PREVIEW: British Championships Day 2
Day 2 of the British Championships sees the action move to Suffolk with action at both Ipswich & Kesgrave. Both tracks stage 2 Open Semi-Finals each with the riders needing to be in the top 16 combined scores to reach the final on Monday at Great Blakenham. The last 4 winners of the Open British Championship, Zac Payne (Horspath), who won the title last time at Ipswich when this event was in the South-East, newly crowned World Champion Ben Mould (Poole), 2017 Champion Myke Grimes (Coventry), one of only 2 riders to win the title with a 20 point maxumum (Lee Aris the other in 2006), and the defending Champion Josh Brooke (Great Blakenham)
Also at Ipswich are the Over 40’s, Over 50’s & Over 60’s British Championships. Due to the number of entries received the Over 50’s & Over 60’s categories have been combined but the highest placed Over 60 rider will receive a jersey. Four riders will be competing in the Over 60’s, Dave Murphy (Exeter), Chris Ward (Horspath), Nick Stephens (East London) & 2015 winner Les Stevens. 3 members of Great Britain’s victorious Veterans Federation Cup are in the Over 50’s event, defending champion Steve Harris (A&T), newly crowned Grand Veterans World Champion Paddy Wenn (Norwich), who will be looking to add the British Over 50’s title to his World Title, and Norman Venson. Also in the line-up are Glyn Morgan (Hethersett), Luke Morton (Sheffield) Steve & Alan Nation (both Poole) and Gary Colby (Norwich).
Morton & Harris will also be contesting the Over 40’s event where Mark Whitehead (Leicester) returns to defend the title he won last year. The other 2 members of Great Britain’s victorious Veterans Federation Cup team, 2015 World Veterans Champion Craig Marchant (Leicester), who was 2nd in this event last year, and Mark Winwood (Birmingham who was 3rd last year. The line-up is completed by Kevin Burns (Leicester) 2011 British Over 40;s Champion Jason Ashford (Great Blakenham), Birmingham’s Paul Timms and also Neil Lester
3 more British Titles will be decided at Kesgrave. The top 5 in last year’s British Under 16 Girls Championship have all entered this year, reigning champion Emily Burgess (A&T) who recently won the Under 16 Girls World Championship in Poland, Maddie Saunders (Poole), Georgia Burt (Wednesfield), Sophia Sinclair-Black (Leicester) & Gemma Hill (Ipswich). The top 3 from yesterday’s Under 14 Girls Championship at Norwich, Rosie Tidball (exeter), Rebekah Humphries (Birmingham) & Phoebe Hammond, will also be racing, as will Poole’s Jasmine Oddie and Leicester’s Honey Whitehead, Amanda Rigley & Sian Raynor. The Little League Under 10 Girls Championship will also be staged at Kesgrave.
The Junior Championship sees Ipswich’s Ben Clarke return to defend the title he won last year at Sheffield. Ipswich’s Lewis Brinkhoff, runner-up in the World Under 16 Boys & Junior World Championships, is also entered. These 2 riders as well as Horspath’s Wil Jeffrey and Ipswich’s James Porter were in the England team which clinched the Junior World Cup recently in Poland. Jeffrey, Clarke & Porter were also in the triumphant England Junior World Pairs team, Also in the line-up is Lewis Foxley (Edinburgh), Welsh Internationals Fraser Garnett (Poole) & Cameron Gill (Coventry). Gill’s Coventry team-mate Tom Savage is also entered, as are Owen Wells (Wednesfield), Daniel Wright (East Newport), Ireland international Adam Cooper (Great Blakenham) and Ethan Mitchell (Ipswich)