Speedway Boxing night spectacular
The Pro1 Race Parts Modified Sedan Stampede, proudly supported by PS Designer Homes, has attracted a star studded list of 32 drivers from Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria at the Boxing Day Spectacular at Autobarn Carina International Speedway this Saturday.
This event doubles as the opening round of the Summer of Speed Series that takes place across nine days at four different venues, and outside of a state title, this would be one of the biggest and most talented fields of Modified Sedans that Bundaberg has witnessed during the past two decades.
Heading the list is the current National Champion Kye Walters, from Torquay Victoria, who is one of the most exciting young drivers in the country and will enjoy the long straights of Carina.
He will be joined by former National Champions Brett Baxter and Aidan Raymont, who comes off a dominant performance at Toowoomba a couple of weeks ago.
Former Modified Sedan State champions within the field are Rodney Pammenter and Brodie Boss, who both finished on the podium in Toowoomba and come into this event with excellent speed.
Darran Lester has been one of the in-form drivers this season, picking up numerous wins across the state, while the field welcomes back Mick Shelford in the methanol powered VL Commodore that will love the drag race down the Carina straights.
Also among the impressive list of drivers is Tim Atkin, Josh Crang, David Head, and the home-town hero’s return of Dennis Shallcross.
Racing will start about 4pm. You can pre-purchase tickets on their website www.carinaspeedway.com.au Tickets will also be available at the gate on the day.
The memory of Two greats of Bundaberg Cricket were perpetuated with the Matt Tallon/Richie Giles Shield contested in Divisions 1, 2 and 3 for the first time at Salter Oval on Sunday.
Matt passed away on January 1, 1994 after a life-time of service to Bundaberg Cricket, while Richie gave over 60 years of outstanding service as a player, coach, administrator, umpire, mentor, volunteer, and other roles including doing the covers on match days throughout the season for many years, until sadly losing a three-month battle with cancer on August 25 at the age of 75.
Raised in Biggenden, Richie’s association with Bundaberg cricket started as a teenager when he started travelling here every week to play, and he made his mark as an outstanding all-rounder from the start.
Richie gained his first selection for Queensland Country Colts in early to mid-60’s, before debuting in the open age Queensland Country team in 1970.
Further highlights of his cricket career include playing against MCC (now called England) at Warwick in 1970, playing against Western Australia at Salter Oval, and being congratulated by Test legend Dennis Lillee after being caught out by Test captain Kim Hughes in this game for 39.
Lillee bowled 9 overs and Richie saw him off, wearing only a hat, no helmet.
Richie also played New Zealand at Salter Oval, scoring 31 and 27, against a team that included another great Richard Hadlee.
He continued to receive accolades, being awarded Life membership of Bundaberg Cricket in 2011 and then life membership of Wide Bay Cricket in 2014, and Bundaberg Cricket Umpires Association.
Well known throughout Queensland and Australia as a cricketing icon and universally acknowledged for his character and a champion for the Spirit of the Game, Richie retired from cricket at the age 62, but he continued to give distinguished service, including as the long-serving BCA secretary, Wide Bay secretary, and one of the best umpires in the region, and he soldiered up to the end of last season in March, umpiring the Division 3 grand final. Salter Oval was his second home.
The Giles family provided the trophies for the competition which will be contested annually between the two leading teams after the first completed rounds of fixtures, and one of Richie’s sons, Marty, was on hand to present both the Shields and Player of the Final awards.
The sky is the limit for Bundaberg’s Isaac Cooper after he continued his stellar season by claiming five individual gold medals, one silver and one bronze, as well as two relay gold, one silver and one bronze, at the 2020 McDonald’s Queensland State Swimming Championships at Chandler last week.
Competing for Toowoomba Grammar School, where he has just completed year 12, the rising superstar powered to gold in the men’s 16 years 50m freestyle in a time of 23:32sec, 100m freestyle in 50:89, less than a second short of multiple Olympic champion Ian Thorpe’s record, 100m backstroke in a Queensland and Queensland Allcomers record of 55:07, and 50m butterfly in 25:30.
But it was his 50m Backstroke gold time of 25:27, which most signaled his arrival on the big stage, as it was not only a Queensland and Queensland Allcomers record, but the only person also faster on the day was dual Olympian Mitch Larkin, who clocked 25:03.
