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Grieve and Ritchie demonstrate their class at the Scottish Dry mat Championships

A new space on the British summer racing calendar did not affect the quality of the racing as Nicole Ritchie and Joe Grieve showed their class to win the Scottish titles. Hillend is the spiritual home of dry mat racing in Scotland and attracts the best of racers. For Ritchie, this was her eighth consecutive Scottish Dry mat title, a fact that makes her prouder with each year. Joining Ritchie on the podium were Eilidh Ryan and Jemma Clarke with Scott Waite and Robbie Anderson joining Grieve on the Men’s podium.

Hillend is the longest and gnarliest slope on the dry mat scene and to win a race down Hillend requires fearlessness, guts and no end of talent to harness the speed down the steep section and then carry it all the way to the finish.

Less than two-tenths was Ritchie’s advantage after the first run over Ryan with the rest of the field chasing Ryan’s tails. With rain threatening all day, it stayed away luckily for those watching the racing. The second run saw Ryan put clean air between her and Clarke who lead from Holly McKey in the finish when Ryan was coming down.

If two-tenths meant that Ryan was in with a chance, Ritchie showed her determination and ability by extending the lead to over one and a half seconds after the second run. Ritchie is one of the leading snow racers in Scotland and this showed the aspiring young racers that they would need to raise their game to challenge her in the future.

In the Men’s race, Joe Grieve produced a superb second run to overhaul first run leader, Scott Waitt and grab the lead and race win. Waitt was slightly off his game and just held on to second place by two hundredths from Robbie Anderson. Anderson had posted the fastest time of the second run at that point to raise the bar for the two racers following her before Grieve went even quicker to have an almost seven-tenths of a second lead with just Waitt to come down.

Waitt is an Under 21 racer with both Grieve and Anderson in the Under 16 age group. When it comes to going fast down Hillend, Waitt may have had more experience in racing down the hill but on the day, it is all about taking the risks and going fast. Mistakes cost time. Grieve’s determination and desire saw him take the National Title.

When he crossed the line the advantage swung to Grieve with Waitt just holding on to second.

The Women’s age group wins went to Sophie Anderson (Under 14, 5th Overall), Holly McKey (Under 16, 4th Overall), Jemma Clarke (Under 18, 3rd Overall), Eilidh Ryan (Under 21, Runner Up) and Nicole Ritchie (Senior, Scottish Overall Champion).

The Men’s age group wins went to Murdo Watson (Under 14, 8th Overall), Joe Grieve (Under 16, Scottish Overall Champion), Ross Nesbitt (Under 18, 4th Overall), Scott Waitt (Under 21, runner Up) and Colin McFarlene (Masters, 26th).

Glasgow Ski racing took the honours in the Club Dual Slalom contest.

Kira Langmuir won the girls Under 12 race with Lowri Howie taking the Under 10 girls race. Alexander Colling and Aaron McDonald took the Under 12 and Under 10 wins in the boys races.

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