'WIGHTLINK' WARRIORS & WIZARDS
WARRIORS SHALE TRACK RACING CLUB
HOME OF THE
The 2018 season saw the 'Wightlink Warriors' continue to provide fun filled family nights out, where the racing was a part of the family show. Race nights included access to the pit areas, 12 mascots of all ages demonstrating their skills on track using bikes ranging from electric to 500cc, rider autographs, rider’s bikes on display, vintage bikes on display, an educational book club, William our bear, a children’s half time race and lots of other inclusive events throughout the year. As a team the
'Wightlink Warriors' had it's most successful year since Martin and Barry returned the club 3 seasons previously. The 'Wightlink Warriors' competed in 21 home meetings and 14 away, finishing two places higher in the league, scoring more league points and more racing points for the club. It was a tremendous turnaround from the 2017 season which saw the team finish in 10th
position. The atmosphere within the club was one of positivity and fun, proclaiming the Island, our team and its ethos everywhere we travelled and on race days at home.
The club won major honours in 2018 with victory for the Warriors Captain Ben Morley in the National League Riders Championship, and he was joined on the podium by teammate Alfie Bowtell who finished second – A 'Wightlink Warriors' 1 – 2.
The 'Wightlink Wizards' for the first time, entered into the Southern Development League, a league designed to teach riders how to race. A perfect stepping stone for riders of the club’s My First Skid school to have their first experiences of racing. All riders representing the Wizards came through the school or were residents on the Isle of Wight. We entered the league with a squad of 7 including 3 Islanders, one of which was female and we stuck to the same squad system all year, taking two notable victories along the way over the Weymouth 'Wildcats', finishing 4th in the league.
2018 included history making moments such as Morgan Williams, the first person born on the Island to score points for an Island team and Steph Whitlock, who became the first female Islander to score points in a SCB registered speedway meeting. Truly a remarkable achievement for My First Skid and the 'Wightlink Wizards'.
My First Skid staged schools both on the Island and at various other stadiums across the UK. It not only brought people from across the UK to the Island but genuinely found new riders from the Island for the sport. It also had a World Championship Silver Medallist with 15-year-old student Chad Wirtzfeld claiming second in the 250cc Under 18 World Long Track Best Pairs in Germany.
The Stadium continued to be improved with an increased area for wheelchair users, a refurbished fast food bar, continual track and fencing improvements, the re-birth of Bella the motorway blade – to improve the smoothness of the track surface, we repainted many areas and improved access to the track from the pits and more.
The club attended 20 different Island shows including a live riding display at the Chale Show, the Survivors lap for the Cancer Research UK IOW Relay for life event and the Isle of Wight Day Parade, where we also entered a team into the Isle of Wight day It’s a Knockout event. We attended many schools and groups demonstrating our bikes and equipment to pupils and group members enabling us to initiate the “bring my class” incentive, which was a tremendous success. We continued to promote and represent the Island, the club, our sponsors and fans as often as we could both on and off the Island.
We continued our support of the GB Young Lions when we hosted some 30 riders at the start of the season in February where they had 2 days on track riding and a day in the gym and classroom learning about fitness, diet, media and interview techniques. The club also welcomed a GB Young Lions team to the Island in August for a challenge match – which the 'Wightlink Warriors' won.
In all, a season which the clubs profile and standing within speedway grew, a season which our fan base grew, and a season which made history, our best season to date.
All meetings represented below are available to purchase on DVD.
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2018 WARRIORS STARTING LINE-UP
Scott Campos, Chris Widman,
Ben Hopwood (Captain on bike),
Adam Portwood, Ben Morley,
Jamie Sealey & Danno Verge (Kneeling)
Image by Sportography
2018 WARRIORS FINISHING LINE-UP
Jamie Sealey, Danno Verge
Alfie Bowtell, Ben Morley (Captain),
Scott Campos, Chris Widman
Image by Sportography
BEN MORLEY : CAPTAIN - STARTING AVERAGE : 9.49 - FINISHING AVERAGE : 9.13
DATE OF BIRTH : 10 March 1994 - Southend, Essex.
(2009-10) Rye House II, (2011) Rye House, Hackney, (2012) Rye House II, (2013) Kent, (2014) Lakeside, Kent, (2015) Redcar, Kent (Pairs Champion & National League Rider Champion), (2016) Lakeside, Rye House, Rye House II (Four-Team Championship
winner), (2017) Rye House, Lakeside, (2018) Lakeside, Isle of Wight
One of the top performers in the National League during the 2017 season, Ben signed to lead the Warriors at No.1 and didn't disappoint. Quickly mastering the large Smallbrook circuit, he became a points machine both home and away and was a regular winner of both heat 13 & 15. Taking over the Captaincy mid season, he was a rock solid figure in the pits, always seen helping and chatting to his team mates. Also riding in the Championship League for Lakeside, Ben had another superb season in both leagues, and impressed with his commitment and professionalism throughout.
ALFIE BOWTELL - STARTING AVERAGE : 6.65 - FINISHING AVERAGE : 9.24
DATE OF BIRTH : 23 January 1997 - Chelmsford, Essex.
(2015) Rye House II, (2016) Mildenhall, (2017) Newcastle, Lakeside, (2018) Lakeside, Cradley, Isle of Wight.
After starting the season without a club, Alfie soon found himself in demand as he lined up for Lakeside in the Championship League, Cradley in the National Trophy and signing for the Warriors mid season. After starting his Warriors career with a fantastic 17 from 6 rides, Alfie settled into the team nicely finishing the season as the Warriors No.1. He put over 2.5 points on his average, and formed a winning partnership with Ben Morley in many 13 & 15 heats both home and away. The 'find' of the season without a doubt.
