Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Rach takes the win and Gee and Mille 2nds. British Downhill Series 2017 Round 1 Nant Gwrythern

The 2017 season is on and it was podiums for all this weekend with first for Rachel, 2nd for Gee, 4th for Kade and the fastest speed-trap for Muddy. For the Atherton Academy it was 2nd for Mille despite a painful crash and a 5th for Luke. 

Saturday's practice saw a water-logged track, drizzly weather and loads of crashes but the riders loved being back on track and spirits were super-high as the season kicked off in earnest, even the constant Welsh drizzle couldn't dampen the riders spirits. 

Saturday was gorgeous! The sun shone and the pits basked in the spring warmth but track conditions became much more unpredictable as the trail started to dry out - mainly in the muddy pedal section!

It was hard to find much positive feedback from the riders after some very sticky seeding runs. Mille Johnset was first up riding for the Atherton Academy in the Junior Women's category. She seeded 2nd despite a crash at the bottom of the track. Mille said: "It's not so hard to ride here but it's hard to keep the speed up". 

In the Men's Youth race, Academy rider Luke Williamson struggled with coming constantly unclipped, ending up in 15th. 

In the Juniors and in his first race for Trek Factory Racing DH, Kade Edwards crashed out twice. Once getting hooked up at a steep corner at the top of the track and then running into a tree in the first wooden section. 

In the Women's Elite, Rachel didn't enjoy her seeding run, saying: "I was still playing around with my bike set up, there was literally nowhere you could push on, you were going so slow."

In his first race on Welsh soil, Muddy said: "It's fighting you every inch of the way! I had a lot of moments that made me step back a gear, I felt so awkward."

Before Finals kicked off there was an hour and a quarter delay. Waiting at the top in the sun played havoc with Mille's nerves and left her feeling pretty drained, she took a hard fall in the rock garden and struggled down the rest of the course -- still good enough for 2nd place but the young rider was disappointed. 

Luke managed to improve on his seeding run to take 5th place - he was pleased to podium and felt that he had learnt from the experience but admitted that he had struggled with this unfamiliar style of track. 

In the Junior Men Kade podiumed with 4th but he was far from pleased with his run. Kade said: "The top part of the track was so beaten up and different from seeding, and I didn't ride it well, I pretty much stopped on every turn in the top section, I made up a lot on the bottom but it wasn't enough."

Then Rachel was on track. Manon Carpenter crossed the line into 3rd and the crowd waited for second seed Tahnee Seagrave  to appear, but it was Rachel who crossed next a massive 10.1 seconds clear of the field! Rachel said: "Gutted for Tahnee to crash out, but that was a mint run, this is such a hard track to race, you have to be really calm, more delicate than aggressive. The bike felt great for this Finals run, we made some good changes to the suspension after qualies - thanks Joe!"

In the Men's Finals, Danny Hart smashed it in 2.05.92 with Gee a very respectable 2nd in 2.07.62. Gee said: "There was nowhere that you could smash it, I'm happy with 2nd today - and so good to be back racing."

Muddy said: "I'm happy with that - I've learnt so much this weekend about riding in the mud, the roots and the slick- so even though it's not a result that i'd aim for it seemed like I could ride a bike at last on that Finals run - I feel like I'm going to give myself the "most improved award!" 

Finals Results 

Junior Women 
1. Megan James / T-Mo Racing 2.49.48
2. Mille Johnset / Atherton Academy 2.55.28 + 5.8
3. Rosy Monaghan / TCH Factory Racing 3.03.39 + 13.9

Youth Men
1. Jamie Edmonson / FMD Racing 2.23.82
2. Morgan Tyrell / Wideopenmag 2.26.82 + 2.9
3. Luke mumford / Cyclefix Ltd 2.27.984 + 4.16
4. Chris Cumming / Nukeproof 2.30.46+6.

