BVIOC distributes Panam Sports coach funding to national federations

BVIOC presents coach hiring funds from Panam Sports to its national federations
BVI National Federations receive coach hiring funds from Panam Sports distributed by the BVIOC

The BVI Olympic Committee distributed cheques totaling $100,000 from Panam Sports to 14 of its member federations on June 26, 2020. The funds are part of Panam Sports’ special project for the hiring of coaches in support of sports development in the Americas.

The 14 national federations which currently are active and which are recipients of the coaching funds include Archery, Athletics, Basketball, Cycling, Football, Rugby, Taekwondo, Tennis, Triathlon, Sailing, Softball/Baseball, Squash, Swimming and Volleyball.

“Coaching is a fundamental part of the success of any athlete or team and the development of sports,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC. “The BVIOC applied to receive its allocation of $100,000 from Panam Sports which earmarked the money specifically for the hiring of coaches. The BVIOC and its national federations are very appreciative of the funding which is yet another demonstration of Panam Sports’ continued commitment to supporting the growth and development of sports across its 41 member nations which includes the Virgin Islands.”

The funding for coaches is one of the latest tangible resources Panam Sports has made available to the BVIOC and its member federations. Sports and athletes receive the direct benefits which the BVIOC apply for whether it’s through a donation of training equipment, funds for repairs to facilities – including the replacement of the Mondo track at the A.O. Shirley Recreation Grounds or through development initiatives such as coach training sessions.

Panam Sports is also engaged with all athletes across the continent with its ongoing virtual support sessions featuring professional experts in all aspects of sports both physical and psychological. The virtual sessions were introduced as part of the organizations’ response to the impact of COVID-19 on athletes and their training and competition programmes in the lead up to the now rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

About Panam Sports

The Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) was established on August 8th, 1948 and is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the continental Association of the NOCs of the Americas. In 2017 the organization was rebranded as Panam Sports.

Its principal objects are the celebration and conduct of the Pan American Games and the promotion, development and protection of sport, as well as the Olympic Movement, in the Americas through its member NOCs. The current President, Neven Ilic, has held the post since 2017.

Hive of activity at 2nd annual Olympic Day Sports Festival

International Olympic Day was marked on Saturday, June 22nd with the 2nd annual Sports Festival at the A.O. Shirley Recreation Grounds. The morning of interactive events to promote the Olympic Day pillars to move, learn and discover was hosted by the BVI Olympic Committee in conjunction with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture.

National Federations set up stations around the grounds where they staged demo sessions and invited attendees of the Sports Festival to join in. There was full and enthusiastic uptake in the sports as presented by archery, athletics, basketball, cycling, football, rugby, softball/baseball, taekwondo, tennis and volleyball with children and adults alike trying their hand at something new.

Sailing and squash had information stands featuring the equipment of their sport with each of the coaches respectively encouraging hands-on engagement with the sailing optimist on display and with the rackets and balls. Information on anti-doping and the Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organisation was also available from Doping Control Officers.

“The response from the National Federations this year was exceptional and we could not have hosted such a successful event without their full participation,” said Ephraim Penn, President of the BVIOC. “The International Olympic Committee had encouraged NOCs to ramp up activities this year to extend beyond the traditional Olympic Day walk/run and to promote the concept of getting active as a way of life regardless of age and ability. I am pleased that the BVIOC was ahead of the curve with this idea as we have been promoting interactive engagement since Olympic Day 2012 when we hosted the event at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College. The festival also provides the perfect platform for supporting our Long Term Athlete Development Programme.”

Following welcome remarks by Mr. Roy Barry, 2nd Vice President of the BVIOC and the reading of the Olympic Day Message from the President of the IOC, Mr. Thomas Bach, Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley, Minister for Education and Culture recognized the major achievements for athletes and teams as provided by some of the National Federations. Certificates of acknowledgement were given for distribution to the named athletes in athletics, football, rugby, sailing, softball/baseball and volleyball.

The Honourable Minister encouraged all athletes to stay the course and to continue to achieve results that they can be proud of.

Olympic Day was also selected as the appropriate occasion to officially announce the four athletes who have qualified to compete at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games from July 26th through August 11th. Naming senior track and field athletes and one sailor, Honourable Neville Smith, 1st Vice President, BVIOC congratulated Chantel Malone (long jump), Kyron McMaster (400m hurdles) and Eldred Henry (shot put) on their outstanding achievements in qualifying meets as well as 17-year old, Thad Lettsome who was awarded a universality place in the men’s laser event. The two sports’ disciplines are qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games.