SCOTT CAMPOS - STARTING AVERAGE : 6.35 - FINISHING AVERAGE : 6.28
DATE OF BIRTH : 1 May 1989 - Ipswich, Suffolk.
(2004) Mildenhall, Rye House II, (2005) Mildenhall, Boston, (2006) Boston, (2007) Oxford II, (2009-16) King’s Lynn II, (2017) Isle of Wight, King’s Lynn II, (2018) Isle of Wight.
Scott returned to the Island having answered the clubs 2017 SOS call midway through the season. His form and speed improved with every meeting, and he finished the campaign with a solid average and cemented himself as the Warriors third heat leader. Providing vital backup to Ben and Alfie, Scott was a formidable force on the Island, and his experience both on and off track was freely shared amongst his fellow team mates. Along with scoring power his calmness, professionalism, approachable demeanour and wealth of knowledge for the sport saw him elected as the 'go to' guy in the pits for help and advice.
DANNO VERGE - STARTING AVERAGE : 4.49 - FINISHING AVERAGE : 4.83
DATE OF BIRTH : 26 March 1996 - Greenwich, London.
(2014) Scunthorpe II, (2015-16) Kent, (2017) Mildenhall (National Trophy winner), (2018) Isle of Wight
After expressing an interest to become a Warrior in the past Danno got the call and set about his goal, to improve his average and tame the beast that is the Smallbrook circuit. Known in the past as a small track rider, Danno attacked the Smallbrook circuit, improving his starting average and remaining in the main body of the team for the duration of the season. Danno soon found his way into the hearts of the Warriors faithful becoming a firm fans favourite, and enjoyed every minute of the campaign on the Island.
CHRIS WIDMAN - STARTING AVERAGE : 4.26 - FINISHING AVERAGE : 3.32
DATE OF BIRTH : 25 March 1990 - Leicester, Leicestershire.
(2005) Scunthorpe, (2008) Boston, (2009-10) King’s Lynn II, (2011) Belle Vue II, (2012) Buxton, (2013) King’s Lynn II, Isle Of Wight (National Trophy winner), (2014-15) Stoke, (2016) Isle of Wight, Mildenhall, Stoke, (2017-18) Isle of Wight
It wouldn't be the Warriors without Widders who returned for his third season under Barry and his Father Martin. With a calm, laid back approach to his riding yet determined on track, Chris maintained his second string position in the team despite a difficult season on track for Chris personally. A wrist injury towards the end of the season hampered his progress however, being a true member of the Warrior family in more ways than one, Chris showed his commitment to the cause and rode through the pain barrier to finish the season with the Warriors.
SHAUN TEDHAM - STARTING AVERAGE : 3.08 - FINISHING AVERAGE : 3.00
DATE OF BIRTH : 4 August 1980 - Southport, Lancashire.
(2013) Stoke, (2015-17) Stoke, (2018) Isle of Wight
(2013) Midland Riders Development League Champion
Shaun joined the Warriors a few meetings into the season, slotting into the reserve berth bringing much experience and potential at the bottom end of the team. After taking a few meetings to settle in on track, Shaun embraced the 'Warrior Way' and soon got the fans cheering and screaming with support. Often seen talking to the fans and signing autographs, Shaun wasn't fazed by the Smallbrook track, and gained speed with every meeting and ended the campaign as a solid reserve.
JAMIE BURSILL - STARTING AVERAGE : 3.00 - FINISHING AVERAGE : 3.00
DATE OF BIRTH : 15th November 2000 - Chertsey, Surry.
(2018) Isle of Wight
Jamie finally placed a Warriors race jacket over his shoulders with the knowledge he fully earned it with many miles, guest bookings and practise laps under his belt. Spending the 2017 season as the Warriors No.8 after trials at the Warriors press & practise day, Jamie kept his focus on improvement and took every opportunity to race his bike up and down the country not only guesting for the Warriors, but competing in the SDL league also. His speed and experience increased consistently with a string of great performances once he joined the Warriors in the reserve berth towards the end of the season.
BEN HOPWOOD - STARTING AVERAGE : 7.44 FINISHING AVERAGE : 7.37
DATE OF BIRTH : 11 March 1991 - Salford, Greater Manchester.
(2006) Mildenhall II, Stoke II (2007) Oxford II, (2008) Plymouth, Scunthorpe II (2009-10) Isle of Wight (2011) Hackney (2012-13) Isle of Wight (2014) Poole, Stoke (2015) Buxton, Eastbourne (2016) Buxton, Eastbourne, Rye House II, Stoke (2017) Newcastle, Kent (2018) Isle of Wight
(2008) Conference Trophy Winner : Scunthorpe II, (2012 & 2015) National Trophy Winner : Isle of Wight & Eastbourne (2015) Gold Cup & Knockout Cup Winner : Eastbourne
Ben returned to the Island as Captain, however he submitted a transfer request to the management and left the Warriors at the beginning of June.
JAMIE SEALEY - STARTING AVERAGE : 3.00 FINISHING AVERAGE : 3.00
DATE OF BIRTH : 6 July 1989 - Basingstoke, Hampshire.
(2017-18) Isle of Wight
Winning over the hearts and cheers of the Warriors faithful in 2017, Jamie was a popular return signing for the 2018 season. Maximum effort was always given for the cause, extra rides always taken when needed and with an unwavered determination to succeed, Jamie took the remaining Warrior race jacket and slotted back into his reserve berth. Unfortunately suffering a mid season injury, Jamie was rested from the team to bring in the more experienced Shaun. However, once fit, Jamie returned to the saddle and led the Islands Wizards team whilst also taking part in the Warriors Individual meetings held on the Island.