Junior Men
1. Joe Breeden / Intense 2.10.59
2. Matt Walker / Madison Saracen Factory Racing 2.12.35 + 1.76
3. Kaos Seagrave / FMD Racing 2.15.19 + 4.6
4. Kade Edwards / Trek Factory Racing 
5. Conor Bate / Madison / Shimano / P&O Ferries 2.19.20 + 8.61

Elite Women 
1. Rachel Atherton / Trek Factory Racing DH 2

.28.22
2. Manon Carpenter 2.38.403 + 10.18
3. Veronique Sadler 2.53.516 + 25.29
4. Sophia Paull 2.58.329 + 30.1
5. Deborah Primrose 3.02.17 + 33.95

Elite Men 
1. Danny Hart 2.05.922
2. Gee Atherton / Trek Factory Racing DH 2.07.625 + 1.7
3. Matt Simmonds / Madison Saracen Factory Racing 2.09.219 + 3.29 
4. Mike Jones / Chain Reaction Cycles Mavic 2.09.227 + 3.3
5. Charlie Hatton / Intense Racing UK 2.09.602 + 3.68 

Brits going for gold in Palma

Friday brought the last chance for Britain's sailors to qualify for medal races and grand final positions at the 48th Princess Sofia Trophy, with James Peters-Fynn Sterritt in the 49er and rising Laser star Elliot Hanson set to go for Palma gold tomorrow (Saturday 1st April).

On a challenging day in light breeze, which saw a number of classes held on shore for most of the morning, Hanson stormed to the top of the Laser leaderboard thanks to a second and first and heads into the medal race seven points clear of Italy's Franceso Marrai, bidding to claim his first senior gold medal.  

Nick Thompson will have his eyes set on a podium finish having moved back up to third. Lorenzo Chiavarini, who wrapped up his opening series in seventh, also secured his place in tomorrow's medal race. 

Hanson said: "I had a really solid day. I just have to try and finish it off tomorrow. I've made a few mistakes during the regatta, I'm sure everyone has, but I've remained one of the most consistent sailors all week. 

"Whilst there are a few of the top guys missing, it's a strong fleet and it's been really good racing. I need to have a good race and hopefully I'll come away with a win."

Peters-Steeitt, meanwhile, stay perched at the top of the 49er table. The pair start Saturday medal races one point ahead of Spanish duo Diego Botin Le Chever-lago Lopez Marra. 

Despite their lead having narrowed, Peters said: "Our week's been really good and we've put in lots of consistent results. We're really happy with how the regatta has gone so far."

Sterritt admits the pair have still needed to be at the top of their game to have maneuvered  themselves into this position with one day of racing to come.

He added: "The conditions have been tricky. We've had some classic Palma conditions mixed with some unexpected scenarios, so it's not all been plain sailing. 

Also in the 49er medal mix are Dylan Fletcher-Stuart Bithell, who are currently third after a strong final two days of fleet racing. 

Reflecting between races two and three, Bithell commented: "There wasn't much wind this morning so we had a short postponement ashore. It clouded over for the first time all week, but once we got going we had a really nice breeze on the water.

"It was eight to 10 knots so we had some difficult racing as usual, with marginal gains around the course."

Looking ahead to the medal races, Fletcher added: "I think it could be quite tricky to get ahead of the boats in front, but ultimately we will do everything we can to try and win the regatta. If there is an opportunity to win, that is what we will be looking to do."

In the Men's RS:X Kieran Martin pumped his way into the quarter-final after finishing the opening series in sixth. Young gun Emma Wilson also secured her quarter-final place in the Women's event, qualifying in 11th. 

With the qualifying series over, the scores are reset to zero and the windsurfers need to progress through to the semi-final before they get the chance to secure a medal in the three-board grand final. With maximum 10-minute races it will be intense racing. 

"Today has gone very well, I had one really good race which was enough to put me into finals day," Martin said. "The new format means i will essentially start Saturday in the same position as those ranked third to 12th. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out as anyone can win. It's all new and pretty cool."

After a long wait ashore, it was a challenging day with a late finish for the Nacra fleet.  

