Chinese New Year marked at track

A grade: Corey Gibbons and Daniel Siwek in action during Friday's night special Chinese New Year race night.
A grade: Corey Gibbons and Daniel Siwek in action during Friday's night special Chinese New Year race night.

Seeing red … Chinese New Year was the theme at Whyalla Velodrome on Friday night with perfect warm weather making it a fast cycling track.

It was a sea of red with riders wearing red and members and visitors alike joining in on the fun.

The event was organised by Mr Chen Qiang with some help from club members and friends to help him share with us the significance of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

Chinese food choices from the canteen got people in the mood to celebrate, thanks to the volunteer helpers.

Chen performed a Tai Chi demonstration and got the crowd involved along with his students in trying some new moves.

He said he was delighted with the turnout of visitors dressed in red and thanked all those who supported him with his idea to bring the Chinese New Year tradition to Whyalla Cycling Club’s event.

The night’s racing was entertaining with track caller ‘Fritz’ Fargher telling stories about the riders and Wayne Gibbons stepped up to officiate the racing starts ably helped by track coach Keith Gibbons and others. Some highlights from the racing included:

Senior A grade Daniel Siwek put in solid night with the most first places, followed closely was Malcolm Clasohm, a veteran rider with over 50 years’ track racing experience who said ‘getting a year older it still feels good to beat the young ones’.

Malcolm pulled off a win in the last race of the night with Daniel Siwek and Corey Gibbons in close contention.

Other seniors who put in terrific efforts were Troy Brougham, Kelvin Rohrlach winning one race and Harry Chen keeping the pressure on.

Senior B grade Emma Mardon worked hard showing her fitness with close finishes to finally win in the last race of the night, a 10 lap race, coming from fourth place on the final straight digging deep to pull out a win from Jonah Mislov in second and Clinton Schmitz in third.

This grade showed good competition and close finishes with Peter Weaner ‘pistol Pete’ putting in strong effort and Brett Harvey winning a handicap race and Melrose rider Tania Day improving greatly showing us her strengths in readiness for the Masters competition at the Adelaide Superdrome.

As the younger rider groups had small numbers they rode together with sisters Amalia and Ashlyn Evans competing together, with Jordon Godfrey, Jack Wisbey, Quenby Schmitz and Leiyah Hodgkinson all riding strongly.

Visiting from Adelaide the Huttons and Travers cousins who had a fun night riding together in minis group all wearing red tops to get in the spirit of the evening.

Along with other minis riding the track were regular attenders Jett Taylor, Matilda Godfrey, Elijah Williams, Darcy Brougham, Riley Mardon and Fletcher Travers.

Check out for more photos.

Racing next Friday starts at 6.30pm. Canteen and bar facilities are available.