Darling of Royal Docks cane a pair to a world championship for women

Annabelle Daning, 18, has won the world championship in an off-road race for women which spans her home town of Musselburgh.

Daning, 18, won the MotoGP-class title for the two-wheeled version of the sport at the National Off-Road Rally Championships (NORC) in Stirling at the weekend. The titles for men and women are the only two categories to be held in the same event each year and these are expected to be few and far between.

Fenella Prior, the chief executive of Womens Cycle Club, who are representing the women riders at the NORC competition, said: “The official title of this event is motor bike Rally Championships World.

“There’s always been a gap in the annual NORC between the drag and road classes but ladies riders from all over the world fight for the title. Annabelle’s driving skills and racing ability have earned her a place in the high profile world title. She’s achieved a tremendous feat and we are proud of her.

“The board of directors of the National Off-Road Racing Association will now make a final decision on re-launching a male-only circuit but their initial thinking is that the current total prize money would be slightly increased so that a fully competitive female class would be continued at all NORC events.”

Daning’s mother, Rachel, who coaches Daning and father Phil, said she was proud of her daughter and proud of the sport.

“She won seven races between Friday night and Saturday afternoon with one other race finishing outside the top three.

“The championship is so important to her that she has been sitting in the car all day between races, packed with sausage sandwiches and hot tea. The difference is that they are all extra meetings. There is no Saturday or Sunday off and this is totally different to when she took part in the North England Classic and took a year off school to go racing. She has had to sacrifice her social life for the sport and she’s made great progress in 10 months. “

She added: “She is a gorgeous individual and I’m just proud of her as a woman racing in this male-dominated sport. She has shown great commitment and I’m really glad that she has got her head above water.”

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