PREVIEW: British Championships Day 1
With the Midlands in 2017 and the North last year having staged the Championships in its new format, where all the finals are held over the Bank Holiday weekend, it is the turn of the South-East to stage the championships this year. The Blue Riband finals were last in the South-East in 2015, when staged at Ipswich’s Whitton Sports Centre. Brandon Whetton (Under 16), Vicky Brown (Women) and Zac Payne (Open) were the winners then.
The action starts at Norwich with the Under 8’s and Under 10 Boys Championships at 11am and midday respectively. These will be followed by the Under 12 Boys Championship, the Under 12 & Under 14 Girls Championship and the day concludes with the Under 14 Boys Championship.
The Under 8’s event has 8 out of the 10 riders entered who have featured in the BYJL National Rounds with 7 of them in the top 9 placings. The top 3, Frank White (A&T), Connor Jarret (Norwich ) & Isaac Powling (Kesgrave) are all entered at Norwich as are Ryley Sinclair (Leicester), Oliver Banyard (Sheffield) & Samuel Ridley (Hellingly). Also entered are Luca El-Labany (Hethersett), Tallulah Curtis (Poole), Jacob Jewkes (Wednesfield) & Frank Spauls (Norwich)
Of the 18 riders entered in the Under 10 Boys event 3 of those have not raced in the BYJL National rounds, Hayden Mitchell (Ipswich), Riley Nation (Poole) & Emil Gowers (Ipswich). A&T’s Frank White is also in this event as well as the Under 8’s. 7 of the top 8 in the BYJL National standings are entered, Harvey Shumake (Kesgrave), Jack Tidball (Exeter), Luca Woodhouse, Oliver Edmunds & Oscar Hammond (all Kesgrave), Jude Wilcockson (Coventry) & Liam Wells (Leicester), Also entered are Will Blackmore (Norwich), Harry Ridley (Hellingly), Lynton Titshall (Kesgrave), Aiden Green (A&T), and Poole’s Harvey Johnson-Fanner & Teddy Curtis
Of the 10 Under 12 Boys who have entered all of them are in the top 15 of the BYJL National standings . Poole have 3 riders entered, Kenzie Bennett (who leads the BYJL standings and was runner-up in this event last year), Oliver Saunders & Oliver Johnson. Kesgrave have 2 riders entered, Ryker Jolly (who won the Under 10 Boys Little League Individual title last year) and Charlie Parr. Corey Burt (Wednesfield), JJ Wildman (Exeter), George Larter-Dixon (Hethersett), Lewis Middleton (Coventry) & Shaun Kell (Norwich) complete the line-up
Due to the number of entries received the Under 12 Girls & Under 14 Girls have been combined. Of the 9 riders entered 3 of them are in the Under 12’s, they are Ella Case (Kesgrave), the defending champion Daisy Sherwood (Poole) and Norwich’s Tabby Nierop. 3 of the riders in the Under 14 Girls Championship last year return for another tilt at this year’s title: Rosie Tidball (Exeter), Megan Burt (Wednesfield) and Rebekah Humphries (Birmingham). The 3rd & 4th place riders in the Under 12 Girls event last year,Lexie Curtis (Poole) & Josie Kell (Norwich) are also in the line-up as is Phoebe Hammond (Kesgrave)
The Under 14 Boys Championship will conclude Day 1 and of the 13 riders entered 5 of them were among the top 5 finishers in last years Under 12 Boys event. A& T’s John White, Poole’s Kenzie Bennett & Kesgrave’s Noah Woodhouse were the top 3 in the Under 12 Boys last year whilst 2 of the riders who were equal 4th, Charlie Beeton & Kyle Wells, are also entered this year. White & Bennett are 2 of the 4 riders who rode in this event last year, Coventry’s Jack Reynolds and Bury’s Harry Radford being the other 2. Also entered is Exeter’s JJ Wildman (who like Kenzie Bennett is racing the Under 12 Boys as well), Harvey Young (Ipswich), Kai Gowers (Ipswich), Charlie Burgess (A&T) and Jonathan Middleton (Coventry)