Cycle Speedway doesn’t normally get much promotion outside of Adelaide.
Yet those who have been passionately following the sport since the late 1950s, can testify to the excitement and exhilaration that is part of a cycling discipline which had its crude beginnings in craters left by bombing raids on London and other UK cities during the Second World War.
The sport which involves six riders completing three laps of a 90 metre circular dirt track gradually found its way to Australian shores, and there are currently four clubs operating in Adelaide and Murray Bridge, which collectively boast some of the best cycle speedway riders in the world.
In fact, this coming November will see Australia staging the 2013 World Cycle Speedway Championships which will attract riders from England, Poland, Scotland and Wales and possibly the United States.
Although run under strict rules of competition, Cycle Speedway can be a tough, rough and tumble affair with endless action and nail-biting combat where riders can face exclusion or meet their Waterloo in a clash of bikes on a final corner.
However, it wasn’t the thrills and spills of racing that attracted all the attention last weekend, but a much anticipated rider stunt that has periodically been wowing cycle speedway fans at the Findon track for years…. the infamous Wall of Fire!
The event is normally well prepared and well-orchestrated, with organizers going to extreme measures to ensure the safety of the riders involved, including the wearing of fire-proof clothing and masks and additional fire-proof creams.
But on Sunday, things didn’t quite go to plan at Findon’s 55th birthday celebrations, and as the riders began their spectacular plunge through a wall of burning cardboard, with the pungent smell of kero in the air, the cardboard did not break away as planned, and instead, tended to stick to the riders, causing immediate post stunt alarm, and rapid measures to douse the flames.
St John’s Ambulance attendants were on hand to assist the injured, and two boys and a girl were later taken to hospital for treatment to non-life threatening injuries.
And did cycle speedway get some extra promotion out of this unfortunate incident?
Well…. Not really.
The report found its way onto the Herald Sun on-line news with two spectacular images courtesy of Facebook Adelaidenow, and not one mention of “cycle speedway” in the entire article!!
Oh well, perhaps the wider sporting public may still get a chance to hear and read about cycle speedway in Adelaide, but let’s hope that the Wall of Fire isn’t the catalyst of a good report next time.
The itinerary for the 2013 World Cycle Speedway Championships has been released.
The Championships will take place in Adelaide from the 4th November, 2013.
The proposed itinerary is subject to change, although the racing dates are likely to remain the same.
The organisers are to be congratulated on the early release of details, as this will certainly help the overseas teams attending the Championships.
The 2013 World Championship:
Mon 4th…GB Arrives or possibly Tues 5th
Thurs 7th : Test Match 1 (LeFevre) Junior 7pm Senior 8.30pm
Fri 8th : Club Night at LeFevre ----Salisbury----Findon
Sat 9 (for overseas visitors: Christmas Pageant through the streets of Adelaide) starts at 9-30am
Test Match No2 (Salisbury) Women 1pm (Test Match 1) – Junior 3pm – Senior 6pm
Sun 10th] : Test Match No3 (Findon) Women 1pm (Test Match2)—Junior 3pm—Senior 6pm
Mon 11th : Women Test Match No3 7pm. (Salisbury.)
8-30pm Senior World Cup Qualifier Top 3 to Final
Wed 13 th Possible Race Meeting Meeting atFindon 7pm
Fri 15th : Veterans Elimination heats (if necessary) Women Individual Eliminations heats (if necessary)
Club racing (at least 1 track)
Sat 16th: Federation Cup (Australia, Great Britain, Poland) (LeFevre) Women 1pm Junior 3pm Senior 6pm
Sun 17th : World Pairs Championship (Murraylands) Junior 2pm Senior 4pm
Mon 18th : Senior Individual Eliminations. 4 heats (Findon, Salisbury, LeFevre) top 8 to Prelim Finals=32
Tues 19th : Junior Semi-Finals (2) top 8 to Final = 16
Wed 20th : Senior Preliminary Finals (2) top 12 + next highest scorer to Semi’s + 7 seeds = 32
Thurs 21st : Senior Individual Semi-Finals (2)
Fri 22nd : Club Night racing at LeFevre -- Salisbury
Sat 23rd : World Cups (Findon) Junior 4pm Senior 6pm
Sun 24th : World Individuals (Salisbury) Women 12n---Veterans 2pm—Junior 4pm----Senior 6pm.
Mon 25th : Tourists depart
The Division 1 Cycle Speedway League Grand Final, held at Findon, was between the Salisbury Jets and the Le Fevre Dolphins
The Division 1 League Grand Final was held at the Findon track and you would have thought you were witnessing a GB v Australia Test Match.
Dolphins got off to a great start with Ty Geertsen and Daniel Robb coming out of grids 1-3 to score a 6-4 from Cody Ball and Joel Chadwick and then Robert Fitzpatrick and Cameron Crisp duplicating the scoring in race 2 over Cody Chadwick and Ryan Edson.
The pairing of Ty Geertsen and Robert Sellick in race 3 saw another 6-4 against Cody Ball and Ryan Greenhalgh.
Race 4 and Jets fight back with Joel Chadwick and Ryan Edson take a 7-3 from Daniel Robb and Cameron Crisp.
Points after race 4 are Dolphins 21 Jets 19. Race 5 and the scores are even after Cody Chadwick and Cody Ball take a 6-4 from Robert Fitzpatrick and Robert Sellick.
Race 6 and Dolphins regain the lead with a 6-4 from Daniel Robb and Ty Geertsen from Ryan Edson and Shane Weinert. Race 7 sees Robert Fitzpatrick first but his partner Cameron Crisp suffers a leg exclusion on the home turn putting Cody Chadwick down so the Jets pick up a point and the scores are now 35-34 in favour of the Dolphins.
