||Last Updated: Apr 15th, 2016 - 08:28:53
Sadly our changeable British Weather was the only winner at Smallbrook last night when a band of heavy rain swept into the Isle of Wight from the West much earlier than around 10pm which had been the time of its arrival at Ryde forecasted by the various weather websites monitoring the hours ahead.
The rain that started as very light drizzle as the riders were introduced to the fans, grew heavier pretty quickly to such an extent that meeting referee Ronnie Allan had no alternative other than to abandon the meeting after just three of the scheduled sixteen races had been completed.
The meeting itself was a Four Team event involving quartets representing the Wightlink Warriors and three other clubs, namely the Southampton Saints, the Weymouth Wildcats and the Exeter 'Chris Richards' Falcons who, whilst not operational at present are hoping to follow the precedent we've set here on the Isle of Wight by being able to stage regular league racing in their respective areas in the future.
When racing did get underway Saints' Ben Hopwood won the opening heat by cleverly holding off the determined challenge of our own Benji Compton, nullifying all Benji's numerous attempts to pass him and posted a quite reasonable winning time of 70.8secs for his four laps of our 385 metre circuit giving no hint of what was to follow and follow fairly quickly.
The first attempt to stage heat 2 saw our recent signing Kelsey Dugard demolish the starting tapes thus earning the referee's wrath and a fifteen metre handicap for the re-run but Kelsey made light of that by storming through from last to first, his slower winning time of 78.9 mainly down to the rainfall getting heavier.
Heat 3, the last race to be staged, again needed two attempts to be completed James Cockle falling first time out thus being disqualified from the re-run in which 23yrs old Charlie Powell posted a winning time of 82.7secs some dozen seconds slower than the first race, it was patently obvious that with the heavy rain still falling track conditions had now got to the stage where referee Allan decided it would have been dangerous for the riders to continue, abandoned the meeting at that point and it was a decision no one disagreed with.
Whilst the Wightlink Warriors looked set to defeat their three opponents in the match, alas they couldn't get the better on this occasion of the British weather following in the footsteps of many others.
Readmission tickets had been issued to all at the turnstiles that will be valid at future meetings at Smallbrook and it is hoped that, although this was a challenge fixture and not part of any official competition, a suitable date can be found later in the season to re-stage it.
Wightlink Warriors 8, Southampton Saints 6, Weymouth Wildcats 3, Exeter 'Chris Richards' Falcons 1
Meeting abandoned after three heats due to worsening track conditions — result does NOT stand.
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