The whole Sport is in mourning today at the passing of Norwich legend Rod Witham.
Anyone who knew him and all who met him admired his administrative skills on behalf of Cycle Speedway, his foresight, his manner and his warmth. We send our little Euro-Vet family's condolences to his family and close friends.
At a time when it all looks grim for Cycle Sport
and the chances of staging any of our Grand Prix looking doubtful, I'd best mention the only action we Vets have had so far in 2020. And that, of course, was the Dash Vets at Wednesfield, promoted by our good friend and of course E-V participant Steven Mullinder on 14th March. Running out winner was Birmingham's Mark Winwood, current Euro-Vets Over 40s Champion. Accompanying Mark on the rostrum were Leicester's Craig Marchant and clubmate Mark Whitehead after these two led home a four-man run-off for the podium.
Mark Winwood (Birmingham) 19, Craig Marchant (Leicester) 16, Mark Whitehead (Leicester) 16, Craig Whitehead (Leicester) 16, Jason Keith (Edinburgh) 16, Nicky Whitehead (Leicester) 14, Dave Murphy (Exeter) 14, Steve Harris (Astley & Tyldesley) 13, Jason Ashford (Great Blakenham) 11, Paddy Wenn (Norwich) 10, Luke Morton (Sheffield) 10, Paul Timms (Nirmingham) 9, Phil Hemming (Wednesfield) 9, James Collier (Newport) 8, Steve Copping (Norwich) 8
GEAR UP FOR 2020! Or will it be 2021? :(
Is there a dim light shining?
There's been much talk of ex-riders returning to the Sport on social media during the Covid-19 lockdown period, and if any of it comes to fruition then the Veteran racing scene could be about to explode when sport is released from it's very necessary chains (excuse the pun).
PLANNED FIXTURES 2020
Euro-vets & non-Euro-vets Vets meetings originally scheduled.
Sat. 14/3: Dash vets. (Wednesfield) [INV]
Sat. 18/4: EV1: Bury not ridden XXX
Sat. 9/5: EV2: Exeter XXX
Sat. 23/5: Ade Gale Vets Event (Poole) [INV] XXX
Sat. 30/5: Home International (Fife) XXX
Sat. 6/6: Will Burns Pairs (Leicester) [INV] XXX
Sun.14/6: Vets Club Championships (not sure!) XXX
Sat. 20/6: Wally Grant Memorial (Horspath) [INV] XXX
Sat. 4/7: EV3: Hethersett
Sat. 25/7: EV4: Birmingham
Sat. 8/8: EV5: Glasgow
Sat. 29/8: National Ind Champs weekend.
Sat. 5/9: EV6: Northumbria
Sat. 19/9: EV7: Newport
Sat. 3/10: EV8: Wednesfield Grand Finale
Once again apologies to clubs which had expressed an interest in staging a round of the GP but as usual the Gaffer had to strike a balance, never easy for him. With more Vets meetings than ever now taking place it will just get harder as we're having opportunities gradually reduced.
To anyone over 34 - why not dip your toe in the water if you haven't tried out the GP series yet?
Euro-Vets Age Ranges:
This season sees the introduction of our revised age groupings, although it only applies to younger riders.
We now have an extra 35 to 40 age category with its own semis and final. And as is the case currently in the other classes, any 40-plus rider can also qualify for the 35-40 finals. So if you are 35 THIS YEAR you can now take part in the Euro-Vets Grand Prix Series. We hope that will tempt a few more of you to join the fun and help support the Orchid Fighting Male Cancer charity.
IMPORTANT! To 2020/21 hosting clubs
Please don't feel the need to provide massive trophies, or indeed trophies at all. In the past there have been some stunning examples provided but as nice as they can be there really is no need to go overboard. Medals or any other suitable award will do quite nicely, and considering we now require FOUR sets of four after including the 35 to 40s this should be good news for clubs hard pressed for funds or unable to find sponsors.
Leicester girls raise fabulous contribution to Orchid.
See Facebook for the story. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1306729969480236&set=gm.2683074415066702&type=3&theater&ifg=1
Calling all Over 34s - let's see you all here!
Welcome to the Euro-Vets web site, we hope it has become the definitive guide to charitable Short Track Racing for the Over 40's. For new, "mature" riders just coming into the Sport, this is the best introduction you could get. See our minimal rules and requirements further down this page.
