Winchelsea Road Sprint

Old Event Revived

The Prewar Rye Wheelers ran an annual “Winchelsea Road Sprint” to find the fastest sprinters in the club. The race, held on the newly built Winchelsea Road, took the form of two time trials over a distance of a quarter of a mile. One from a standing start position and one with a flying start. Sixty years on and the spirit of these events have been recaptured, not on Winchelsea Road, it is far too busy now, but on a quarter mile course very adjacent on a little used track. Despite the rough condition of the surface both those sixty year old records were broken. Andy Manktelow shaved three seconds off the Fred “Curly” Price Standing Start record of 1938 and newest club member, Roy Fritchley, beat “Curly’s” Flying Start record of the same year by less than a quarter of a second, underlining the ability of the prewar trackman. Few records stand for so long. “Curly” is gone but his spirit lives on. There seems to be only one survivor of those early Winchelsea Road Sprints. Jim Catt, who won both events in 1937 has recently been in contact with the club, he lives at Hearn Bay and despite his octogenarian status, still gets out on his trike fairly regularly. Andy Manktelow, who won the 2001 Standing Start event more than emulated his illustrious Grandfather, the late Jim Sergent. His best effort was forth in 1937.

Below :- The six riders who revived a Wheelers tradition. L to R. Andrew Manktelow, Gary Booth, Jim Hollands, Ben Sharp, Steven Dalley and Roy Fritchley.

The six riders who revived a Wheelers tradition. L to R. Andrew Manktelow,

Winchelsea Road Sprint 2001

 Standing Start

1st. Andrew Manktelow 31.45 secs.

2nd. Roy Fritchley 32.15 secs.

3rd. Jim Hollands 33.20 secs.

4th. Gary Booth 36.32 secs.

5th. Ben Sharp 39.22 secs. 6th.

Steven Dalley 40.15 secs.

Flying Start

1st. Roy Fritchley 30.12 secs.

2nd. Gary Booth 31.52 secs

3rd. Jim Hollands 34.11 secs.

4th. Andrew Manktelow 34.50 secs.

5th. Steven Dalley 36.20 secs.

6th. Ben Sharp 37.17 secs.

“Rye’s Own” July 2001

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