On the heels of the announcement, Honourable Wheatley stated that the Ministry of Education and Culture has awarded checks amounting to $24,000 for senior athlete, Kyron McMaster for his gold medal wins at the 2018 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games and the 2018 North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC), Championships. Chantel Malone was also named as a recipient of a check for $9,000 for her silver medal win at the 2018 CAC Games.

“The Government has committed to paying our senior athletes for podium finishes at major international competitions,” said Honourable Wheatley. “This award is a ‘thank you’ as well as an incentive to stay committed to putting in the hard work and focus on winning a medal.” He went on to joke that the current roster of athletes was on track to bankrupting the government’s coffers.

At the invitation of Ms. Sabinah Clement, Athlete Representative, BVIOC, 3 athletes stepped forward to share their experiences. A volleyball player since the age of 12, Ms. Sharonda Pickering spoke of her route to becoming one of the best middle players in the sport in the NCAA conference, helping her school to conference and national championships.

Mr. Kenard Dawson who was home for the Summer, explained how he started his baseball career as a young boy playing softball with coach and VISBA President, Terrence Chinnery before going on to become catcher for the team at Georgia Premier Academy High School and earning a 4 Year Scholarship at Grambling State University, Statesboro, Georgia.

Ms. Beyonce Defreitas who just completed her freshman year at University of Central Florida, is a 100m and 200m sprinter and she closed out the opening remarks with a talk through of qualifying for the Commonwealth Youth Games, the Carifta Games and the IAAF World Under 20 Championships and competing at NCAA Division 1 events. Ms. Defreitas encouraged all the young aspiring athletes to follow their dreams and to be strong in their self-belief and confidence in their abilities.

Olympic Day was established in 1948 as an annual occasion where everyone everywhere can get together in their communities, whatever their age, ability or disability, to celebrate the Olympic values of Respect, Excellence and Friendship and also celebrate the Olympic Day pillars: Move. Learn. Discover.

The 2019 Olympic Day Sports Festival was sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports, Dasani water, Powerade and Coca Cola products distributed by Road Town Wholesale Trading Ltd, and MB’s Ice

Click to view the Olympic Day Sports Festival album on FaceBook

St Vincent & Grenadines cyclist Trevor Bailey wins BVICF 2019 Election Classic

Winners and participants of the BVI Cycling Federation’s 2019 Election Classic 74.2 mile race held on Feb 17, 2019. 1st Place – Trevor Bailey (St Vincent & the Grenadines) 357:40; 2nd place – Sean Weathered (Antigua & Barbuda) 357:45; 3rd place Philippe Leroy (BVI) 357:47. Photo: CM Farrington/BVIOC

Pack leaders from St Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda and the British Virgin Islands took to the podium of the BVI Cycling Federation’s (BVICF) 2019 Election Classic bicycle race.

The 74.2 mile race took place around the flatter, western end of Tortola, BVI on Sunday February 17, 2019.

In a sprint to the finish line, the 3 top cyclists completed the race within a couple of seconds of each other.

Trevor ‘Sailor’ Bailey from St Vincent and the Grenadines was first to cross the line in a time of 357:40 with Antiguan cyclist, Sean Weathered nipping at his wheel in a time of 357:45 to place second while Philippe Leroy (BVI)  followed closely to take third place in a time of 357:47.

Four women also competed completing a shorter course of 2 laps. The BVI racers included Olympia Fahie, Natasha Ruscheinski and Kay Reddy

The event was sponsored by the BVI Olympic Committee (BVIOC), National Bank of the Virgin Islands, Village Cay Hotel & Marina, One Stop Mall, TSBC Company LTD and Eugene Penn Taxi Services.

BVI Cycling Federation officially approved as member of Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)

By BVIOC

Darel Christopher Jr competed in the 2018 UCI Road World Championships Men’s Elite Individual Time Trial held in Innsbruck, Austria Sept 22 – 30. Photo credit: Jan Hetfleisch

The British Virgin Islands’ Cycling Federation (BVICF) today was approved by the Congress of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) as an officially affiliated member of the sport’s international governing body. The approval was part of the agenda of the annual congress which took place in Innsbruck, Austria and brought together representatives of 130 of the UCI’s member National Federations.

