Back in Oz
Since arriving home early November I haven’t had any down time. I’ve been back and forward between Mildura and Adelaide every weekend since my return and only spent one week at home until after the State Titles in December. After that things should quieten down a bit and I can start my job at Vacuum Truck Supplies which I will do until I return to the UK in March.
Riding and Racing
Gillman Opening Event
The day I flew in from the UK I headed straight down to Phillip Island and had a great ride day on the road bikes before going home to put my speedway bikes back together ready for our first meeting at Gillman Speedway in Adelaide on 9 November. We spent some time trying to modify the engine to suit the different Australian conditions and I had a successful return to Gillman and won the event. It was great to be able to catch up with everyone at Gillman, many of whom support me in one way or another.
Phil Crump Cup
I stayed in Adelaide for the following week prior to going to Mildura on the 16th of November for the Phil Crump Solo Trophy. There have been massive improvements made to the Olympic Park speedway track since last year and the racing was hotly contested by a number of local riders and also some from interstate. I came away with the 3rd place which I was really happy with considering the talent on show. It was great for the people that have put in such hard work on the track to get good feedback on the improvements from all the riders who all said they were looking forward to racing there again.
Gillman Solo Championships
It was back to Gillman again then for the Gillman Solo Championships on 23 November where I came 3rd again behind Shane Parker and Justin Sedgemen.
Victorian 500cc Solo State Title
I spent the following week at Canberra attending the Elite Riders Development Camp at the Australian Institute of Sport (more about that later) before heading back to Mildura again for the running of the 2013 Victorian 500cc Solo Championships on 30th November. There were some good riders fighting for the title as the winner was guaranteed a start in the Australian Titles to be contested in January. Favourites for the night were Cameron Woodward, who has won the title numerous times before, Justin Sedgmen, last year’s winner and Dakota North, who has finished second the last three years running. As expected, these riders finished top on points and filled the first three spots in the final. I was really pleased be 4th on points which meant I joined them in the final race off for the title. After Dakota got a flying start and lead for the first three laps, Cameron overtook him in the last lap to take the final. Dakota was the bridesmaid for the 4th year running with Justin 3rd and I finished 4th. I was rapt to make the final and finish 4th.
South Australian 500cc Solo State Title
It was then off to Gillman again for the running of the 2013 SA State Championships. A good field attended to contest the Title but it Cameron Woodward who went home again with the trophy. I placed 2nd in each of my 5 heats which gave me enough points to run in the B final for that last spot in the A final with the top three point scorers of the night but I didn’t win so had to settle for 6th place overall. Congratulations to Cameron on taking out both the Victorian and SA titles this year.
Institute of Sport
Last year I attended the Elite Riders Development Camp at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra for a weeks intensive training and lectures designed to improve our fitness, attitude and awareness of what it takes to reach and sustain a career at the top level of racing. At this year’s camp which ran from the 24th to 29th of November and was organised by Motorcycling Australia, we were really lucky to have three World Champions attend - Jason Crump, Australia’s recently retired mulitple Speedway World Champion, Troy Bayliss, retired Road Racing Champion and last years Speedway World Champion Chris Holder who is currently recovering from injuries he sustained during the UK speedway season. Paul Caslick, Dirt track Champion and all round fitness guru, was on hand to keep everyone focused and motivated. We were provided with some insight into their careers and how they managed to remain at the top of their game for so long. I find these camps really motivating and the group of guys that were there this year were all great and we had a fantastic time running, swimming, cycling, motorbike riding, doing weight training and also learning skills to help us deal with the pressures and challenges that we may face in the future.