Races 8, 9 and 10 are even pointers and the Jets take a 6-4 in race 11 putting the Jets in front for the first time.
The atmosphere was electric going into the final race with Ty Geertsen gating from grid 2 around Cody Cadwick with Robert Fitzpatrick and Shane Weinert going under both of them but the race was recalled after Weinert tangled with Fitzpatrick.
In the re-run Chadwick held his gate 1 drifting Geertsen to allow Weinert to come through. The Jets then powered home to a 7-3 and winning the match 62-57.
The main topic from the spectators was ‘Just think what it’s going to be like for the 2013 Test Matches’!!!!!
Salisbury Jets: Joel Chadwick 17, Cody Chawick 16, Shane Weinert 11, Ryan Rdson 10, Cody Ball 5, Ryan Greenhalgh 3.
LeFevre Dolphins: Robert Fitzpatrick 17, Ty Geertsen 16, Daniel Robb 11, Cameron Crisp 8, Robert Sellick 5. Nash Manoel 0, Andrew Wilkie 0.
Referee: Mick Harley
SALISBURY JETS 62 LEFEVRE DOLPHINS 57
The Division 4 (Under 13) League Grand Final was, for the first time, a LeFevre Dolphins and Murraylands affair.
Up till now, it has always been the Findon Comets and Salisbury Jets who have won the Div 4 Premiership, but this year there was a changing of the guard.
The Final was held at the Salisbury track (neutral track) using the 6-man 12 race formula.
The points were even on 25 after race 5 but then the combination of Brodie and Toby Wohlschlager started the change in Murraylands favour with a 7-3 in race 6.
Races 7,8,9 were even pointers but then Murraylands sealed the deal when they scored 7-3 in the last 3 heats.
Murraylands: Brodie Wohlschlager 17, Cameron Zadow 16, Toby Wohlschlager 14, Ebony Clark 12, Levi Strothers 6, Ryan Lee 3
LeFevre Dolphins: Jack Norman 15, Todd Clarke 12, Darnell Miller 10, Accacia Pride 8, Adam Thompson 5, Locke Pearce 2
MURRAYLANDS 68 LEFEVRE DOLPHINS 52
Referee: Brad Hoppo
It was the main event of the year and 130 competitors (or in this case combatants) plus their family support crew packed into the Findon Complex to witness one of the best days racing in years.
It was a hot 35 degrees and everyone was feeling it as the temperature the day before was a pleasant 22 and, coming out of a cold winter no one was used to the hot weather. We now know how the Poms and the Poles feel coming from the cold.
The Grand parade was very spectacular with the 130 participants lined up all around the track.
The actual racing got under way at 12-25pm and with the Referee (Phil O’Neill) calling the next race on the track as soon as the last rider of the previous race crossed the finishing line we got through it rather quickly finishing around 5-30pm.
(If he had waited for the track to be clear we would have finished around 7pm.
Although it was a hot 35 the obligatory World Famous Fire Jump was held immediately after the trophy presentation and this increased the perspiration on everyone standing anywhere near the safety fence.
It was good to see Mitchell and Jack Spear back on the saddle and it appears they are keen to train for the 2013 Worlds and once again boost the ranks of the Findon Comets League Team.
For those who don’t know, jack had a very nasty accident a few months ago when he rode his motor bike off a cliff and fell 15 metres breaking many bones.
His mates went looking for him after he didn’t turn up for a couple of hours and he had to be rescued from the cliff base by the Emergency helicopter.
16 riders contested Division 1 where each rider had 4 races with the top 4 point scorers going into the sudden death final. Cody Chadwick scored 15 with Ryan Edson on 14 which put them straight into the Final. Ty Geertsen, Bobby McMillan, Joel Chadwick and Daniel Robb all scored 13 and had a run-off with Ty Geertsen and Joel Chadwick securing a berth in the Final.
The Grand Final was won in great style by the very popular Cody Chadwick who finally has taken out the event that had eluded him for the past few years.
He bounced out first with Ryan Edson in 2nd followed by Ty Geertsen and Joel Chadwick.
Coming out of turn 2 Joel Chadwick went under both Geertsen and Edson to take over 2nd spot but was quickly passed by Edson who made a great dive under Joel Chadwick on turn 4 to move into 2nd and it was then on between Ty Geertsen and Joel Chadwick for 3rd spot with Chadwick finishing in front of Geertsen.
Division 7: 1st Mitchell O’Neill 2nd Tarj Simpson 3rd Ben Pudney 4th: JackDawson
Division 6: 1st: Cooper Osborne 2nd : Thomas Jansen 3rd : Aiden Weinert 4th: Cohen Adamson
Division 5: Jack Norman 2nd: Darnell Miller 3rd: Mathew Snowden 4th: Jack Swansson
Division 4: 1st: Cameron Zadow 2nd: Mathew Hurley 3rd: Toby Wohlschlager 4th: Josh Carden
Girls Under 13: 1st: Ebony Clark 2nd : Holly Greenhalgh 3rd: Miriam Thompson 4th: Latisha Bevear
Women: 1st: Letitia Collins 2nd: Nicole Kinross 3rd: Lucy Millikin 4th: Sarah Kinross
Division 3: 1st: Shane Bentley 2nd: Ryan Greenhalgh 3rd: Trent Forester 4th: Connor Whelan
Over 30: 1st: Robert Fleming 2nd: Darren Schultz 3rd: Andrew Blatchford 4th: Robert Thompson
Division 2: 1st: Jay Walters 2nd: Braden Makepeace 3rd: David Watkins 4th: Mark Sheldon
Division 1: 1st: Cody Chadwick 2nd: Ryan Edson 3rd: Joel Chadwick 4th: Ty Geertsen
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