Despite adding a 2,4 to their scoreline, a poor final race result saw John Gimson-Anna Burnett slip into second. The Brits remain in gold medal contention but, with a 16-point gap, between them and leaders Fernado Echavarri-Tara Pacheco, Gimson-Burnett will have a challenge on their hands.

With Tom Phipps-Nikki Boniface still firmly in medal contention in fourth and Ben Saxton-Steph Orton also securing a place in their first medal race together in sixth, it has been a positive regatta for the British Nacras.

Having narrowly missed out on the medal races at their debut event at January’s Miami World Cup, 49er FX pairing Charlotte Dobson-Saskia Tidey are through to their first medal races together in sixth place.

But following a challenging final race, Alison Young will miss out on the Laser Radial medal race by two points. Young, along with Finn sailor Ben Cornish, both wrapped up their regattas in 11th place.


For all the latest news from the British Sailing Team, follow us at www.britishsailingteam.com, on Facebook, on Twitter @BritishSailing and on Instagram @BritishSailing. 




Monday, 27 March 2017

Top tips for a Spring garden

Now the clocks have gone forward and the days are getting sunnier, we will all be spending a lot more time in our gardens! We've put together three jobs that are perfect for this time of year. We'd love to hear what you are up to in the garden this month, share your top tips in the comments box below! 

1. Edging
If the edges on your borders are overgrown and uneven, now is a good time to re-cut them as the ground will still be damp from the winter months. 

You can easily re-cut and neaten the edges using an edging iron. If your edges are still nice and neat from the last time they were cut, you can just trim the grass with a pair of edging shears!

Top Tip: Always pick up the clippings to avoid attracting slugs and other garden pests. 

Tools you need:
2. Planting Spuds
If you would like to see some early new potatoes, encourage seed potatoes to sprout by placing them on a warm window ledge indoors. Planting them deep into large pots against a warm south-facing wall will also encourage healthy growth. Remember to top the pot up with compost as they grow. 

3. Sowing Broad Beans 
Broad beans can be sown in the greenhouse or on the window sill. Once they reach around 6 inches (150mm) they are ready to plant outside. 

In well-prepared soil, plant them in rows roughly 12 inches (300mm) apart. Alternatively, they will do well planted in a grid with a support frame. This method of plantation improves pollination and will provide good support as they grow. 

You can protect the young plants with small split canes until they reach the support frame. 

Top Tip:  When the plants start to show beans at about 2.5ft tall, nip out the tips to reduce the effect of aphids (plant lice). 

Tools you need:






Thursday, 23 March 2017

NASS Festival appoints Silverline as official tool partner

Somerset-based Silverline Tools is to become the official tool partner of the popular action sports and music festival 2017.

NASS is four days of raw skateboarding, BMX, music and street culture. Held every summer at the Bath & West Showground, the festival is dedicated to highlighting a core action sports lifestyle, attracting the best international skate and BMX athletes and top billing artists. The event is expected to draw a crowd of up to 20,000 festival goers. 

Rob Henry, Silverline Brand Manager commented: "Silverline Tools are super-excited to be partnering with NASS Festival! We're not your ordinary tool brand, and love to get involved with unique events and projects like NASS. Silverline sponsors a number of action sports and high performance teams, and we think this is an unmissable opportunity for the brand to connect with our younger audience. The skate and BMX elements are a great match for our award-winning tools, which I'm sure, will also be put to good use building the park."

Silverline is a leading industry manufacturer and supplier of more than 5,000 hand and power tools across the UK and Europe. As official tool partner to NASS Festival, the brand will be supplying hand and power tools for use across the build of the festival village and skate parks. The Silverline events team will also be at the event with giveaways and goody bags for festival goers. NASS Festival runs from 6-9th July with ticket prices starting at £39. 

Image credit: Lewis Royden (NASS Festival)

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

BMR's Ash Sutton receives BRDC Superstar accolade

It has been announced that Team BMR’s Ash Sutton will join the BRDC Superstars roster in 2017 as the young drivers’ programme enters its 10th anniversary year. 

