This was the first time I had competed in this World Championships, and I did not know what to expect. The championships consisted of many different vehicle categories, most leg power and a separate category for arm power. In the arm power category there were 2 races a Time Trial lasting 1 hour, and a road race also for 1-hour duration. Bentwaters Park is a disused RAF site and a perfect setting for a World Championships. The Human Powered racers are the people you hear about setting the land speed World Recorders with the use of there legs and arms on some occasions. This was the first time I had done a Time Trial over a set time and not a set distance. This was because the timing transponder calculated the average speed over the 1-hour, and the same for the road race. As I was on the bike ready to warm-up for the Time Trial and the weather started to change and it began to rain very heavy. All the riders sheltered under the trees, as the rain was bouncing off the road. I was soaked to the skin before I even got on the start line, I was counted down from 3, 2, 1 then off I went. The visibility was down to about 2-3 meters and parts of the course were starting to get flooded. As I went through some of the corners I felt the back end of the bike step-out and it was hard to get control on some parts of the course. When I was on my last lap the rain started to fade and a bit of sun started to show through the clouds, I pushed hard across the finish line and went straight to my car with the other riders to get out of the very wet race kit.
The road race was later on that afternoon, but the handcyclist had a chat and decided if the weather did not get better after lunch we would pack-up and go home as we were all so wet and cold. Luckily the sun came out after a few more showers and the afternoon was blue sky and hot sun so all the handcyclist decided to do the race as the course was a lot dryer and no floods. We all had a few laps warm-up and went to the start-line. The start was very fast and I made my way to the front with the other riders, some of the corners and turns were sharp but after a few laps they didn’t seem too bad. Things got a bit tactical on the last couple of laps and the pace slowed up because no one wanted to be on the front. One of the riders attacked from the front and I chased to bridge the gap. This meant I was on the front so I slowed down, as it was less than half a lap to go. I let a rider come past me to take the front, but this was a mistake as I did not realise it was just before the last corner. This last corner was sharp and there was only room for one Handbike, I tried had to sprint to the line but by the time I was through the corner there was only about 100 yards to wind up the sprint which was not enough and I could only get just pass the riders back wheel as we both crossed the finish line.
After the race I was told I had won the Time Trial, and I knew I was second in the Road Race. But there could only be one overall winner, and the officials worked out the average speed of all the Handcyclist over the two races. At the presentation ceremony I was surprised to find out that I had WON the Arm Powered race overall, so not a bad weekend after all and worth getting wet for.