The affiliation clears the BVICF to participate as an independent body in any cycling event worldwide without seeking approval from a secondary body.

The BVICF was one of four new members  including federations of the Republic of Chad, the Republic of Cape Verde, and the Cook Islands. The UCI now counts an unprecedented number of 194 affiliated National Federations. Its objective is to increase this total to 200 by 2022.

The congress was held during the 2018 UCI Road World Championships taking place in Innsbruck from September 22 – September 30, 2018 in which Virgin Islands’ cyclist, Darel Christopher Jr competed in the men’s elite Individual Time Trials on Tuesday, September 26.

Darel Jr was the last to cross the finish line after covering a distance of 52.5km and elevation of 654meters in a time of 1.31.43.87. The event was won by Australian, Dennis Rohan who took the rainbow jersey in a time of 1:03:02:57. The course included a 4.4km climb with 330 vertical metres of ascent featuring gradients of up to 14%.

Results: http://www.tissottiming.com/2018/crdwch/us-en/default/Stage/7/Results#anchor

Queen’s Baton Relay leads BVI athletes to Bahamas 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games

BVI athletes, tennis coach and Chef for the Bahamas 2017 Copmmonwealth Youth Games with the BVI Commonwealth Games Association, Mrs. Brenda Lettsome-Tye for the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, and Mrs. Angeleta Bernard, Chef for the previous youth games in Delhi, Isle of Man, and Samoa. Photo: BVIOC

The BVI Olympic Committee (BVIOC) in its capacity as the Commonwealth Games Association (BVICGA) introduced the itinerary and route of the upcoming Gold Coast 2018 Queen’s Baton Relay which heralds that start of the quadrennially held Commonwealth Games and announced the 8 young athletes that will be attending the Bahamas 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games.

The BVI delegation to the Bahamas 2017 CYG (July 18 – 23) was introduced by Ms. Sabinah Clement, Chef de Mission for the Games at a media briefing at the BVIOC office on Monday, June 19.

The BVI team comprises Arianna Hayde (Long Jump and Javelin), Rackeel Jack (400m), Joshua Hill (400m), Mikkel Bassue (100m and 200m), Beyonce Defreitas (200m), Djimon Gumbs and Diamante Gumbs (both competing in Shot Put and Discus), and Adrian Baijnauth (Tennis). The team will be accompanied by Track Coach, Willis Todman, Field Coach, Omar Jones and Tennis Coach, Malcolm Dabre.

The athletes will take part in the Gold Coast 2018 Queen’s Baton Relay when it tours through the communities of Tortola, Jost Van Dyke and Virgin Gorda in a series of public activities and relays planned for Monday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 4, 2017.

“The Queen’s Baton Relay is a unifying event that invites members of the Commonwealth and the Overseas Territories to showcase their country, culture, hospitality, communities, and sports. It is a unique event and an occasion for all who reside in the BVI to come together in the spirit of friendship and unity and we strongly urge everyone to make an effort to join in where they can,” said Mr. Ephraim Penn, President of the BVI Commonwealth Games Association.

The full programme starts with the official welcome reception on Monday, July 3 from 9.00am to 10.00am at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park when the baton is officially handed over to the Premier and the Virgin Islands.

The public relay will then start with the first baton bearer on a route through Road Town to take in the Tortola Pier Park, Waterfront Drive, Queen Elizabeth Park, Old Government House, the Adina Donovan Home for the Elderly, Sir Olva Georges Plaza, Main Street, Botanic Station and ending at the A.O. Shirley Recreation Ground.

The baton will then be driven to the Ebenezer Thomas Primary School in Sea Cow’s Bay where the students will be back at school with a short presentation to welcome the QBR.

The relay will then continue to Manuel Reef and the baton will be sailed to Nanny Cay aboard a Tortola Sloop and a flotilla of dinghies. At 3.00pm the relay will pass through Cane Garden Bay from De Wedding heading east to Quito’s.

A relay supported by residents will pass through Great Harbour at 4.00pm before the baton is transported back to Tortola.

On Wednesday, July 4, the Deputy Premier will speak at a public welcome ceremony at the Walters Recreation Park, Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda from 9.00am – 10.00am. The baton then will be handed over for a relay through the Valley up to the Baths. All residents of Virgin Gorda and Anegada are encouraged to participate.

