The showers forecast for Saturdays racing never eventuated and conditions were quite pleasant in behind the hedge where Lynette Mattingly was registering the riders.
However conditions on the course with brisk westerly winds served notice to the 37 riders of a difficult afternoon ahead. This turned out be the case with the side wind legs of the circuit causing havoc with each of the bunches.
D GRADE riding one lap had 4 riders who started off the back of C grade. Mary Marshall was not alone in finding the C grade pace and side winds on the first leg, a bit to hot. The other 3 riders pretty much kept it together with Nicola Stevens finishing strongly ahead of John Careswell and work horse Helen McKenzie.
C GRADE with 16 riders caused chaos on the first leg dropping several riders including strong man Dave Simpson. Dave explained how his heart rate had maxed out at 180 bpm half way up the first leg which gives an indication of how hard the bunch was riding. By race end 8 riders including Sam Kopae contested the sprint finish. In form Colin Horton crossed the line in first place at 1.48.28 from Alan Milne and Zane Butson.
Due to the small A grade entries both A and B grade were put off together with Michael White assuring the "novice race manager" that A grade wouldn't beast B Grade. I'm pretty satisfied that Mike kept to his word as each time I had a chance to view the bunch, Andrew Lienert was attacking off the front.
However 6 of the 12 B Grade riders were dropped so apologies to those guys if I got it wrong.
B GRADE sprint finish saw Queenstown's Steve Brough cross the line in first place at 1.43.31 ahead of Ray Robinson (what's this man on) and Geoff Van Dam.
A GRADE Gary Smith and Michael White lead the bunch in with Gary crossing the line first in 1.43.30. Just back in third place Luke McPherson continued with his impressive form.
My thanks to all the marshalls, helpers whoever you are, Lindsay STMS, Bruce Ross and especially Lynette Mattingly who made a really stressful job otherwise bearable.
Sam Kopae was drawn for the spot prize winning $125. No, I didn't do the draw!