Nottingham University was the venue for this year's Indoor Speed Skating British Championships where every member of the Wisbech team came home with at least one medal each, with a tally of 16 gold medals, 16 silver and 14 bronze medals . They also brought home seven British champions. Leah Barker was youngest member on the day to be crowned overall champion of the Mini Girls category with a hat-trick of wins, leading from the start in each race, the only WISS member to win all her races. Arthur Buckler battled it out at the front in the Pupil Boys category, finishing in second place in the Dobbin Sprint and first in his other two races to be crowned overall British Champion. Jo Tidman held comfortable second places across all three of her races in the Masters Ladies category. David Billington in the Masters Mens category took a tumble in race 3 and crossed the line in 3rd place, but still managed to finish as overall British Champion after winning his other two races. Taylor Barker took home three consistent third place finishes in the tough Pupil Boys category where he battled all the way for his well-earned podium places. His brother Kirby gained three podium places in the Mini Boys category. Flynn McGurk took the third overall fastest time of the day in the Dobbin Sprint and took gold in the Youth Boys category along with two second place finishes in his other two races, while fellow Youth Boys skater James Eve followed behind him in third place. Newcomer Kayleigh Rye skated well in her first British Championships event and finished in third place overall for the Youth Girls. Twin sisters Eve and Lucy McInerney took an incredible win in the Senior Ladies relay race winning ahead of their rivals by 3 laps. Coach and veteran racer Mike McInerney held the fastest time for the team in the Dobbin sprint 100mts flying lap with a time of 8.62 seconds, and battled hard in the 1,500mts race for a triumphant win.
The most eventful race of the day was the Senior Men's 30-lap relay race, where Mike McInerney and Flynn McGurk battled at the front with Essex rivals Bobby Ball and Dan King. Swapping the lead all race until an unfortunate crash involving Essex, saw Mike only just keep upright on eight wheels and crossed the line first to become relay champions for the second successive year. The Essex team were disqualified for a fault on track leaving the second WISS team of brothers Warren and James Eve to finish in second place.
WISS British Champions for 2019 are Leah Barker, Arthur Buckler, Flynn McGurk, Eve McInerney, Lucy McInerney, David Billington and Mike McInerney. Three members of the team were presented with certificates for breaking records during 2018. These were Luke Frary for 100mts road race, James Eve in the 15km road race and Arthur Buckler for 100mts and 3,000mts road races and 800mts and 2,000mts track races.
Arthur Buckler flew the flag for WISS last weekend in Evergem, Belgium to compete in the annual indoor race meeting, the first international race of the 2019 season. The event is now in its 20th year and welcomed skaters from Belgium, Netherlands and Germany as well as UK representatives from Essex. The 9 year old took part in the Pupil Boys category of 4 races, 6, 8, 10 and 12 laps where he eased to victory in each to become Champion for the second successive year. Well done Arthur! A fantastic achievement.
Photo: Adrian Wordsworth
Three races per category, a dobbin sprint and newly introduced special trophies for two distance races were the order of the day at the weekend. The under 16's took part in a 25-lap race to compete for the McInerney Trophy, which Arthur Buckler won with James Eve hot on his heels. The 50-lap race for the Doggett Trophy was won by Flynn McGurk after Mike McInerney took a tumble with two laps to go. Warren Eve finished in third in the same race. Eve McInerney taking a triumphant win in the 3-lap sprint race in a very fast and tough Category 1. James Eve was very evenly matched with Arthur Buckler in Category 2 where the two boys shared 1st and 2nd places in the main events including the 25 lap race. Arthur finished in overall 1st with James a veryclose second place. In the Masters Mens category it was a whitewash of WISS podium places with David Billington in overall first place, Luke Frary in second and Karl Bates in third, while Jo Tidman took her maiden victories in two events which saw her take overall 1st place in the Masters Ladies. Kayleigh Rye made her race debut in an all-WISS category 2, where she finished in overall third place. The youngest team member, Kirby Barker, showed improvements in his racing and finished in overall third place against older and more experienced skaters. The dobbin sprints saw Mike McInerney triumph in 1st place with a time of 7.93 seconds with Flynn McGurk finishing in third place.
