Report – Navy Road Race Champs


Ollie Yates one of the winners at the Navy Road Race Champs on Wednesday (10th September) at Southwick (Nr Portsmouth)

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Report – Navy Road Race Champs

NOTE: Send your results as well as club, team & event news here

From Graham Robins

Naval personal came together at the Defence School of Guarding in the village of Southwick just to the North of Portsmouth for their Road Race Championships on a very warm late summer’s day. The days racing was split into a novice sprint race for those who have a limited amount of racing ability, a women’s race and a main senior race in the afternoon.


The course, six and a half miles in distance rolled out of Southwick camp, through the village and then on towards Denmead, where it turned sharp left leading the riders down a single track lane over a hump back bridge and through a farm before returning to Southwick village its self. The morning’s races were four laps and the afternoon’s race being seven laps.

The sprint racing caused several attacks with riders jumping of the front but unable to benefit and then being swept up again by the bunch. Gabrielle Saunderson was with the leading group of men for just over a lap but she slipped back into a no man’s land between the back of the leaders and the front of the chasing group and that’s where she stayed all race.

The sprint race continued around the course and the riders seemed content to await the last climb out of Southwick to make their final attack. Once over the climb three riders had pulled away from the remainder of the bunch and these three sprinted towards the finish line. The first to feel the pain was Sean Childs, leaving two riders to contest the win over the last few hundred meters. It was Mark Haliwell the 31 year old Royal Marine from Poole in Dorset who had the extra needed to beat Aaron Daily on the line. Gabrielle soloed to the women’s win well ahead of Roxane Heaton into second place.


The afternoon’s seniors Main Men’s race was over seven and a half laps but this was run at a much faster pace. There were many attacks over the race but the leading group of about fifteen riders stayed away all race and it wasn’t until the last single track through the farm when Stuart Mackenzie jumped the bunch and he was quickly caught by Ollie Yates, and these two stayed away up to the climb when now clear of the chasing group these two were to contest the sprint for the win. Ollie dug deep and piped his fellow Mountain bike rival on the line.

Back at the Camp HQ the riders eagerly awaited the results and then it was all down to Brigadier David Evans to say a few words and present the prizes to the winners.

Main Race
1st C/Sgt Ollie Yates 43 Commando RM 2hrs 02mins 16secs
2nd Po Sean Mackenzie HMS HERON @st
3rd WO1 Sean Childs HMS TEMERAIRE

1st AB Gabrielle Saunderson HMS ILLUSTRIOUS 1hr31mins 08secs
2nd Lt CDR Roxane Heaton NCHQ

Open Men’s Race
1st Cpl Mark Haliwell RM Poole 1hr 09mins
2nd MNE Aaron Daly RM Poole
3rd MNE Joshua Terry RM Poole

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