A perfect night was presented to the 40 riders with a clear blue sky little or no breeze a stark contrast to the cold wet and windy conditions that caused the cancelation of the West Coast North Island event that was to be staged on Sunday. The programme was made up of mid-sized races to open up the lungs then the motorbike came out on the track to give the riders a go at Kerin racing and then finished off with long handicap races.
All races provided good entertaining racing with tight finishes and hard fought victories. The final race of the night was interesting in that it proved two facts of track cycling that may be contested but are always proven to be correct. Often riders believe that they need to ride the hardest gear they can operate when the fact is that it is the cadence or leg speed that will win the race. The second fact proven is that fortune favours the brave. The 12 lap handicap race began with 3 riders on scratch and the other 4 riders 200 metres further up the track. The scratch riders began as expected and quickly made in roads on the limit pack. By lap 6 of 12 all of the riders were together. The next few laps were ridden at a steady pace with 2 laps to go the riders began playing Ducks and Drakes as they tried to engage their personal strategy to get to the finish line first, nobody wanted to lead.
Step up Campbell Stewart the Brave, with 1 lap and 100 metres to go as his more senior counterparts were watching each other Campbell took a march on them all as he shot to the pole line pushing his under 17 restricted gear as fast as he could. The other riders realised they had handed the control of the race to their junior competitor and the only strategy left to them was chase and make it fast. While the senior riders on unrestricted gearing had much harder gears it did take them longer to hit optimum speed this meant that as the bell signaled the final lap Campbell had a leaded of 35 metres on his chasers. As the lap disappeared so did the margin with Matiu Kaihau and Jaycob Humphreys splitting away from the chasers and real in the brave Campbell and his spinning legs. As they hit the home straight Campell hugged the spriters lane with Matiu ranging up along side, then Jaycob on his outside in the middle of the track. The harder gears were chipping at the margin but the leg speed of Campbell was not going to gift it to them. The strain was clear for all to see as three talented riders were fighting with all they could muster. Campbell took the race by half a bike length followed by Jaycob and then less than half a wheel to Matiu. Campbells victory was all the more meritorious as he had earlier won the Under 17 12 lap handicap race and entered this race as he wanted more racing.
Rider of the night was awarded to Cameron Gibbons as he blew the wrapping paper off his new bike in style as he displayed good speed and power to take out the 6 lap scratch race and his Kerin event. There were a number of new bikes on show and they all provided good returns to their talented owners. A victory of note was that of Harrison Kinghorn in the under 15 7 lap handicap race when he had the strength and speed to round the lead bunch over the last 200 metres and while he was made to go further he was able to outpace his opponents to the line.
Results for Tuesday 20th November:
A Grade points race: 1 Jaycob Humphreys (10 points) 2 Matiu Kaihau (6 points) 3 Jordan Castle (4 points) 4 George Roberts (2 points)
Under 15 4 laps Heat 1: 1 Flyn Yates, 2 Daniel Kendall, 3 Harrison Kinghorn, 4 Fergus Washington-Smith
Under 15 4 Heat2:1 Libby Arbuckle, 2 Fergus Bryan, 3 Adam Martin, 4 Megan Gardiner
Under 17 4 Scratch race:1 Campbell Stewart 2 Josh Kendall, 3 Chris Denholm, 4 Carne Groube
B grade 6 Lap Scratch race: 1 Cameron Gibbons 2 Megan Blatchford 3 Brent Zimmerman, 4 Marcell Hollenstein
Race 1: 1 Matiu Kaihau 2 Jaycob Humphreys 3 Jordan Castle 4 George Roberts
Race 2: 1 Duncan Muller 2 Chris Symon 3 Kate Stewart 4 Luuk van Wagtendonk
Race 3: 1 Campbell Stewart 2 Chris Denholm 3 Michaela Drummond 4 Carne Groube
Race 4: 1 Joel Yates 2 Fergus Allen 3 Hayden Washington-Smith 4 Mitcel Kinghorn
Race 5: 1 Libby Arbuckle 2 Daniel Kendall 3 Flyn Yates 4 Fergus Washington-Smith
Race 6: 1 Fergus Bryan 2 Adam Martin 3 Megan Gardiner 4 Harrison Kinghorn
Race 7: 1 Cameron Gibbons 2 James Denholm 3 Brent Zimmerman 4 Megan Blatchford
Race 8: 1 Shaun Matena 2 Greg Bryan 3 Barry Gilliland
Race 9: 1 Kelsi Eccles 2 Ruby Perry 3 Sheralee Cleland 4 Teagan Roffe
Under 17 12 lap Handicap race: 1 Campbell Stewart 2 Chris Denholm 3 Josh Kendall 4 Mitchell Kinghorn
Under 15 7 lap Handicap race: 1 Harrison Kinghorn 2 Danial Kendall 3 Flyn Yates 4 Fergus Bryan
B Grade 10 lap Handicap race:1 Megan Blatchford 2 Marcell Hollenstein 3 James Denholm 4 Ruby Perry
A Grade 12 lap Handicap race: 1 Campbell Stewart 2 Jaycob Humphreys 3 Matiu Kaihau 4 Luuk van Wagtendonk