The British Racing Drivers Club founded the scheme under the watchful eye of none other than President Damon Hill OBE along with the programme director and ITV commentator Tim Harvey.  Alexander Simms will also remain on board as a BRDC Ambassador alongside his factory BMW drive. 

The programme itself has a lot to offer Ash and the eleven other hand-picked drivers to assist him in his development as a professional racing driver.  The programme will include workshops and training events that will cover physical and mental fitness, communication workshops, along with media and marketing training. 

Speaking of his step up to becoming a BRDC Superstar, the 23 year old commented: “Getting picked was a big thing for me. I was selected to become a Rising Star in 2014 so the goal was to step up to being a SuperStar. We put some work in to tick the boxes so I could move up and it’s great to be a part of the programme. The networking and connections available now are fantastic and there are certain people that could be a big support in my future career.”

Ash will carry the BRDC Superstars logo on his Subaru Levorg for the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship which gets underway at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit on April 1st & 2nd.

For further information contact maddy@bmrracing.co.uk 

Image: Phil Laughton 

Rachel Atherton named 2017 Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year!

Rachel Atherton has topped off her perfect season with one of the most prestigious awards in the sporting world - congratulations to the 2017 Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year!

The Laureus Awards were created in 2000 as part of Laureus Sport for Good, a movement that uses the power of sport to end violence. discrimination and disadvantage. 

Nelson Mandela was Laureus' first patron and he believed passionately in the cause. In 2000 at the very first Awards Ceremony he said: "Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination."

This philosophy remains the driving force behind Laureus' work, teaching young people to discover the best in themselves and delivering the skills and tools they need to succeed through the power of sport. 

There are several categories of award, including World Sportsman of the Year, World Sportswoman of the Year (with a nomination for UK's Laura Kenny) and action Sportsperson of the Year. 

6 nominees per category are chosen by panels including sports editors, writers and broadcasters with Specialist Panels overseeing the Action Sports and Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability category. The members of the Laureus World Sports Academy then vote by secret ballot to select the Award winners in all seven categories. 

The Action Sports Award goes to "the sportsman or sportswoman who best demonstrates supreme athletic performance and achievement in action sports in the qualifying year". Rachel was up against some tough competition with her fellow nominees all boasting amazing progression for heir sports in 2016 but in the end the perfect season swung it for the Queen of Downhill. 

The nominees for the Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the year 2017 were Rachel Atherton, Pedro Barros (Brazilian skateboarder), Surfers John Florence and Tyler Wright, Chloe Kim (snowboarder, USA) and Kelly Sildaru (Freestyle skier)

Rachel said: "I'm overwhelmed to be even nominated in such a list! And it's great that four out of the six Action Sports nominees are women - how awesome is that! Chloe and Kelly are still in their teens, looks like Action Sports has a lot to look forward to!

Laureus have been at the forefront of encouraging all aspects of mountain-biking and honouring its stars. Rachel is the first mountain-biker to actually lift the Laureus trophy but a quick glance at previous nominations throws up some familiar names including Anne Caro Chausson, Julien Absalon, Danny MacAskill and Darren Berrecloth.

The awards were made in Monaco in a glittering ceremony hosted by Hugh Grant with celebrities from the worlds of entertainment, fashion and sport dancing the night away. 

But instead of tripping down the red carpet, Rachel was hard at work with coach Nick Grantham at the team's training camp in California.

Rachel said: "I was gutted not to be able to make the ceremony; we looked at every available flight, about 100 different sets of scheduling but we just couldn't make it work. 

I can't quite believe this is real and I am so delighted that my success this season and the sport of downhill mountain-biking as a whole has been recognised in the wider world of sport. I really thank the Academy members for giving me this honour, it makes it even more special that the award is voted for by the real legends of the sports, all of whom I have admired and been inspired by; every one of them knows exactly how many hours go into finally achieving your goal. What Laureus stands for and the work Laureus does to help young people around the world really means a lot to me, I fully believe that sport changes your life and gives you the tools to overcome anything. Thank you so much Laureus, I will carry this award with pride and I will use it to inspire all the future mountain-bikers out there."

