Veteran Home International 3rd and 4th October 2015 Mid Wales


The England Team for VHI 2015
Mid Wales is an extremely pretty part of the world with delightful valleys and views across rolling green hills. The venue meant quite a journey for virtually every competitor and luckily the England team turned out in strength as it was an extremely close competition and we were delighted that England came out on top.

We were blessed with lovely mild autumnal weather preceded by a long dry period which was fortunate as both areas organised on Llynoedd Teifi were quite exposed with a tricky uphill drive to the car park. The areas were used in Croeso and are in the heart of the Cambrian Mountains. The terrain is an open moorland with a myriad of small hills, lakes and crags. The individual men’s match was a draw between England and Scotland with 69 points each, (Ireland 39, Wales 34,) but England’s women managed a significant win in terms of points with 73 points (Scots 46 Wales 59, Ireland 34). We had several class winners: Nick Barrable, M40, Steve Birkinshaw M50 and Andy Hemsted M65, Lucie Todhunter W35, Judith Austerberry W40 with Anne Straube in second place giving us maximum points in that class and the beautiful Rose Bowl trophy. We scored 142 points with Scotland, second, 115, Wales 93, Ireland 73.

_DSC8055 sarah and g
Gabriella Walsh, Welsh VHI organiser gives the overall winners Michelgate Trophy to England Team Manager Sarah Brown – Photo: Mike Kay

The relay competition was set on the other side of the valley in a good position to espy runner on the distant horizon as well as on a very long run in. It was close in the 2 men 1 woman part of the competition, and as it turned out the England teams always came in just behind the Scottish teams, thus giving Scotland a lead in that competition. (Nick Barrable with Jackie Hallet and Mike Billinghurst came 2nd, Ben Chesters with Sara Campbell and Andy Hemsted 4th, and Andy Simpson with Vicky Thornton and James Crawford 6th) In the 2 women 1 man race, the Scottish team came first and there was some anxious scanning of the horizon to spot the red and white of England. The three counting teams came back in the next few places, ( Lesley Ross with Dave peel and Janet Rosen 2nd, Judith Austerberry with Keith Masson and Alison Harding 3rd) and Anne Straube with Charlie Adams and Inara Gipsle 5th) so we won that side of the competition to award us the pewter quaiche with England 112, Scotland 108, Wales 56 and Ireland 36. So we won overall and are once again in possession of the Micklegate Bar, carved from timber from York Minster.

As to the team, England included some new members, Lucie Todhunter, Judith Austerberry and Philip Eeles who all made a significant contribution.

Our thanks go to Gabriella Walsh for all her efforts to organise the weekend, which included installing the team in some lovely luxurious accommodation with plenty of provisions for welcome snacks and packed lunches. The Welsh juniors did a great job with the team dinner waiting on tables and clearing. The food was plentiful and I am sure there was a very hard working team of adults behind it.

My thanks to them and to all those who were helping from the local clubs and region at the competition itself. In addition thanks to all the England team both for making the effort to get to the competition and for delivering some terrific performances so that the three trophies remain once again with England.

Sarah Brown
England Team Manager