The team travelled to Derby for the first race of the 2019 season and proved to be an eventful day. The floor at the indoor skating rink in Derby was proving slippery for all racers and the event was littered with high speed spills. Nevertheless, the 12-strong Wisbech team brought home some positive results from the day. Arthur Buckler, Luke Frary and Mike McInerney all finished in overall 1st places in their respective categories. Six members improved their flying lap time from last year at the same track with Luke and Arthur shaving off almost a second from their times from last year. Other medallists were Karl Bates and Jo Tidman finishing in second place in their categories and James Eve finishing in overall third in his category. James being awarded a second position in his second race after an on-track incident left team-mate Lucy McInerney demoted to third. Flynn McGurk was disqualified early on in his second race of the day, a gruelling 6 minute race in the fastest category, robbing him of showing his potential. Warren Eve disappointingly crashed out of a solid third place in the same race with just two laps to go and narrowly missed out on a podium finish after a mature first race saw him finish in third. The day was finished off with an exciting 20 minute relay race which saw the Wisbech team take a comfortable win.
The team have had an incredible 2018 season. In the British Championships combined indoor, outdoor and marathon events, they collected 23 gold, 29 silver and 19 bronze medals, resulting in 9 British Champions & 30 British Titles!
Pictured left are our British Champions of the year. Clockwise from top left: Flynn McGurk, Mike McInerney, Arthur Buckler, Glen Brown, David Billington, Warren Eve, James Eve, Lucy McInerney and Eve McInerney.
After the incredibly successful year the team have enjoyed, they had extra to celebrate during the final presentations of the year when Flynn McGurk and Mike McInerney were awarded "Best Performance of the 2018 Championships" for their amazing win in the Mens Indoor Relay event back in March. This was an incredibly close and exciting race, fighting with Essex rivals Bobby Ball and Daniel King all the way, the rink erupted in cheers and elation when the Wisbech duo took the win.
Taking part in two successive Marathon races to finish off the 2018 season proved highly successful. The first, in London, was a wet event which proved challenging to say the least! Much of the team took home 2nd place finishes, with Flynn setting the fastest time for the team in the half marathon event with a 44 minutes race and Warren competing in his first full marathon of 26 miles. Then it was on to Bath for the British Marathon Championships where three members were crowned champions - Warren Eve in the Half Marathon finishing in a time of 40 minutes, with Arthur and James coming home first in the support races. Lucy also impressed by completing her first full marathon in a time of 1hr 30mins. The day also saw three members crowned Overall Champions for 2018 - Arthur Buckler, James Eve and Flynn McGurk.
Six members from the team travelled over to Belgium and competed in the Flanders Grand Prix and returned with impressive results between them, making improvements over last years' results. Arthur Buckler is the first British Skater in many years to take back to back victories for the second successive year in a row. Eve & Lucy McInerney finished in the top half of the overall results standings after competing in all of their events. Eve being the only British skater to complete the tough road race. Flynn McGurk finished as top British skater, after competing in all of his events and finished in overall 28th position out of 74 skaters in the Youth Boys category. Warren Eve also finished in the top half of the rankings, behind his team-mate in 33rd place. Warren also had the best time improvement in the 300mt time trial, by improving his time from last year by over 2.5 seconds.
James Eve showed huge improvments over last year too, and finished in the Cadet Boys rankings in 35th place, achieving some of his own personal goals.
Sixteen members of Wisbech Inline Speed Skaters re-visited Birmingham Wheels Racepark for the 2018 Outdoor British Championships. Between them the team finished with 4 British Champions, along with 11 gold, 14 silver and 10 bronze medals.
Flynn McGurk, James Eve and Arthur Buckler were crowned overall British Champions for their respective categories (Youth Boys, Cadet Boys and Mini Boys). While Mike McInerney triumphed in the 10k and 15k Senior Mens races to become British Champion in both events.
Three members of the team were confirmed to have broken British Records so far in 2018 and were presented with certificates from the Federation of Inline Speed Skating (FISS). Eve and Lucy McInerney from Leverington broke the Senior Ladies Indoor Relay record by 30 seconds and Arthur Buckler from Wisbech broke the 1000mts British record in Geisingen, Germany earlier in the year. They were presented with certificates at the Birmingham Wheels Club Race in May.
The Speed Skating outdoor season got off to a good start at the weekend with the Wisbech club travelling to Tatem Park in Enfield for the first outdoor race of the year. Despite the threat of April showers all day, the rain held off until the very end, providing a dry track and some great racing.