Winners receive a Laureus statuette of the human from against an engraving of the continents designed by Cartier; something tell us that this trophy will be taking pride of place. 

Images of Rachel: Sven Martin 

Friday, 10 February 2017

Ash Sutton joins Jason Plato & James Cole at Team BMR

We are pleased to announce that we have signed race-winning young gun Ash Sutton to drive alongside Jason Plato and James Cole for the forthcoming season of the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. 

Ash, 23 from Hertfordshire, comes to Team BMR from Triple Eight Racing with a year’s BTCC experience after finishing the top rookie in 2016.  Right from the outset Ash made his mark on the championship with an impressive 4th place finish on his BTCC debut at Brands Hatch back in April last year and his success continued throughout the season leading to his maiden win in a very wet race three at Croft.  There were two further podiums, two pole positions from qualifying and two fastest racing laps.  On finals day back in October he lifted the coveted Jack Sears Trophy after finishing top rookie, a championship he led for the whole of 2016.  


Speaking of his signing Ash commented I am over the moon to be offered such a great opportunity. I joined the Team BMR Academy at the end of the 2014, signing a two-year deal to race in the UK Clio Cup Championship, with a view to working our way up through the 2015/16 seasons. That two-year deal soon turned into one, and 2016 saw me sat in a BTCC Car. Not for one second did I think that two years down the line I would be a part of the BMR factory team; let alone with such a newly bred BTCC manufacture as Subaru. I thought I had hit the jackpot in my debut season in securing a manufacture drive; but now being a part of Subaru, and the package that comes with that, has certainly topped it for me.
  
“I have been asked what my thoughts are on jumping into a rear wheel drive car and to be completely honest I am I’m going back to my roots. I have only had two years in front wheel drive throughout my whole racing career, so I can’t wait to be back where I belong. I’m looking forward to the intense testing program we have planned.

“Working alongside Jason, someone I have always looked up to, is something of an added bonus for me. There are three things that have made this academy journey come alive, those being; my family, all my loyal sponsors, and Warren Scott himself for giving me this opportunity. All I can say now is, roll on Brands!”

For Jason, 2017 will be his third consecutive year with the team and we are delighted that another BTCC milestone will be coming his way, this year Jason will be celebrating 20 years since he first joined the championship in 1997.  Jason remains the most successful driver in the history of the championship to date and took several podiums in 2016 with the all new Subaru Levorg GT that included his first Subaru pole position for the start of his 500th BTCC race which he won with an impressive lights to flag victory, the 95th of his career. He is also Great Britain’s most winning driver in motorsport history with 113 career victories, Lewis Hamilton is 2nd with 90 wins and Sir Stirling Moss 5th on 74.
  
Jason said “I predict 2017 will bring much success, I’m energised and looking forward to fighting for the championship. Our team goes from strength to strength. We have a fantastic new addition to the driver squad in young Ash Sutton, I’m certainly expecting him to be right in the thick of the action. Testing begins in two weeks and I can’t wait.”

James Cole joined the team in 2016 after switching from Motorbase Performance and will remain with BMR for a second year in what will be his fifth season in the BTCC.  James brought a wealth of knowledge to the team last year which hugely assisted us in developing the Subaru Levorg GT in its debut year in the championship and confirmed this with a fastest lap during race two at Silverstone.  James has already completed a two day test at Donington Park since the 2016 championship ended where he gained valuable data for the team.

James said "Winter testing was a revelation. I worked with Jason's engineer, Carl Faux, and WOW, it felt like I was in a racing car again. It just felt right - the balance, my confidence. I can't wait to get back in the car and build on what I learnt in testing. I need to deliver for the team and myself. Jason and Ash are quality team mates and I relish the challenge to work and compete with them and help Team BMR to win the driver and team championships in 2017."

An announcement with regards to the fourth Subaru Levorg will be made within the next few weeks.

All of us at Team BMR are looking forward to the BTCC season getting underway at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit on April 1st & 2nd.