The Premier Lounge at Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde was the venue for the Wightlink Warriors presentation and awards celebration as management, riders, sponsors, fans and volunteers came together to relive a thoroughly successful season of shale track racing.
The Warriors’ plan for a series of summer spectacular meetings turned out to be an outstanding success with record crowds and record sponsorship, ensuring that the brave decision of co-owners Barry Bishop and Martin Widman to step away from conventional speedway regulation and deliver a fun-filled family night out proved to be 100% correct.
The awards – all of which were sponsored by club backers and supporters – were decided by management assessment and fans’ votes with several categories being extremely closely contested. The outcomes looked like this:
- Pee Wee Rider of the Year – Stasui Stevens
- 125 Rider of the Year – Kye Elliott
- Wightlink Wizard of the Year – Shared jointly by Chris Watts and Jamie Sealey
- Wightlink Warrior of the Year – Shared jointly by Danno Verge and Alex Spooner
- Island Master – James Wright
- Most Entertaining Warrior – Chad Wirtzfeld
- Upside Down Rider of the Year – Morgan Williams
- Best Turned Out Rider of the Year – Shared jointly by Jamie Evans and Connor Coles
- Best Supporting Rider – Eric Pike
Additionally, 3 Special Recognition awards were presented to Tia Brant, Kev Shepherd and Ben Ilsley for services to the club in the past year and all the riders in both Pee Wee and 125 classes received trophies to acknowledge their significant contribution as being an important part of every Warriors’ Speedway Event.
- Pee Wee Rider of the Year – Tia Brant
- 125 Rider of the Year – Charlie Green
- Island Master – Eddie Kennett
- Most Popular Visiting Rider – Connor Coles
- Wightlink Wizard of the Year – Jamie Sealey
- Wightlink Warrior of the Year – Morgan Williams
In a surprise presentation Barry, Martin and Ben were delighted to receive an engraved glass shield from Nicola Goldman of Chesil Radio, the South Dorset online broadcaster who unfailingly back the nomadic Weymouth Wildcats speedway team, whose ‘Pay It Forward Award’ identified the Island club for its support of the Isle of Wight community – ‘The Warrior Way’.
Then just to prove the community aspect of the Wightlink Warriors, Barry Bishop was thrilled to announce that, with help from award night sponsors and the NORA motorsport organisation, £700 was being given to Beaulieu Respite Centre in Newport to assist with their future activities.
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