The success of the day was youngster Taylor Barker who won first place in all three of his Category races to finish first overall in Cat 5, while current British Champion Arthur Buckler also finished in first place overall in his Cat 4 event, as did newcomer Maxwell Webb in Cat 6, who showed impressive form in his first official outdoor race event. Arthur also did extremely well in his age category race which followed the Category races, and lapped the field to finish in a comfortable first place.
Finishing second in the age Category races were Leah Barker, James Eve, Warren Eve and Lucy McInerney. Overall third place finishers in their respective Category races were Flynn McGurk (Cat 2) Lucy (Cat 3) and Masters Ladies skater Jo Tidman. The team were also joined by Tiago Fougo skating in the Masters Mens category and youngest team member, Kirby Barker, who showed big improvement by finishing all his races.
Twenty members of the team travelled to Maldon and brought home a total of 30 medals along with 7 British Champions.
Arthur Buckler retained his Mini Boys title, as did Eve & Lucy McInerney in the Ladies 3,000mts relay event.
Mike McInerney and Flynn McGurk stormed to first place in the Men's 3,000mts relay to become Champions.
The other two champs were Glen Brown in the Masters 100mts Dobbin Sprint and David Billington in the 1,500mts Masters race.
Other achivements were Leah Barker in her first ever Championships event coming in overall 2nd in the Mini Girls, Eve McInerney and Jo Tidman finishing overall second in the Junior Girls and Masters Ladies categories respectively.
Arthur also picked up two trophies for his successful 2017 season. He won Most Promising Young Skater, and Skater of the Year.
Dobbin sprints (flying laps) started off the event with team coach Mike McInerney topping the time
sheets in first place in Category 1. Flynn McGurk followed suit with First Place in Category 2 and Arthur Buckler in Category 3 - both obtaining personal bests. New member of the team Motiejus charged to victory in Category 4 setting an amazing time of 10.507 seconds for his first ever Dobbin Sprint. Other members of the team gained new personal best times for their efforts on their home track.
Timed races followed for each category with an added incentive of a midway sprint for a cash prize. The event was finished off with a fun Team Pursuit made up of mixed club teams and abilities. Overall podium finishers were Mike McInerney in 1st place for Cat 1, Flynn McGurk in 1st place for Cat 2, youngster Arthur Buckler in 1st place for Cat 3 and Tiago Fougo achieving 1st place in his first race of the season in Masters Men. Some excellent, competitive racing gained second place finishes for Warren Eve in Category 2 and Karl Bates in the Masters Men. Fellow team-mate David Billington achieved 3rd position making it a Wisbech podium whitewash for the Masters Men. Other third place finishers were Jo Tidman and Charlotte Stapleton who finished joint third in Ladies Masters, Dylan Taylor in Category 3 and another newcomer to our club, Maxwell Webb in Category 4.
In January the team travelled to Derby to compete in a two-day event. The first events on Saturday evening were a more relaxed affair than they're used to with a new format of fun racing consisting of teams of three skaters competing in team Dobbin Sprints (flying lap), team relays and team pursuits with a total of 12 skaters competing in the events from Wisbech.
The Sunday race schedule was a more familiar one with the usual category races, and started the day off with individual dobbin sprints, which have now been included in the British Championships race schedule, followed by two races for each category. Nine year old Taylor Barker eased to victory in his events to finish in 1st place overall in Cat 5 to bring home his first ever trophy. 8 year old Arthur Buckler also finished in overall 1st place in Cat 4 to add to his trophy collection. Teenagers Dylan Taylor and Flynn McGurk finished overall in 3rd place in Cats 3 & 2 respectively. Karl Bates made his Masters Men's Category debut and finished in an impressive overall 3rd place, with team coach Mike McInerney also finishing in 3rd in Cat 1.
The club was happy to receive the news that two of their youngest members recevied an invitiation to attend the Pride In Fenland awards in January. Arthur Buckler and James Garwell attended the ceremony on Friday 26th January. This was after Arthur became overall British Champion and James finished consistently on the podium at the outdoor British Championships as well as at club races throughout the year. Well done boys!
Following his success this year, Arthur received an extra special suprise in the post. He broke the British record by 16 seconds in the 3,000mts race at the Marathon Championships earlier this year. The event is covered by racers aged between 6-13 so this is no mean feat by the 8 year old!