Another terrific day’s racing for Round Two of our “local” competition took place at a cool but dry and bright Redbraes Park on Sunday 8th October. The home club Falcons were in no mood to lose on home soil in the presence of local broadcasters Black Diamond FM Radio and gave their side a very slight (sorry!) boost with the inclusion of Jake Slight, Neil McPherson and Lee Lawrence. Our own best prospect for years, 14 year old Lee Redshaw, finally got to see a foreign track and performed brilliantly.
Glasgow were almost unchanged with Darren Maxwell replacing Jim Alexander from their first round squad while Cramlington and Northumbria were more or less as they were at the Northumbrian opener, although Northumbria captain Jason Keith sneaked himself in at reserve to seek some advantage. Cramlington, on the other hand, blundered by pairing skipper Dan Wharrier with Terry Kirkup leaving JP Colback and Daniel Thompson to fend for themselves! Not really a blunder but more a “coming of age” treat for new 18 year old Daniel and 50 years young JP!
As expected with a line-up like that the Falcons ran out easy winners while there was a fair old scrap going on behind them between Glasgow and Northumbria with never more than a few points in it.
There were just two calamities that I can recall, that of Ashie Patterson in heat 4 when attempting to hug his customary tight line entering the second bend, and Darren in an epic tussle with JP when they swapped places in heat 23.
A dramatic first race produced a great scrap between Dougie Morgan and Dan Wharrier, plenty of very loud spoke twanging on virtually every bend to keep the audience entertained! While Dan and Dougie were swapping nipples lee was riding a very canny race out front to keep me pegged back after a stupendous gate. I don’t normally like talking about my own races but I have to say I’ve rarely enjoyed one as much as heat thirteen. I managed to give Jason a bit of a push up ahead of Dan who’d suffered a slip and if the old legs had been a bit more able may have even jumped in front for a short while. One subtle difference between this one and Bartosz’s epic struggle against Jake in heat ten was that Jason left me plenty of racing room on his outside for some proper flat-out racing. Generally though, as in round one, there was nothing to whine about tactics-wise.
Thanks to Stevie Gilroy and the rest of the Edinburgh membership for the whole day and especially the after-match feed station, and thanks also to our own Shane Gray for topping up the transport today.
Sadly, I have to report the post-meeting decision of my super 1960s Club Captain Norman Carson to hang up his wheels at the end of the year. Norman has had loads of problems with his knees - one of them replaced with a plastic joint some years ago - and just can’t get enough speed out of his legs these days. Norm will remain forever one of the most stylish and entertaining riders we’ve ever had at NVCSC and has vowed to stay around to help us out at the AstroDrome.