Club racing was back on the Korrine circuit on Saturday. After a filthy weather day on Friday the riders were lucky to see a little bit of sunshine on Saturday along with the odd spit of rain. Fortunately with the cold day the wind stayed away so the 2 laps were run in good riding conditions. In the A grade race, for the Sprag trophy, the handicapper had 14 riders to contend with. Last years winner, Alex Welsh was joined by Peter McLean on an 18 minute start. They were chased by a trio on 12 min, a trio on 9 min, a trio on 6 min and the scratch bunch of Brett Franklin, Harrison McLean and Will Lumby.
The first time round the Kongwak roundabout, Alex had opened a small gap on Peter and looked like he might repeat the win. However, Rod Cheyne, Morgan Barnes and Bernadette Fitzgerald had wiped away half that handicap. They were being pressured by Phil Hanley, Mark Bensley and Brad Bouquet who also were only just a further minute back. Leigh Stott, Thomas Fitzgerald and Peter Hollins on the 3 minute mark had also closed up on the riders upfront. The course has some solid climbing from the Kongwak corner back to the start and then another lap.
By the time the riders passed the Lance Creek abattoirs Morgan Barnes had jumped into the lead hoping to get an advantage for the run up the McGraws Rd hill. However, Phil Hanley used that as a stepping stone to ride away from the field and take a handy lead into the run back to the finish. Mark Bensley chased hard but could not quite close the gap allowing Phil to win by 14 seconds. Peter Hollins also wound out the legs over the last hills dropping his co-markers to come in 3rd a further 18 seconds adrift. In easy judging, Morgan Barnes was next home in 4th, Thomas Fitzgerald 5th, Leigh Stott 6th, Rod Cheyne 7th, Bernadette Fitzgerald 8th, Peter McLean 9th and Brad Bouquet 10th just ahead of the scratch bunch where Will Lumby took 11th and Fastest Time in 58min 17 sec.
In the B grade race over 1 lap, Kerry Fitzgerald had a start of 6 minute with Greg Bradshaw on 2 minute and Kaleb Jans on Scratch. Kerry had made good progress around to the Kongwak corner but Kaleb Jans easily rounded up the others on the climbs back to the finish to take 1st and Fastest in 36min 25 sec. Kerry was able to keep Greg adrift to take 2nd whilst Greg had too much birthday celebrations to race well.
Next week the last club race of the season will start at Tarwin Lower. Some presentations will take place after the racing. September will see the club join with the other Gippsland Clubs for some combine racing. Hopefully the weather may improve by then.