DANNY KING COLUMN: A weekend away with ‘Seve’ Hawkins is always fun... Even if the boxing was tricky to see on the A1!
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Let me tell you about my little weekend away in the north-east with Ritchie Hawkins?
It was a fun couple of days.
We met up with my brother Jason, enjoyed two night’s B&B at his house (no doubt invoice on the way), had a round of golf, the Witches four points and a big win at Berwick, we watched the boxing on the A1, and I qualified for the British final – all in 48 hours! Phew!
After the Witches meeting against Berwick last week was called off because of the persistent rain, me Ritchie headed up the A1 on Friday night to meet up with my brother Jason, who lives in Newcastle.
He was going to put us up for a couple of days, with our meeting at Berwick on the Saturday and Newcastle in the British semi-final on the Sunday.
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Me and Ritchie thought it a sensible idea to avoid the traffic on Friday and not leave Peterborough (where we live) until 8pm. Oh, joy of joys. So clearly did everyone else decide to do the same.
We crawled up the A1 slower than Ritchie used to get round Edinburgh (only kidding mate!), and eventually arrived at my brothers gone midnight.
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That would have been ok, but Jason had booked us in for a 7.28am tee-off at his local golf course on Saturday morning. What sleep?
Now, I can easily be a morning person.
So can Jason and Jason’s golfing partner (we were playing pairs)
But Ritchie is not a morning person!
Oh, my what a fuss he made about getting up. You’d think he had a young baby at home who gets him up, so he doesn’t get much sleep these days!
He was a right grizzler.
Still, it all changed as the round went on. Ritchie had a great round (79) and mine wasn’t too shabby either (83).
We won and celebrated by almost offering to buy a round in the bar afterwards.
But seeing as I was riding that night, we both thought it sensible not to... Very unprofessional.
After the joy of the golf, me and Ritchie joined up with the rest of the Witches at Berwick that night.
It was nice to see some Ipswich fans had made the long trip - what great supporters the Witches have. To say the track was a bit iffy to start off with is an understatement. I don’t know what they had done but I think almost every rider in heat one, me included, fell at some point – me when I was leading.
I wasn’t a happy bunny on my return to the pits and let everyone know about it. I said there was no way they could let the reserves out in heat two with the track as it was. In fairness to Berwick they worked hard on getting it right. But we were far too solid throughout and it was great to come away with a 10-point win and a full four-point haul.
That was just what we needed and it was even better to have Kyle Newman back in the team. If he had any worries about his shoulder before the meeting, he certainly had it fully tested at Berwick!!
Cameron Heeps and Rory Schlein were classy in what was a great team effort. I predict we will win plenty more on the road this season.
On the way back from Berwick to Newcastle, we decided to listen to the Joshua v Klitschko fight in the van. Ritchie got it up on his phone and we streamed it through to my ipad. It wasn’t the best reception in the world and we had to pull over in a lay-by to stop the stream sticking. But we got there in the end and enjoyed sitting there for 45 minutes or so watching the bout.
After a bit of a lay-in on Sunday morning, Ritchie kindly cleaned my bike for me!
I say ‘kindly’. He tried to pull rank on him being team manager, but I just told him I wouldn’t give him a lift home, which seemed to do the trick. No, only kidding, he got his hands dirty and then we headed off to Newcastle for the British semi-final. Rory Schlein has been battered on some social media by the brave ‘keyboard warriors’ about whether he has the right to ride in the British finals, even though he is Australian. Well, as I said last week, rules are rules and he’s allowed to race, so fair enough as far as I’m concerned. Just to rub salt into those who are not happy, Schleiny went and won the meeting!
Ha!Ha! nice one Rory. I qualified, which was good, next the British final.
Just time to say welcome to Justin Sedgmen, he’ll be a top team man for the Witches. See you at Foxhall tomorrow.
AS TOLD TO MIKE BACON