MATCH REPORT: HSBC UK Supertrax Women’s League Final Round

The finale of the 2018 HSBC UK Supertrax Womens League saw South Coast club Poole have the most success at Sheffield’s Cookson Park raceway.
The racing split into Senior and Intermediate categories, with both pairs and individual competition taking place.
Lots were drawn to find who would partner whom, with Poole duo of Macie Schmidt and Maddie Saunders paired together. The team-mates had an obvious chemistry, duly winning the title with 24 points. Macie finished unbeaten, with the pairing registering two maximum seven point heat scores. A run-off was required to determine who be runners-up, the Charlie Jane Herbert/Lauren Hookway and Liz Rigley/Emily Burgess pairings finishing level on 21 points. Charlie Jane called correctly on the coin toss, taking grid 2, putting Liz on the graveyard grid 4 position. Charlie Jane led from the tapes with Liz throwing everything in an attempt to pass. The experienced Charlie Jane holding on for the win to secure second place. Niamh Morton and Lucy Whitehead finished with 19 points, while the Laura Watson/Chloe Pearce scored 15 (conceding a heat score loss in each race).
Scorers – Macie Schmidt 14+2 / Maddie Saunders 10 (24), Charlie Jane Herbert 12+1/Lauren Hookway 9+1 (21), Liz Rigley 9/Emily Burgess 12+2 (21), Niamh Morton 10/Lucy Whitehead 9+1 (19), Laura Watson 6/Chloe Pearce 9 (15).

Two pairings dominated the Intermediate class, Gemma Hill/Miah Liang taking the win with 32 points from Georgia Burt and Alice Neighbour on 31. It looked like a run-off would be required to determine the victors with Rebecca Humphreys holding second place in the very last race from Gemma Hill. The Ipswich riders’ persistence eventually forcing an error from Rebecca on the very last corner, the Birmingham rider slipping her pedals just metres from the chequered flag. Completing the podium were the Leicester duo of Chloe and Honey Whitehead, who took third place with 25 points.

Scorers – Gemma Hill 13+4/Miah Liang 19 (32), Georgia Burt 18+2/Alice Neighbour 13 (31), Honey Whitehead 9+3/Chloe Whitehead 16 (25), Charmaine Wells 8+1/Guests 15 (23), Anna Tuttle 12/Katie Greaves 8+1 (20), Rebecca Humphreys 14/Alice Unwin 5 (19).
Referee – Darren Kent (Heckmondwike)

The top level of racing continued into the Individual competition, with a steady drizzle providing a grippy track surface. There was also the incentive of a cash prize on offer for the rider clocking the fastest heat time. The senior qualifying heats proved how competitive the top level of womens racing now is. Only one rider, British and European Champion Macie Schmidt, was able to record a race win other than from grids 1 or 2. Macie winning the very last heat from grid 4, but only after having ought her way from last to first past Lauren Hookway, Laura Watson and Niamh Morton. Liz Rigley was the fastest time winner, 42.94 in heat 7.

Macie Schmidt (Poole) 15, Lucy Whitehead (Leicester) 12, Liz Rigley (Leicester)11, Laura Watson (Sheffield) 11, Emily Burgess (A & T) 10, Charlie Jane Herbert (Ipswich) 9, Niamh Morton (Sheffield) 7, Lauren Hookway (Exeter) 4.

Lauren Hookway sped from gird one to win the B Final, ending a disappointing day on a high note. Liz Rigley won the A Final, and jumped from fourth to fifth overall. Macie Schmidt, who started the day with a commanding 20 point lead, fell in the A final. However, she had done more than enough to take the GP series title. Laura Watson ended a fine season with second on the day and second overall. Lucy Whitehead’s third place moving her up to fourth overall. Emily Burgess, dropping from third to fifth.
A Final – 1 st Liz Rigley, 2 nd Laura Watson, 3 rd Lucy Whitehead, 4 th Macie Schmidt
B Final – 1 st Lauren Hookway, 2 nd Charlie Jane Herbert, 3 rd Emily Burgess, 4 th Niamh Morton.

The top three at the start of the day in the Intermediate category dominated the qualifying races, each winning three races to score 15 points. Maddie Saunders swept to the win in the A Final, snatching the cash prize for fastest time when winning in 43.40. This gave her first place overall. Gemma Hill was second, and finished second overall. Anna Tuttle (who had three crashing falls during the day) took third place in the A Final, with Miah Laing in fourth. This meant that Anna would take third place overall by one point from Miah, whose day had been compounded by Maddie taking the fastest time prize (Miah had held the quickest time with 44:17 from heat 3 in the qualifying races).

Gemma Hill (Ipswich) 15, Miah Liang (Exeter) 15, Maddie Saunders (Poole) 15, Rebecca Humphreys (Birmingham) 12, Anna Tuttle (Poole) 12, Georgia Burt (Wednesfield) 11, Honey Whitehead (Leicester) 10, Lisa Matthews (Leicester) 8, Charmaine Wells (Leicester) 7, Katie Greaves (Hull) 6, Alice Unwin (Sheffield) 5.

A Final – 1 st Maddie Saunders, 2 nd Gemma Hill, 3 rd Anna Tuttle, 4 th Miah Liang.
B Final – 1 st Georgia Burt, 2 nd Honey Whitehead, 3 rd Rebecca Humphreys, 4 th Lisa Matthews
C Final – 1 st Charmaine Wells, 2 nd Katie Greaves, 3 rd Alice Unwin.

Referee – Kyle Holland (A & T)

A terrific days racing, which shows that the GB Women’ scene is going from strength to strength.