CLUB NEWS: Norwich Stars round-up from Down Under

The World Over 40’s Individual Championship started on Thursday 23rd November with qualifying rounds at Findon & Salisbury. Paddy Wenn scored 15 points at Findon to finish 6th which was enough for him to qualify for the semi-finals. Steve Copping finally took to the track on the tour for the 1st time at Salisbury where he scored 10 points to finish in a tie for 11th place, one of 4 riders to finish on that score. With the top 10 scorers from the 3 qualifying rounds advancing straight to the semi-finals this meant a run-off for the last 2 spaces in the semi-finals was required. This took place at Le Fevre on Saturday 25th November and involved Ian Lawrence, Danny Ricketts, Gary Lawrence and Steve. Ian lawrence won the run-off with Ricketts pipping Steve for 2nd on the run-in to the line.

Saturday 25th November was World Cup day at Le Fevre and Paddy & Steve would represent Ireland in both the Over 40’s and Senior events. In the Over 40’s event Paddy scored 6 points and Steve 5 as Ireland finished 4th with 18 points. They were only able to field 3 riders due to an injury to Wednesfield’s Lee Ashman. The Senior event saw another 4th place for Ireland with 23 points, Steve scoring 5 points and Paddy 3.

Monday 27th November saw the World Over 40’s Semi-Finals take place at Findon and in the 1st match Paddy scored 11 points which wasn’t enough for him to reach the final. The 2nd match saw Steve receive a last-minute call-up as Australian rider Warren Corbett withdrew due to a shoulder injury. Steve couldn’t capitalise on this as he could only manage 6 points

Wednesday 29th November saw Steve realise a Cycle Speedway ambition. After riding in an unofficial Over 40’s match for Great Britain against Australia on the 2017 tour he made it his personal mission to try and win an official cap. That mission was accomplished as Steve was called up into the official Great Britain Over 40’s squad for the final test against Australia and what made it even sweeter for him is that it was at Salisbury, where he made his debut for Ireland. Steve scored 2 points from 2 rides as Great Britain won 105-74. Paddy also rode in this match, scoring 10 points.

Norwich riders Paddy Wenn and Steve Copping pictured just before the 3rd Over 40’s Test Match between Great Britain & Australia at Salisbury on 29th November. Photo taken by John Wildman using Steve’s phone

Paddy was next in action on Friday 1st December back at Salisbury where he would defend his Grand Veterans World Championship that he won in Poland in 2019. He was unable to make a successful defence, finishing 7th with 13 points.

Sunday 3rd December was the final day of racing on the tour and it saw the World Pairs Championships decided. Paddy & Steve represented Ireland in the Over 40’s event where they finished 4th on 19 points, Paddy scoring 11 and Steve 6