NEWS: Bumper night in Poole

It proved to be a bumper night at Champs Bar on Saturday evening when more than 170 guests got together for the 2014 Poole Presentation Night which this year coincided with the Club’s 40th
anniversary. Buffet and raffle formalities over, four members of the 1975 Comets squad, John Bryant, Rob Haywood, Pete Ross and Colin Sutton were first to be introduced as they ceremoniously donned original body colours for the occasion.
Club President Dave Lanning and Poole Cycle Speedway’s “godfather” Jimmy Gale teamed up to present the 55 trophies lined up in readiness starting with some of the “Clubnight” awards to newcomers and younger riders most of whom are yet to race competitively away from Harbourside Park. Next in line was the 29 rider squad which competed in the Wosskow Brown BYJL grand prix, finishing overall runners up in the National and winners of the Regional event.

Six categories for the Rider of the Year awards saw regional BYJL winner Joe Hurren receive the Under 8 trophy and British Champion Nathan Goulden step up to receive the Under 10 award. Anna Tuttle was the popular winner of the Under 12’s category and perhaps the biggest cheer of the night greeted British Champion Macie Schmidt when she was named Under 14 Rider of the Year.

The selection panel was evenly divided in their verdict for the Under 16 award so two trophies were on the table, one of which went to Jay Briggs and the other to Macie Schmidt who made a swift return to the stage. The final award category was for Senior riders with plenty of worthy contenders for the panel to chose from and once again another big cheer went up to greet the winner, Dean Hook.

In 2013 the Chairman’s award went to its oldest ever winner, photographer John Burge and in 2014 by contrast, the coveted trophy was awarded to its youngest ever recipient Katie Garnett who acts as the Club’s principal receptionist on the all important Tuesday Clubnights.

There were surprise presentations in store for long serving founder members Colin Sutton, Pete Ross and Graham Sutton in recognition of their contribution to the club and Lewis Barnes stepped up to receive a similar award on behalf of his grandad, Pete Barnes, who is currently in Australia.

Many riders who have raced for the club over the last 40 years swelled the guest-list as old times were recounted and prompted by archive video footage and a “Forty Years” slideshow to stir memories courtesy of Rob Haywood. Reminiscences came to an abrupt halt however when G J Cabarets took to the floor for a spectacular dance act which drew full attention and appreciative applause all round. Completing the evenings’ entertainment, Chris Shylock manned the decks with a selection of floor-filling dance tracks.