Report by Ross Mee, Photos taken by Andrew Parr unless stated otherwise

When the 2019 BYJL season ended with the exciting Girls final no one could have imagined that it would be almost two years before there would be another National Round. That day finally arrived on Saturday when we gathered together again on a lovely sunny day at East Park. It was a time for old on-track rivalries to be resumed and off-track friendships both amongst the riders and the parents to be renewed. Some old faces did not take part but we welcomed a number of new ones to the competition with 18 clubs being represented.

It was an excellent day of racing and the small group of East Park volunteers must be thanked for all their efforts in making the long day pass so smoothly – so take a bow Al Bentley, Bob Prince, the Barnett family and Skye Stewart for all your hard work and to Mike Hack for his long refereeing shift.

In the U8s there was an encouraging turnout of 18 riders with the winner being Bury’s Bobby Dunphy (unbeaten in all his rides), 2nd Lincoln Powling (Kesgrave), 3rd Tommy Anderson (Coventry) and 4th Thomas Comben (Southampton). The youngest in the Parr racing family, 6 year old Tom, nearly made the A Final losing out in a run-off for the final place.

Under 8’s Podium

In the U10s A&T’s Frank White almost qualifies as a veteran of this competition and although Norwich’s Connor Jarrett had also won all his qualifying rides he had to accept second place to Frank in the final, with Sheffield’s Oliver Banyard third and the all action Demi-Blu Harris (Kesgrave) taking fourth place.

Demi-Blu Harris (Kesgrave) holding off Sheffield’s Oliver Banyard
The Under 10’s podium

The U12s was a very close contest with Kesgrave’s Luca Woodhouse passing team mate Lily Parr to take the win with Coventry’s Jude Wilcockson (unbeaten in his qualifying rides) having to settle for third place ahead of another Kesgrave rider Oscar Hammond in fourth.

The Under 12’s podium

U14 British champion Exeter’s JJ Wildman added to his titles with a win over Kesgrave’s Charlie Parr, Poole’s Kenzie Bennett and Coventry’s Chester Gilpin in another closely contested age group.

Under 14’s A Final- Charlie Parr (kesgrave) JJ Wildman (Exeter) Chester Gilpin (Coventry) and Kenzie Bennett (Poole)

The U16s saw a Woodhouse family double with Noah taking victory ahead of Wednesfield’s Ellis Richmond, Ipswich’s Kai Gowers and Newport’s Sam Marsh.

The Under 16’s podium. Photo taken by Mark Woodhouse

In the U18s Ipswich’s Ben Clarke and Coventry’s Tom Savage took the first two places in their final outings in the BYJL ahead of Sheffield’s Kielan Burton and Norwich’s Tom Blackmore.

The Girls completed the day’s racing and once again they produced some highly competitive action. After an exciting run-off for the final place in the A final in which Kesgrave’s Phoebe Hammond managed to keep ahead of a very determined Daisy Sherwood, it was Phoebe who led the A final butafter a lot of effort Poole’s Maddie Saunders eventually made the pass to take the title with Birmingham’s Rebekah Humphries in third and another Poole rider Natalie Goulden in fourth. This was Georgia Burt’s last year in the competition and she will be much missed by the other girls, not least because someone else will now have to pick gate 4 in the finals!

The Girls podium. Photo taken by Mark Woodhouse

In the team competition Poole’s reign as champions came to an end with Kesgrave clear winners.
Final scores were : Kesgrave 110, Poole 78, Coventry 61, Wednesfield 36, Exeter 32, Sheffield 27 and
A&T 15.

All being well we will see four National rounds taking place again next year starting off in the
Midlands next June.