The baton will arrive back to Tortola at 4.30pm where it will be received by cyclists at Trellis Bay and ridden across the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge and handed over for a relay on foot through Long Look, the Sticket and East End and end at the Greenlands Playing Field.

A cultural presentation by traditional musicians, dancers and performers to include performances by the Australian resident community will form part of the official closing ceremony starting at 6:00pm at the Central Administration Complex. The evening will end with music and local food and refreshments on sale.

The key stakeholders involved in the planning and hosting of events include the Office of the Governor, the Office of the Premier, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports including the Departments of Culture, and Youth Affairs and Sports, the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, the BVI Tourist Board and GIS.

Event sponsors include the Government of the Virgin Islands, the BVI Bank Association – Banco Popular, CIBC FirstCaribbean, FirstBank, National Bank of the Virgin Islands and VP Bank – Premier Dental, Harneys, Meridian Construction, BVI Painters, Road Town Wholesale, Eureka Medical and Bougainvillea Clinic.

National Federations, schools, and Community and Social Groups will be supporting the event in the form of volunteers and participation in the relays as they pass through various districts.

The baton, which contains the message from the Queen to the athletes competing in the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia in April 2018, and international crew will arrive from Anguilla on Saturday, July 1 at 7.00pm and will depart for Jamaica on Wednesday, July 5, 2017.

The last time the Queen’s Baton Relay toured the BVI was ahead of the Glasgow 2014 games.

More information can be found on www.bviolympics.org. Anyone who wishes to volunteer or who would like more information on the Gold Coast 2018 Queen’s Baton Relay event in the VI can contact the BVI Olympic Committee on 496 6007.

Queen’s Baton Relay returns to the BVI for fourth time

Kyron McMaster carries the Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton in a relay leg through Road Town in April 2014.

The Gold Coast 2018 Queen’s Baton Relay (GC2018 QBR) is on its journey through the 71 Commonwealth nations and territories as it heralds the start of the quadrennial Commonwealth Games which will be held in Australia in 2018.

The BVI Olympic Committee (BVIOC), in its capacity as the BVI Commonwealth Games Association (BVICGA), will host the Relay in the British Virgin Islands when the Baton and traveling crew arrive from Anguilla on Saturday, July 1, 2017 until they depart for Jamaica on Wednesday, July 5.

There will be two days of community-oriented activity as the relay passes through Tortola, Jost Van Dyke and Virgin Gorda on Monday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 4, 2017.

“Although called a relay, running is not central to the QBR and the activities planned through Road Town, Sea Cow’s Bay, Cane Garden Bay, Great Harbour in Jost Van Dyke, The Valley, Virgin Gorda and East End/Long Look will be accessible to people of all ages and abilities,” said Mr. Ephraim Penn, President BVIOC/BVICGA.

The GC2018 Queen’s Baton was designed by Queensland-based Designworks and incorporates Macadamia wood which is native to the Gold Coast, LED

The Gold Coast 2018 Queen’s Baton

illumination which lights up when held, a Queen’s message window and GPS to track the Baton in real time.

Working with key stakeholders, the BVICGA organizing committee has planned a relay route and activities that will showcase to the world the VI’s residents, its sports-men, -women and -children, its beauty, culture, diversity and hospitality.

The Delhi 2010 Queen’s Baton makes a stop at the Elmore Stout High School in March 2010.

“This is definitely a community event and we are delighted to have the support of the Governor’s Office, the Government of the Virgin Islands and its Departments of Education, Culture and Sports, the BVI Tourist Board and the Royal BVI Police Force as well as the Australian community in the planning and execution,” said Mr. Penn. “We also invite businesses to join private sector entities, the BVI Bank Association, Premier Dental, Harneys and RTW in sponsoring this unifying initiative.”

Everyone is encouraged to participate in all the relays and public activities which will include an official ‘Welcome’ ceremony on July 3, relays involving the spectrum of sporting associations and a grand cultural finale on July 4 showcasing the traditions, music and culinary treats from the VI and Australia as organized by the resident Australian community members.

The Relay started at Buckingham Palace on Commonwealth Day, March 13, 2017. At the commencement ceremony, HM Queen Elizabeth II placed Her message to the athletes in to the Baton which will pass through the hands of the many batonbearers who will carry it around the Commonwealth.

Covering 142,915 miles in 388 days, the Queen’s Baton Relay will be the longest in Commonwealth Games history traveling to more than one third of the world’s

population. It engages communities and provides a platform for thousands of people to ‘share the dream’ ahead of the quadrennial celebration of Commonwealth sport from April 4 – 15, 2018.