His time is also the fastest time ever swum by an Australian 16-year-boy, previously held by Ben Treffer, set at the Junior world titles in 2008.
Isaac added silver in 200m backstroke in 2:08.37, and bronze in 200m Individual Medley with 2:09.29, and was crowned the Country Swimmer of the Meet.
The meet started with the Club and district relays, where Isaac played a major role in medal wins in each of his four events, and in the backstroke leg of the Medley relay, he broke his own Queensland record, which he went on to break again, for the third time, in the individual event.
Isaac has accepted a place training with top coach Damien Jones at Rackley Centenary Swim Team Brisbane next year, and he will also study Exercise and Sports Science at QUT.
But for now, he is happy to be home in Bundaberg and doing some sessions with his original Fairymead club coach Paul Simms.
Isaac said it was “definitely (his) best ever competition”.
“The last two or three years at state, I have won 2 or 3 medals, occasionally 4, but this one just blew me away – it was such a great meet for me, and I got so close to some really significant times, including 100 back, which is held by Josh Smith,” Isaac said.
“I got very very close to Ian Thorpe’s time too in 100m freestyle – it was my first (individual) event of the week, and I won by nearly a second.”
Apart from all the Covid impact with cancellations of state and national championships, Isaac said it had been a “really difficult year for me with three coaches in that time”.
“But Tim Mulvihill has been incredible – in three weeks, he helped me drop a second in my 50s alone – and I say a massive thank you to Toowoomba Grammar School and Tim for helping me achieve so well at states this year,” he said.
Isaac will turn 17 next month so he will have to swim up an age level at the Nationals which are scheduled for Gold Coast in March.
“That is also a qualifying meet for the Junior worlds in Budapest, at the moment, and a few weeks later there is the Olympic trials, where off my time at states I’m ranked 8th in Australia for open in 100m back – in Open 50 back I would be ranked 3rd but they don’t do 50’s at Olympics although they do it at the worlds,” he said.
“In 100 back, they take top 2 and I would have to drop another second and a half to make it, and that is a bit of a long shot, but I’m definitely looking at junior worlds and worlds next year and Commonwealth Games in 2022.”
Isaac’s younger brother Ben also competed at the state titles and he achieved a personal best in 15 years 50m backstroke.
Bundaberg was also represented at the championships by Connor Simms and Toby Street, both representing the Bond University club, and Kasey Krueger and Mimi Woods, whom coach Paul Simms said both also excelled.
Kasey snared silver in the 12 years girls 200m freestyle, missing gold by a mere 0.08sec, and bronze in 200m backstroke and 200m butterfly, missing gold in this event by only 0.96sec.
The tough competitor also finished second in 400m freestyle but was unfortunately disqualified for moving at the start.
“Swimming in open, Connor made the B final of both the 400 and 100 freestyle on the same night and was the only one who did the double, and he did a PB in the 400 of 4:02, and he also swam the 200m and 50m,” Paul said.
“Toby was not well and lost a lot of weight, but he made the 100m freestyle final on the last night with a PB.
“Mimi also swam really well in her first state titles – she had 3 swims and did 3 PB’s.”
Santa came early for Dalma owner/trainer Ken Boody, winning the rich Christmas spring Open event with Dyna Smokey at this week’s Bundaberg meeting.
The former Victorian dog made it three wins from as many starts at Thabeban Park, saluting the judge a narrow victor from My Bro Breach and Bundaberg Cup winner and favourite Flying Jet.
Flying Jet’s Yamanto trainer Peter O’Reilly had won the previous two events on the program with Call Me Gibbs (Mixed 4th/5th Grade) and Hello Mavis, which chalked up her fourth straight triumph on the track in the Free For All.
Six District trainers each also visited the winners’ circle on the afternoon, Lorraine Isles with first starter Unencumbered in the Maiden, Gary Cluse, who picked up the quinella in the rich Maiden Final with outsiders Willy Eve and Inga April, Bundaberg Greyhound Racing Club president Ricky Hassall with promising youngster Hooked on Xena in the Novice Non-Penalty, Paul Burgess with Andrew’s Shadow in the Masters 5th Grade, Tracy Trigg with Loose Wire in the 5th Grade, and Allen Kelly with Savuro in the Best 8.