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The Community Radio Station covering Central-Southern Dorset, run by volunteers and not-for-profit

Amazing Support for Air Ambulance Cycle Challenge

For the 13th year running, the life-saving charity that is Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, held its Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge on Saturday 18th May.

In what has become a real spectacle, hundreds of cyclists took part, either by completing the challenging 55-mile route from Watchet Harbour in Somerset, or a shorter 11-mile route which started at the Royal Oak public house in Drimpton. Both distances finished in the beautiful Dorset seaside resort of West Bay.

Taking part in the event were former patients who had experienced the work of Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance first-hand, others cycled in memory of loved ones, as a personal challenge, or as a team.

Watchet Town Crier, David Milton, started the event from Watchet with a 10-second countdown, whilst members of the public lined the roads in support, cheering and clapping the cyclists as they set off, at the various pit stops along the route and at the finish line celebrations.

West Bay was a buzz of atmosphere, with music and interviews being played by Keep106 radio, and everyone enjoying the refreshments available on offer. There were so many incredible stories of courage, determination and triumph shared on the day, with many hugs and tears shed by families, friends and loved ones.

Although the event is not a race, the first male to cross the finish line was Sam Beard from Yeovil and the first female was Emma Fisher from Sherborne.

At 80 years young, John Plested from Yeovil and Alan Harris from Weymouth were the oldest participants who completed the challenging 55-mile route, whilst 11-year-old Isabel Swancutt from Bridport was the youngest.

The youngest children to start the 11-mile route were six-year-old Eva Hyde from Fareham and James Molyneux from Wellington.

Alana Hardy, Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Fundraising Events Officer, praised the efforts of the cyclists and those that were involved in the organisation of the day:

“What an incredible day we had at our annual Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge, everyone who took part should be so proud of what they have achieved. We would like to say a huge thank you to all the cyclists and to everyone who helped to organise the event, including our incredible volunteers and wonderful supporters. Over £46,000 has already been raised for this year’s event which is incredible!

“Each life-saving mission that our crew are tasked to costs approximately £3,500, so we are immensely grateful to everyone for raising vital funds for our charity, so our crew can be there for patients today, tomorrow and in the future.

“Our next event is the fantastic 5K Twilight Shift, which takes place at Henstridge Airfield on Saturday 6th July. Online registration is open on our website and we would love for you to join us for a 5K run or walk, whilst helping to raise funds for our vital work.”

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance would like to thank all those who supported the event including: Bicycle Chain, The Bell Inn Creech St Michael, Carly Press Printing, Cotswold First Aid, Garador, Timewise, Glastonbury Spring Water, Hunts Food Group, Ilminster Ambulance Station, DocBike, Keep106 and The Royal Oak Pub Drimpton.

Photographs of cyclists mentioned within this press release can be downloaded from the following link: https://we.tl/t-DYCdoTUooO

Photographs that were taken on the day can be viewed and downloaded by visiting: https://photos.app.goo.gl/tbn6jLYvANurFpYH9

For more information and to register for The 5K Twilight Shift, visit: www.dsairambulance.org.uk/5k-twilight-shift

Entrance fees: Adults (£15), Under 16’s (£10)
Please note, children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

click images below to enlarge…

Start of Coast to Coast at Watchet 2024. Photo supplied by DSAA

Start of Coast to Coast at Watchet 2024. Photo supplied by DSAA