NFS(A) sailor bounces back from injury to race at provincial championships
By Ryan Melanson,
After suffering a serious back injury while deployed to Op REASSURANCE in 2016, MS James Gillett is on the rebound and recently made that clear with a winning performance at the Bicycle Nova Scotia Provincial Road Championships on June 18.
MS Gillett, the Regulating Master Seaman at Naval Fleet School (Atlantic) Damage Control Division, secured first place and the gold medal in Category B at the Riverport Road Race, finishing the 110 kilometre course with a time of 3:09:35.5, barely a second ahead of the second and third place finishers. He’s been cycling his whole life, but with only a couple years of racing under his belt at the 110 km distance, and an injury thrown into the middle of that, he said a first place finish at provincials was a big accomplishment as he gets back into the swing of things.
“I spent last summer in bed, mainly, so it feels good to be rebounding from that after a long recovery.”
As for the race itself, he said it was a mix of speed and strategy that led to the victory, using friendly competition with some of his rival team members from the VeloLab Racing Team to make a push down the stretch.
“It’s a very tactical sport and it’s a huge team sport as well,” which a lot of people don’t realize. Things went my way, I managed to put in the work and get to the front of the group.”
MS Gillett said cycling is his main method of exercising and keeping fit, with a little bit of running mixed in, and he recently took part in both the MARLANT Navy Bike Ride as well as his unit’s annual Tour de Sambro bike ride. He does both road racing and mountain biking, and often commutes from home in Fall River to DC Div in Purcell’s Cove on his bike. He’s already competed again in smaller races since the Provincial Championship in June, and said he’s looking forward to being on his bike as much as possible through the rest of the season.