On behalf of all of us I must offer a huge vote of thanks to the indomitable Fred Rothwell who continues to deliver the goods and enable the whole thing for all of us to enjoy, including from 2017 a much better insurance deal. Fred doesn’t work in solitary though, he has the ever-willing Norman Venson and Geoff Gamage to back him up when required and they do a great job in support.
More thanks are due to the clubs who put us on their fixture list, their hard working secretaries and ground crews and anyone who chipped in along the way. While 2018 was great, roll on 2019 for even more, BE THERE!
I'd also like to give a shout out for 2015/2017 World Veterans Champion Craig Marchant who's never off Facebook trying to lever some other ex-rider out of retirement or promoting the next event for us, a real credit to the cause.
yes - YOU!
If you are reading this then you must still have some sort of attachment to Short Tracking (OK then if you must, Cycle Speedway!) whether you'd like to admit it or not. Therefore, if you've never turned a wheel in our fantastic Grand Prix series or you have but not too many times, then why not take the plunge this year by entering at least one round, maybe your local one to start with? You'll be doing the Sport a great favour, having a really enjoyable few laps amongst our much travelled troupe of regulars, get a laugh or two, maybe do some catching up with old friends and/or adversaries and just have a great day out. It doesn't matter what your current ability is, middle-age is the only qualification required and you'll be welcomed wholeheartedly.
If you are over 34 before New Year's Eve in the year of competition then we'd love to see you on track this year at one of our Grand Prix events.
New, current or ex-rider - you are all most welcome to join our friendly Racing for Grown-Ups circuit. Over 35s race 35 to 40 year olds and ditto the other age groups although you are allowed to compete against younger opposition unless there are no spaces in the day's programme. We'd love to see some new or old faces taking part this year, and in doing so you are not only helping prolong the life of the Sport but also helping boost its media coverage which is no bad thing these days. There's absolutely no pressure and a genuine air of calm in the pits (most times!). And of course there's the feelgood factor of supporting our chosen charities which we've been quite successful at. We'd really appreciate your presence at at least one round, but if you could manage a couple or more that would be fantastic, so take a look at our fixtures and start planning a ride or nine! We are not governed by British Cycling so you don't need one of their expensive race licences but there is the inevitable insurance cover which costs just a few quid - much more palatable.
If you're old enough you're good enough!
We run a series of events annually taking in all regions of the UK and generally, but not strictly, rotating the venues year-on-year. The series provides an opportunity for all Over-40 racers to continue enjoying the Sport under friendly, hospitable and generally more level conditions when they otherwise may be starved out of regular competition by the Little Ones (under 40s!!!). The overriding theme is one of enjoyment and Gentlemanly conduct but rest assured there are no easy races with the spirit of rivalry fully maintained and openly displayed. We do, however, take pride in the somewhat lower rate of attrition suffered through on-track incidents than in most or all other levels of the Sport.
Who does What?
As from the end of 2018 there are now FOUR age categories to keep the racing as fair as possible while providing superb entertainment within a spirit of friendly competitiveness not generally associated with regular Short Track events:
- Over 35
- Over 40
- Over 50
- Over 60
All categories are for riders either AT the magic age or reaching it in the year of competition.
Because of the nation-wide nature of our Sport and it's widely distributed venues, it can never be known exactly how many competitors may turn up at any single event. It is therefore not uncommon to find that we have to integrate one or more age groups in order to produce a workable race meeting. Given such adverse conditions it is a regular feature for the Over 50 and Over 60 riders to be grouped together in a single match, and it has even been known for the whole of those present to compete against each other whichever group they belong in, but hopefully this will remain a rarity. Conversely, we've had to suffer the odd series of repêchage races where there have been too many contestants for the normal formulae to work properly and some dilution was required!
When the event is run along these now familiar lines, the two matches are run independently but intertwined, so Over 40s Heat One is followed by Over 50s (/60s) Heat One, etc, etc.
Even so, the format retains a full set of Semi-Finals and Finals ("A" and "B") for each of the four age groups no matter how many riders turn up on the day with awardss normally presented to the four "A" Finalists and the Referee, usually provided by the staging Club as their contribution to ease the burden on the Orchid Fund.
Series points are collected and the Champion of each class is the highest scorer overall after the final round. Points are awarded as below:
"A" Final 1st: 25, 2nd: 23, 3rd: 22, 4th: 21
"B" Final 1st: 20, 2nd: 18, 3rd: 17, 4th: 16
*note you may drop your lowest score, or in other words only your top n-1 scores count towards the Championship!
You can contact our Main Man Fred Rothwell here: or the Editor here:
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