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will embody the values of the Commonwealth Games Federation – Humanity, Equality and Destiny and build upon the event’s reputation as the ‘Friendly Games’ and the integral role sport plays in uniting and strengthening communities.

Get more information on the GC2018 QBR.

 

 

The Gold Coast 2018 Queen’s Baton Relay in the BVI

Join in and share the dream of the Gold Coast 2018 Queen’s Baton Relay when it tours through your community in Tortola, Jost Van Dyke and Virgin Gorda on Monday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 4, 2017.

Click here to read the itinerary and route of the Baton in the BVI.

For more information or to become a sponsor, please contact Sofia Fay by email at sofia@broadswordpr.com or by ‘phone on (284) 541 7845 or Cleave Farrington by email at cmfarrington@bviolympics.org or by ‘phone on (284) 494 6920.

Images of the Dheli 2010 and Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton Relays in the BVI

 

Andre Simon wins Jason Bally Memorial Road Race

Photo courtesy of virginislandsnewsonline.com

Photo courtesy of virginislandsnewsonline.com

The British Virgin Islands Cycling Federation (BVICF) held its annual Jason Bally Memorial Road Race this past Sunday October 4, 2015 with a route that took riders from West End to Palestina and back.

The race started at the West End Police Station and the weather was bright and sunny with good winds. At the start, Andre Simon took the lead and at the Frenchman’s Cay junction turn he took off like a bullet leaving the remaining riders behind. From that time he increased his lead throughout the race to finish the five-lap course first in Category A in a time of 2.24.21.

Following the leader was a pack of three who rode together for about 3 laps until one rider fell off from the pack leaving the other two riders to battle it out. With one lap remaining the battle was over when another rider fell off, leaving a lone rider to continue and finish the race by himself.

In the Mountain Bike Category, the riders rode together for a little bit but soon Rusty Burns decided to make an early break from his opponents and held the lead for the full course of two laps and taking the first place position in his category in a time of 1.28.45.

Race Results

Category A

Andre Simon                           2.24.21

Status Talian                           2.47.00

Ian Walker                              2.54.15

Category B

Neil Lloyd                               2.42.21

Mountain Bikers

Rusty Burns                            1.28.45

Tom Merrigan                         1.37.55

Orano Andrews returns to win Tour de Tortola

By VINO

Orano Andrews. Photo: Broadsword Communications

Orano Andrews. Photo: Broadsword Communications

Long, grueling, energy sapping, soul destroying and painful, were just some of the adjectives used to describe the British Virgin Islands Mountain Bike Club’s Tour de Tortola on Sunday May 31, 2015.

The race has gained the reputation as a serious challenge for the seasoned Mountain Biker, and this year’s race was no exception as it pushed each and every athlete to the limit and back. From multiple punctures, to vomiting from overexertion, to debilitating muscle cramps, to sheer exhaustion, to crashes.

Surprise appearances
Despite the challenges, some 17 riders proved willing to put themselves through what most have trouble even contemplating. Some of the sport’s “Big Guns” made surprise appearances, including Commonwealth cycling hero Orano Andrews who came back after missing the 2014 race, having won in 2013. There was also a face the Mountain Bike circuit had not seen for time, the VI’s top Ironman tri-athlete Richard Morgan. Road racing cyclist, Barry Jones from the Cayman Islands also made a surprise appearance.

The Course
This race is not only a test of endurance, but one of tactical savvy as the course consists of a total circuit of 36.85 miles and a total of 3,300 feet of climbing. “Go out too fast and you face the real prospect of burning out on the long climbs later in the race,” commented Dave Pettigrew.

The first half of the race is the ‘easiest’ section as riders headed out from the airport, along the coast road to Road Town, and onto West End, encouraging riders to put the pedal to the metal in an attempt to break away from the pack. And it was Morgan who broke early and fast, daring the pack to follow and challenge.

Initially, the riders held back and then the unmistakable form of Andrews, galvanised by Morgan’s taunts, flashed past in chase with Cayman rider Barry Jones close on his heels. Past East End the lead peloton flew and at Brandywine Bay, Andrews seized the opportunity and accelerated away from the rest, leaving road racing specialist, Barry Jones in second and having to find his way around the course solo.

