Watson & Flahive Tee Off in GP Masterclass  

In the summer of 1977 the two best golfers on the planet bumped into each other on Scotlandís west coast and produced a Sunday afternoon of epic sporting proportions as Jack Nicholas and Tom Watson slugged out what became forever know as the Dual in the Sun. Exactly 32 years later the name Watson again adorned the winners circle, though sadly for the 59 year old American golfing legend Tom it wasnít to be at Turnberry. For a much younger namesake- amid the mud, rain and a smattering of dendix- it was a different story however.

Step forward Andrew Watson, more Cardiff than Kansas City, but very much from the same competitive mould of his illustrious namesake. Indeed with Gerard Flahive playing the Nicholas role to a tee and the rest of the field almost out of sight the final outdoor race of this summerís GP series encapsulated much of the heroics of all those years ago.

So it was somewhat fitting that after Flahiveís metaphoric 30 footer of a second run Ė which up to that point was in excess of 0.6 seconds faster than any other racer - had laid down the gauntlet that Watson reacted like a true champion with a faultless afternoon run that matched the challenge laid before him and led him to a second SSE GP win of 2009. The fact the Watson was over a full second in front of third place, with Flahive less than 0.10 behind Watson only emphasised their dominance of the event.

In the ladies race Abby Clifford also made it 2 GP wins in 2009, however unlike her victory at Silksworth, Clifford this time had it all to do on run 2. However a faultless display of aggressive racing saw her not only overturn the slender first run lead held by Cardiff star Alice Hales but find herself with breathing space on the other side.

With the overall top 6 in the menís field all fighting out the junior 2 category third placed overall went to Tom Hales the Cardiff racer building on a slender first run advantage to shed Benn Hall, Daniel Curtis and Adam Hutchings into 4th, 5th & 6th overall respectively. In the seniors Andrew Crawford shaded Colin Armstrong on both runs to claim victory whilst Samuel Stephens eased to a comfortable win the junior 1 category with Keigan Witts & Nicholas Miller in 2nd & 3rd. In the childrenís categories Ashley Breese overturned a small deficit to squeeze an impressive James Davies into the runners up category with Mikey Knowles following home in 3rd. In the youngest category Jordan Fellows secured victory with Midland racer Nicholas Phelps in 2nd & first year racer Zak Vinter capturing a fine 3rd place.

In the ladies categories Hannah Parkerís 2nd run DNF opened the senior door for Lesley Mearns & Vivien Watson to challenge, Mearns doing enough on both runs to claim victory. In Jun 2 Charlotte Gould claimed 3rd behind overall winner Abby Clifford with 3rd placed overall Alice Hales being the meat between a Telford sandwich. Caroline Powell claimed the honours in Jun1, with Ellen Hathway 2nd & Charlotte Shrimpton in 3rd. In the childrenís categories Sarah Lambden did more than enough to claim victory though runner up Nia Jenkins pushed her all the way with Beth Widdup doing enough to hold off a determined Kelly Greenbank for 3rd. In the children 1 category Megan Jenkins continued to dominate though runner up Emma Peters pushed her close with Isabella Hathway completing the podium positions.

Amid the impressive sight of Watson & Flahiveís battle it was important to also spare a thought for young Ravens racer Rory Farren whose horror fall on gate 2 cast a shadow over the final half of the menís event. Dendix is an unforgiving surface amid a truly unforgiving sport. To be reminded quite how dangerous ski racing can be is never a nice thing, to be reminded by an injury to a lad so young is even less so and hopefully any injuries sustained will heal quickly. Everyoneís best wishes are with him.