2013 U10 British Champ report

Excellent report from Graham

Boys Under 10:

It was a proud day for Bretford and a proud day for Kesgrave, with the tiny Suffolk town’s riders claiming 4 of the top 8 positions in the Boys Under 10 Final!

Congratulations to the top 2, both from Kesgrave – Lewis Brinkhoff for retaining his Gold and Oliver Wright on his Silver. Third placed Bronze medal, after a run off, went to Exeter’s Ben Stanbury.

Brinkhoff had no problems mastering the unconventional Bretford track on his first visit, to remain unbeaten throughout the days racing, with nobody able to trouble him. However it was the minor placings on the rostrum that realistically any of 5 were chasing.

On an interesting track that couldn’t be watered, until later in the day, due to the heavy rains that surrounded the area, several riders were caught out by the tight 1st\2nd bends and long straights. Particularly with the slight decline of the home straight. Many came unstuck on the 2nd bend, finding that they had run out of track.

It must be said that success was achieved by those riders with fast gating and technical abilities as well as of course a bit of luck on the day. Referee Ralph Doughty adopted a more lenient interpretation of the rules for the under 10’s, where fallers were generally, but not consistently, allowed back for a re-run. Great for those that fell and stayed down, but certainly not for those that are used to stricter rules and automatically get back on the bike to get their point.

The qualifying system was required to reduce the field down to 16 and 2 reserves. This didn’t cause too many surprises, but turned into a bit of a marathon effort for Ipswich’s Charlie Johnson and the only Bretford qualifier Scott Price. He took part in 6 gruelling races in order to gain the 16th spot to please the home supporters.

Other locals Charlie Bracken, Owen Ford and Sam Slatter were the unlucky 3 to miss out, but a nice touch – they were given a bag of sweets for their efforts.

The 18 qualifiers, including the 2 reserves were presented with finalists medals by the mayor of Rugby and ex-Coventry rider Tony Gillias, who also had a few laps of reminiscence in his suit! Something to be treasured by all the youngsters and another nice touch by the promoting club.

Heat 1 of the final saw a clash of the eventual top 3. It turned out rather uneventful, Lewis Brinkhoff gated around Ben Stanbury, with Ollie Wright and Scott Price following for the 3 lap race. Heat 3 saw the coming together of 3 Kesgrave riders as well as Poole’s Nathan Gouldon. Jake Vincent used his gate 1 to good effect to win ahead of Kai McGuire but it was disaster for Alfie Steward – after a slight mistake going too wide around the bend to finish in 4th.

Another fancied rider, Kesgrave’s Jake Vincent while making a move on Ben Clarke slipped and fell in Heat 6. Sam Turney managed to stay on despite riding over the bike with no where else to go. Jake then picked himself up to finish the race with a point.

After 2 races each it was Brinkhoff and Bury’s Tom Whitwam leading on 8 each. Exeter’s Ben Stanbury and Underwood’s Dan Wright were in joint 3rd position, at this early stage, both on 7.

After the next round of races it was the same 2 leading the pack and looking untouchable, with the chasing Stanbury and the 2 Wright’s (unrelated!) on 10 and Vincent on 9.

Heat 13 was a difficult one for Dan Wright where he finished in 4th and Heat 15 was not good for Whitwam. He dropped his first points of the meeting to Ollie Wright, making the most of his gate 1, Whitwam was also picked off by the chasing Vincent. With all the other front runners scoring well, with 1 race left each, Brinkhoff was still on a maximum, Stanbury, Whitwam and O.Wright were all on 14 and Vincent, Steward and D.Wright the only others on double points.

In the final set of heats, Vincent won his race ahead of Stanbury but unfortunately missed out on a top 3 run off by a single point. Brinkhoff completed his maximum in a tough race, ahead of Tom Whitwam, Dan Wright and Alfie Steward. By this point Ollie Wright knew that a win would give him 18 points and the runners up position. He shot away from gate 4 like a greyhound out of a trap to reach the finish line ahead of Sheffield’s Sam Turney. In heat 20, Ipswich’s Ben Clarke finished with a win to finish on a very creditable joint 6th position with Dan Wright.

With Whitwam and Stanbury both finishing on 17 points a run off was in order. Whitwam picked the inside gate position and took the lead, despite a nudge onto the centre green going into the first bend. Under pressure from Stanbury he picked up too much speed down the home straight and came to grief, falling on the 2nd bend, with no re-run called, Stanbury claimed 3rd position.

An exciting meeting with favourite Brinkhoff again proving what an accomplished rider he is. However it was Oliver Wright that caught the eye with his 16 point maximum after his difficult heat 1 was out of the way. Ben Stanbury rode consistently but was drawn outside top riders Tom Whitwam and Jake Vincent, making it very difficult for him to score any more than he did. Tom Whitwam rode very strong to not drop a point from his 1st 3 outings and looked destined for a top 3 place until his luck changed for the worse. Jake Vincent had 1 unlucky ride that prevented him scoring more and finishing on the rostrum.

Scorers: Lewis Brinkhoff (Kesgrave) 20, Oliver Wright (Kesgrave) 18, Ben Stanbury (Exeter) 17, Thomas Whitwam (Bury) 17, Jake Vincent (Kesgrave) 16, Ben Clarke (Ipswich) 13, Dan Wright (Underwood) 13, Alfie Steward (Kesgrave) 12, Nathan Gouldon (Poole) 11, Kai McGuire (Kesgrave) 11, Charlie Wade (Hull) 10, Charlie Johnson (Ipswich) 9, Harry Stanbury (Exeter) 9, Sam Turney (Sheffield) 9, Regan Repman (Kesgrave) 8, Scott Price (Bretford) 7

Reserves: Ryan Winwood (Birmingham and Scott Pierce (Poole)

Referee: Ralph Doughty (West Midlands)

Girls Under 10:

The girls final was contested by 8 riders. Reigning champion Ipswich’s Gemma Hill was fully aware of her main challenger in Swindon’s Alice Neighbour. So it was to be heat 9 that was the one not to miss. Alice was on the favourable inside gate, with Hill on 4 and Ipswich’s Abi Warner in-between. After a couple of restarts due to an unsatisfactory first bend, Alice held her position, to ride a steady line ahead of a visibly disappointed Gemma to the chequered flag.

She completed her final ride on a maximum to take this well deserved title and jersey, with Gemma watching in anticipation, knowing that she had completed her rides, only dropping the 1 point. 3rd place went to Poole’s Jasmine Oddie, dropping her points to the top 2. Daisy Steward came 4th, but perhaps should have been on the rostrum. The track caught her out with the tricky turns 1 and 2 causing her to fall in heat 3. This totally knocked her confidence of the track and meant that she was also beaten by the 3 riders to finish above her.

Alice Neighbour (Swindon) 16, Gemma Hill (Ipswich) 15, Jasmine Oddie (Poole) 14, Daisy Steward (Kesgrave) 13, Abigail Warner (Ipswich) 12, Georgia Burt (Wednesfield) 11, Aimee Porter (Kesgrave) 10, Lucy Clarke (Ipswich) 9

Referee: Al Bentley (West Midlands)

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