At Steel Point, the flat riding vanishes and the real work begins and as previous racers will attest, whoever claims Windy Hill first will win the race. The King of the Mountain title easily went to Andrews who would sail to the finish unchallenged.

Despite making a few detours and coming off the bike, Jones would showcase his exceptional racing skills and secure second. The endurance of Ironman athlete Morgan began to pay off as he would capitalise on the less fit to earn the final podium position.

“All riders managed to finish and by that account all were deemed winners. Notably, as a group, the overall time to complete the race was fastest in years, a testament to perseverance of our little club. While one year older, we are no means slower,” commented Pettigrew.

Results
1. Orano Andrews, 2 hours and 40 minutes; 2. Barry Jones, 2:52; 3. Richard Morgan, 3:08; 4. Carolina Pettigrew, 3:17; 5. Statius Taliman, 3:18; 6. Laurens Blok, 3:22; 7. Ian Walker, 3:31; 8. John Ayers, 3:40; 9. Aaron Gardner, 3:42; 10. Dave Pettigrew, 3:43; 11. Jim Cullimore, 3:47; 12. Liam Blok, 4:08; 13. Shane Donovan, 4:13; 14. Rusty Burns, 4:28; 15. Mike Masters, 4:43

Junior Division: John Cullimore, 1:31.

Smit dominates VG course in mountain bike race

By BVIPlatinum.com

Virgin Gorda Grinder Mountain Bike Race 2014. Photo: BVI Mountain Bike Club

Virgin Gorda Grinder Mountain Bike Race 2014. Photo: BVI Mountain Bike Club

In hot and extremely tough conditions for cycling, Justin Smit, current rankings leader, won the annual Virgin Gorda Grinder Mountain Bike Race held last Sunday in a preview of the Tour de Tortola at the end of the month.

At about 7:20 am, the riders were ready as they lined up to head up the first incline out of Spanish Town. As the flag dropped, so did the riders’ heads as they powered into the first crank of the pedal of the race, with the prospect of thousands more to come.

Jim Cullimore set the early pace and blistered into the lead, but this was not to last as Smit rolled past with the irrepressible Alistair Abrehart in hot pursuit, followed closely by Iain Walker, Shane Donovan and others.

Further behind were Cullimore, Lauren Blok, Rusty Burns and Mike Masters, still in shouting distance.

The first mile of the race saw the powerful Smit and the determined Abrehart climb away from the pack. It was evident at this stage that once again Smit had his eye on the prize and no one was going to stop him, although the progress of Abrehart suggested a solid challenge.

This was to prove a false dawn; however, as on the early climb from Spanish Town to Savannah Bay, a clear lead had developed with Smit at the head and although Abrehart was chasing, the going was always going to be tough.

Moving into the ascent from Savannah Bay the early leaders were Smit, who had by now developed a big lead with Abrehart chasing and Walker, Potgieter, Virgin Gorda’s own Angel George holding their own just behind with Donovan shadowing.

Then, a surge came from George as he broke away from both Walker and Potgieter and powered up the climb to beat his challengers to the descent in an attempt to gain some clear space and catch Abrehart, who sat in second. This tactic appeared to work as he raced down the hill to the turnoff to Nail Bay, bringing Abrehart into view.

This sight, understandably, urged George to push harder to overtake Abrehart and cruise into second, leaving both Walker, Potgieter and Donovan to join Abrehart for what was to become a momentous slog and scrap for third as the dreaded ascent up to Gorda Peak loomed closer.

As the riders hit the lower levels of the main climb of the day, with over 1,000 feet of relentless grind ahead for 30 minutes, Potgieter, Abrehart and Walker were locked in wheeled combat the fight continued until, as in past races, Abrehart faded to leave Potgieter and Walker to push through and on to Hogs Heaven.

Abrehart was now faced with a life or death struggle with Donovan for the spoils of 5th.

As Hogs Heaven came into view, third place Walker allowed himself to look over his shoulder expecting to see Potgieter on his tail, but was surprised to see he too had gone the way of Abrehart and had now resorted to walking.

The closing stage of the race saw a break from the hills, a cruise through Spanish Town and a welcome respite for tired muscles.

For the third time this season, a dominant Smit took the chequered flag in a super impressive time of 1 hour, 7 seconds. Angel George followed several minutes behind to take second with Walker taking third, Potgieter fourth, Abrehart fifth and Donovan sixth.

Next race is Sunday 17th May, East End Torture.