Ambleside Sports 2011

TWO crashes on the cycling track drew concerned gasps from a crowd of 3,000 people who turned out to enjoy the traditional Ambleside Sports at Rydal Park.

In the first collision a young rider came off his bike and was winded. But in the true spirit of the sports, he got up and was back on his bike for the next race.

This was followed by a more serious incident which resulted in a rider cracking his ribs when a cyclist hit him as he crossed the track.

The forecasted rain came for just half an hour but it failed to dampen the atmosphere as spectators were treated to a feast of traditional sports including Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling, hound trailing, fell racing and cycling.

Maryport’s Ricky Lightfoot smashed the course record in the nine-mile Heart of the Lakes Rydal Round which takes in much of the Fairfield Horseshoe and 3,000ft of climb. He came home in 1 hour 17 minutes and 39 seconds, which was two minutes and 50 seconds faster than Alastair Dunn’s best mark set in 2009.

Lightfoot, running for Ellenborough, edged clear of the field after the first climb and finished three minutes clear of Borrowdale’s Jim Davies with Howgill Harrier Carl Bell in third. Fiona Hughes was the first lady back in 1.38.07.

“It was a bit windy but getting up on the field on top of Fairfield I was able to pull away,” said Lightfoot. “I had been injured on and off for the last month but I got some training in and it was a big test. I took a few wrong turns at the start but managed to get back and then I just pulled away from the pack.”

The senior men’s guides race was won by the Isle of Man’s Lloyd Taggart (Dark Peak) in 14.24. He was shadowed closely by Helm Hill’s Mark Addison (14.33) who was unable to hang on as the pair dropped back into Rydal Park with Alastair Dunn finishing third in 15.05. First lady was Helm Hill’s Mel Hyder (18.50) who led home Moorfoot’s Scout Adlin (19.10) and Rossendale’s Emma Flanagan (20.00).

Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling has a new world champion in James Hall, 17, of Langwathby.

Hall, who trains at the Milnthorpe Boxing Academy, beat Ben Brocklebank in the final and was thrilled to win the championship at his fourth attempt.

“I have tried to win for a few years and only came fifth last year, so to win now is something else,” he said.

“Ambleside Sports is one of the most traditional games around and it offers a really good contest.”