MATCH REPORT: Ade Gale Veterans Laurels

Poole’s Harbourside Park was the setting for the inaugural Ade Gale Veterans Laurels and 20 riders assembled for 2 12 heat semi-finals of 10 riders each with the top 8 from each going through to the final. The 2 semis were run together as 3 heats from semi-final 1 then 3 heats from semi-final 2 and so on. The 4 riders who missed out on the final were Pete Sadler, Chris Ward, Alan Nation & Ade Ryan, the latter 2 riders beaten in a run-off by Exeter’s Andy Yard.

Semi-Final 1 scorers

Lukas Nowacki (Horspath) 16, Kevin Burns (Leicester) 15, Dave Murphy (Exeter) 13, Steve Paver (Exeter) 13, Craig Whitehead (Leicester) 12, Lukasz Kazmarek (Leicester) 11, Dave Strong (Poole) 11, Steve Copping (Norwich) 9, Pete Sadler (Newport) 6, Chris Ward (Horspath) 5

Semi-final 2 scorers

Nicky Whitehead (Leicester) 14, Gavin Wheeler (Horspath) 14, Norman Venson (Leicester) 14, Mark Winwood (Birmingham) 13, Steve Nation (Poole) 11, Steve Harris (Astley & Tyldesley) 11, Andy Yard (Exeter) 8, Alan Nation (Poole) 8, Ade Ryan (Poole) 8

In the final itself Kevin Burns and Lukas Nowacki were unbeaten after 2 races with Norman Venson and Mark Winwood having both dropped 1 point, Winwood dropping his point to Venson when they met in heat 4 and Venson losing out to Nowacki in heat 5. Heat 9 was a crucial race as the 2 unbeaten riders would meet and Winwood was also in the race. It was Burns who took the race win from Nowacki with Winwood 3rd after slowing up going into the last lap thinking that the race had finished. That ultimately cost Winwood a run-off for 3rd with Venson who finished on 16 points with Burns taking the title with a 20 point maximum ahead of Nowacki on 19. Six over-50 riders qualified for the final and Venson was the highest placed of these riders becoming the inaugural winner of the Richard Clanfield Trophy, named after the former Poole rider who passed away during the winter. Richard’s youngest son Alex presented the trophy to Venson

The top 3 riders in the 2021 Ade Gale Veterans Laurels
The finalists in the 2021 Ade Gale Veterans Laurels
Norman Venson receives the Richard Clanfield Trophy for the highest placed Over 50 rider

Kevin Burns 20, Lukas Nowacki 19, Norman Venson 16, Mark Winwood 15, Nicky Whitehead 14, Gavin Wheeler 13, Steve Paver 13, Dave Murphy 12, Jason Ashford 12, Andy Yard 11, Lukasz Kazmarek 11, Steve Harris 9, Craig Whitehead 9 (withdrew injured), Steve Nation 8, Dave Strong 8, Steve Copping 7

Referee: Colin Sutton

2020 marked the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Bournemouth Viscounts club but the coronavirus pandemic put paid to the planned get together. Several current Poole members have connections with the Viscounts having ridden in their blue and yellow colours in the past including 2 of the riders who were racing in the Veterans Laurels. Alan and Steve Nation begun their careers at the Iford Lane circuit and can be seen in the front row of the photo below which was sent in by Rob Dyer:

Rob would like to thank the Poole club for hosting the Viscounts