A very memorable day was had on the River Clyde yesterday for everyone involved in Race 2 the Games – an accessible sailing boat race for people with additional support needs organised by Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park. This event is part of the Year of Homecoming Scotland 2014 celebrations and, for the competitors, their opportunity to be part of the Glasgow 2014 games.
Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison said
“Race 2 the Games is a powerful example of how sport can inspire communities and individuals with additional support needs to get active and give them an incredible experience of independence. All the participants should be very proud of their achievements. As a Supported Legacy 2014 project, Race 2 the games is creating a lasting legacy from the Commonwealth Games and making the most of Scotland’s first Centre of Excellence for disability sailing at the Castle Semple Centre, Lochwinnoch.”
“Race 2 the Games is one of almost 900 Homecoming Scotland events taking place across the year and is another example of how Homecoming is not only about Scottish people welcoming others from around the world to celebrate their home country, but is also about Scots themselves, opening doors to the rich culture, activities and opportunities all around them.”
The day started in Greenock to the sound of pipes, played by the only bagpipe playing MSP Stuart McMillan. The Inverclyde Provost started the race and thirteen little sailing boats headed out and into the choppy open waters of the Firth of Clyde.
Ten support, safety and media boats escorted all the colourful dinghies up the river to enthusiastic midway point cheers and banners from team supporters lining the riverside at inTu Braehead. Here the Renfrewshire Provost met and greeted them before starting leg 2 of the Race 2 the games.
By the time the boats all reached Glasgow – there was quite a wind and a big crowd of sponsors, supporters, friends and families at the Glasgow Science Centre to cheer them all over the line, everyone with their own exciting story to tell about their part in Race 2 the games.
Glasgow Bailie, Nina Barker welcomed all the competitors to Glasgow and Angie Malone, Winter Paralympic bronze medallist in curling at Sochi 2014, presented the Race day medals to all the competitors as they came off the water.
Gerry Hughes, the first deaf yachtsman to solo circumnavigate the world via the Five Great Capes, gave an inspiring presentation to invited guests said: “It is great to be involved in such an inspiring event. This event sums up the spirit of the Commonwealth Games and shows the world that everyone has the potential to achieve. I was delighted to meet everyone who has been working so hard to make the event such a success.”
With all competitors ashore it was time for a ‘vote of thanks’ by Regional Park Manager David Gatherer and for Prizing Giving, charismatically compared by Ronnie Smith
Race 2 the Games – the Results
Everyone on the day was a winner, however someone did have to come first, the top results are:
- Most Improved Sailor Vicky McMillan, Disability Resource Centre, Paisley, Renfrewshire
- 1st Leg Winner Andrew Frazer in ‘The Glasgow Bonnet’ from Stornoway
- 2nd Leg WinnerMartin Hadley in ‘Gannet’ Bournemouth & District Multiple Sclerosis Society, Dorset.
- 3rd Overall Martin Hadley in ‘Gannet’ Bournemouth & District Multiple Sclerosis Society, Dorset p
- 2nd Overall Shaun Longbridge & Ross Findlayin The Glasgow Cooper from Kilpatrick Special School, Clydebank, West Dumbarton.
- 1st Overall Andrew Frazer in ‘The Glasgow Bonnet’ from Stornoway.
Details of all those taking part can be found at www.race2thegames.org.uk, photographs of Race 2 the games will be their shortly.
Anyone inspired to try sailing, in any kind of dinghy can do so at Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park’s Castle Semple Centre, Lochwinnoch. The Park website www.clydemuirshiel.co.uk lists courses dates for sailing, kayaking and canoeing as well as other land based sports. The Regional Park aims to be accessible to all – that include walking trails, bikes and Visitor centres. Watch out for the next Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park organised accessible event – there are plenty to come including the Scottish Multi Class Regatta 2015.