ritchie on the overall podium. In the men’s race, Euan Kick took the win also by an impressive four second plus margin with rising star Owen Vinter taking second and Scott Waitt in third.
With the Hillend slope bathed in sunshine, the thrill and excitement of racing down the Hillend slope was there for all to see. Sadly with clashes of races across the UK, there were fewer than normal racers heading to take on the challenge of Hillend, the most formidable slope in the UK for those racing on dry mat.
You can only beat those that are in the race and both Ritchie and Kick gave the rest of the field a lesson in taming Hillend. Both also showed just standard what the rest of the field need to attain if they are to reach the standard set by the race winners.
With three of the top five ranked female racers before the race crashing out, Ritchie could have been excused for taking it easy on the second run. Not this year. Chasing her fifth consecutive national title, Ritchie was focused and determined in her approach. It is a shame that distances and costs come between the top racers in the summer not meeting to battle it out for the bragging rights. Ritchie would have finished second in the mens race as one of only two racers, male or female to have a combined time under a minute for the two runs.
Euan Kick was, as expected, the class act in the men’s race. Kick had entered the race with no knowledge as to who else would be challenging him yet did not let this distract him. Kick set the pace on the first run and had the rest of the field chase him. There would be no let up after a commanding first run saw him lead by just under two seconds from Owen Vinter.
With two Under 16’s taking their places on the podium in the men’s race, the future is looking good. Vinter was comfortably ahead of Waitt who was ahead of Andrew Greenshields. Greenshields lead a close bunch of racers filling out the top six finishers.
With the mini racers taking the same first run course as their older counterparts but doing the run twice, Isla and Erin Ward dominated the proceedings with Sophie Anderson taking third overall despite being in the younger (Under 10) age group.
Tom Dalziel took the boys win ahead of Lewis Calder (Under 10) and Jamie Anderson. Both the girls and boys posted impressive times that would have placed well against their older counterparts!
Age groups wins went to:
Girls: Iona Ross (Under 14, 8th Overall); Rachel Brown (Under 16, 5th Overall); Alannah Lawrie (Under 18, 3rd Overall); Nicole Ritchie (Under 21, Overall Winner) … no other age groups had finishers.
Boys: Ross Nesbitt (Under 14, 6th Overall); Owen Vinter (Under 16, 2nd Overall); Andrew Greenshields (Under 18, 4th Overall); Euan Kick (Under 21, Overall Winner); Adam Lee (senior, 7th Overall)
Picture: Euan Kick on his way to winning the Scottish Dry Slope Men’s Championship. Credit – Racer Ready – all rights reserved
More pictures are available on www.racer-ready.ifp3.com