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“I’m really proud of dad.”

Sunday 26th February 2017

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Amongst the cheers at the start line from friends and family, Tom (10) and Sam (9) could be heard screaming their dads’ names in encouragement.

The pair were part of an impressive support crew for Pursuit Team Silky (79), who were last year’s winning mixed Pursuit team. Sadly, just a month after the victory, their navigator John Harris suffered from a heart attack and passed away. Now, the team are back to race in memory of John.

“I’m really proud of dad”, says Tom, “They’ve trained really hard and I know they’ll give it their best.”

From Nelson, the team has been juggling training, work and a hectic family life  – there are 12 children between the four team members, six of which are part of the support crew.

Meg, who is married to team member Callum, was at the start line, and feeling very positive about the team’s chances. “They’re in good spirit and good form.” she says. “It’s been a challenge trying to train together as everyone is so busy – there’s a vet, a nurse and two radiologists on the team – but they’ve done it.”

The impressive support crew, all with matching t-shirts and grins, will be following the Pursuit team closely, providing much-needed food, drink and encouragement.

“It’s been great fun so far. We’re all like family now, and are staying in a friend’s house in Frankton together. Last night we cooked up a big lamb roast, but as soon as the team finished eating, it was back to studying the map. We just had to keep the kids out of base camp!”

Team Silky had a great second day, holding a strong third position behind Virbac Animal Health (74) and Best Foot Forward (83).