PREVIEW: British Youth and Junior League national round 1

Saturday sees the first of the National rounds, which is being held at Poole’s delightful Harbourside track – sunshine is guaranteed apparently!

Following changes to the competition the individual Grand Prix winners will be decided on the points scored in the National rounds alone, and there is a new scoring system for the main team competition rewarding participation in all ages groups, as well as a new competition to find the best team in each age group open to all clubs. With plenty of support recently from parents and riders alike for the continuation of junior competition for all ages, it is expected that there will be a good turn-out.

In the U8’s three riders were unbeaten in the regional rounds – Sheffield’s Joe Brownell, Kesgrave’s Tommy Rope and Poole’s Oliver Saunders. They together with Exeter’s JJ Wildman and Wednesfield’s Boyd Haines will likely be the leading contenders.

The top two from the 2014 U8’s, A&T’s John White and Birmingham’s Connor Steel, have moved up into the U10’s in style with unbeaten records. The Kesgrave challenge will come from Jake Cazey and 2014 second placed Ollie Reynolds, and the S&SW will be well represented by the 2014 U10’s Girls champion Rosie Tidball who has left the lads in her wake in being the region’s leading qualifier. Poole’s Joe Hurran will also fancy his chances on his home track.

2014 winner Lewis Brinkhoff is looking to defend his U12’s title and went through the regional rounds unbeaten, as did third placed Tom Whitwam. Home rider Nathan Goulden and Wednesfield’s Tyler Bould are likely to be challenging strongly.

Exeter’s Owen Tidball and Ipswich’s Harrison Bacon were unbeaten in the U14’s regionals but they can expect a strong challenge from the Coventry trio of Spencer Sawbridge, Ollie Morris and Jimmy Wassall and Sheffield’s James Bunting.

The U17’s promises to be a tough competition with 2014’s U16 top three of Brandon Whetton, Reece Pollitt and Ben Harvey all competing again. But with the likes of Sheffield’s Adam Watson, U14 winner Haydn Rowley, Poole’s Jay Briggs and Callum Albin, Ipswich’s Pierce Bacon and the much improved Charlie Barnett from Coventry in the field they will have plenty of strong competition.

In the Girls the top two from 2014 of Lauren Hookway and Lily Gedge return, and whilst they are the favourites, the Midlands duo of Elizabeth Rigley and Sammi Marsh, Poole’s Kristina Mines and Ipswich’s Chloe Pearce will be chasing hard.

With the revamping of the team competition it looks like Kesgrave’s run of success will come to an end, with Poole and Exeter looking favourites for the top spot.

The trophies this round are being provided by the S&SW regional co-ordinator Neil Garnett, so thanks to him.

The action gets under way at 10.00 with the U8’s – anyone wanting further information can contact Ross Mee via or 07769 734581

If that’s not enough to whet your appetite, then further down the Quayside the Poole Folk Festival is taking place – plenty of opportunity for a spot of Morris dancing after the racing’s finished!