We always knew the 2021 season would be a challenge having decided that we could not give our support to rule changes imposed by the governing body of the sport over the winter. Working with a different code of authority there was much to do, including writing a code of conduct, rules, retraining, new jobs and much more. It was a real challenge to achieve in such a short amount of time and credit must go to all our volunteers and the team at Nora for stepping up to the challenge and ensuring this was achieved.
After electing to withdraw from regular league racing, we realised we needed something spectacular to ensure fans, volunteers and sponsors were happy with out product. Working with Ben Ilsley of Bantasia, we developed a new concept of grass track racing on shale, and the 3 round Island Masters was born. The Island Masters was incredible, each round culminating in 3 Finals C, B and A where points were prizes toward the end total. The racing really suited our big track well and it was a delight to see the bikes at full gas around Smallbrook.
We combined the Island Masters with a 3 round 3 Team Tournament, Wightlink 'Warriors' vs Oxford vs Cradley Heath, along with our annual US Style Handicap Racing and new addition the Nora British Championship. This gave the fans many different race experiences while maintaining the team element and for sure we created a season long speedway spectacular.
In addition to the category A races, we added extra races every week, these were the Pee Wee races and 125cc races for children. These races proved popular with the fans and inspired other children to want to take up the sport.
A selection of Category B races were added which saw the Wightlink 'Wizards' race 3 times against Exeter, Weymouth and Crayford. We staged 'Retro Speedway' with the Men in Black (on machines over 60 years old), plus 'upright' racing between Team Jawa, Team GM and Team Weslake and finally we add another speedway first Ladies only races, which again was well received.
Just for more fun, we had the 'Chicken Chaser' races which basically is a group of Honda Step through enthusiasts who brought their bikes to the track and raced. We had them before and again the crowd loved this fun element to the evening.
With an action packed evening we had to have a very slick show as we ran a minimum 27 races, and it there was time at the end we always allow the Japs and Weslake riders out for a few laps to entertain as the crowd exits and on one week, we even persuaded the legendary Bruce Cribb to take to the track on an ice racing bike!
Thank you for your support in 2021, this proved to be the catalyst that kept us going. Now we move on the 2022, which plans to be even better than this year, and hopefully we can be more innovative, more interactive, more productive and continue to put on the best show in speedway.
Wightlink 'Warriors Club' - WSTA Community Club of the Year - Chesil Radio 'Pay It Forward' Award.
Nora 500 British Final - 1st Jason Edwards, 2nd Edward Kennett, 3rd Henry Atkins.
3TT - 1st Oxford, 2nd Wightlink 'Warriors', 3rd Cradley Heath.
Island Master - 1st Andrew Appleton, 2nd James Wright, 3rd Chad Wirtzfeld.
125 Rider of the Year - Kye Elliott
PW Rider of the Year - Stasiu Stevens.
Meridian TV Report With Barry Bishop : Isle of Wight : 18/03/2021
The Speedway Tavern
Meridian TV Report With Brendan Johnson : Isle of Wight : 24/03/2021
The Main Differences Between Grasstrack & Speedway Bikes With Tony Atkin : 22/07/2021
2021 WARRIORS LINE-UP
Alex SPOONER : Danno VERGE : Morgan WILLIAMS
Chad WIRTZFELD : Steve PIPER (Team Manager)
Images by Sportography
WARRIORS TEAM MANAGER
DATE OF BIRTH : 18 June 2000 - Wickford, Essex.
(2017) Lakeside, (2018-19) Kent, (2021) Isle of Wight & Kent II
DATE OF BIRTH : 26 March 1996 - Greenwich, London.
(2014) Scunthorpe II, (2015-16) Kent, (2017) Mildenhall (National Trophy winner), (2018-19) Isle of Wight, (2021) Isle of Wight & Eastbourne II
DATE OF BIRTH : 21 August 2003 - Poole, Dorset.
(2019) Isle of Wight, (2021) Isle of Wight & Eastbourne II
DATE OF BIRTH : 5 January 1998 - Newport, Isle of Wight.
(2021) Isle of Wight