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So where did it all go wrong?

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I won't talk about sidecars as an alternative attraction since I'm a touch biased....

As to post meeting entertainment, the most successful attraction I've seen in recent years was at Leicester. They not only interview the riders on the home straight in front of the remaining crowd, but the riders entered into open conversation with the crowd. This seemed very popular with enough of the crowd to keep a significant number entertained for 20 minutes or more. And we heard some news from the riders that would otherwise not be known. 

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What you want to have, in order to keep fans entertained between races, is riders who are excluded standing on the track gesticulating at the ref. Fallen riders stomping over to the pits phone by the starting gate because they've been harshly excluded. None of this is allowed now. It should be encouraged.

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On 1/10/2018 at 11:16 AM, Grachan said:

What you want to have, in order to keep fans entertained between races, is riders who are excluded standing on the track gesticulating at the ref. Fallen riders stomping over to the pits phone by the starting gate because they've been harshly excluded. None of this is allowed now. It should be encouraged.

Fights between the clubs mascots

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Fans talked about what happened during the race, years ago - especially the passing or close efforts to pass - but there is so little to say about 75% of races nowadays, that all you can say is X missed the start and couldn't cut back on the second bend - ergo race over.

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On 10 January 2018 at 11:16 AM, Grachan said:

What you want to have, in order to keep fans entertained between races, is riders who are excluded standing on the track gesticulating at the ref. Fallen riders stomping over to the pits phone by the starting gate because they've been harshly excluded. None of this is allowed now. It should be encouraged.

...remember talking to the late Bernard Crapper about the times he would appear to 'rant and rave' at the referee whilst on the phone at the starting gate. He explained to me that often he was just passing the time of day with the referee but felt the need to liven up proceedings just to get the crowd excitable.

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Oxford also had a speedway star seller who kept trying to wind up the opposition fans, but at one meeting a few away fans had taken water filled balloons and he got wet and crap pelted out of him with the balloons.  Now that helped the away fans in addition to the booing of the Oxford riders.

 

Edited by A ORLOV

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8 minutes ago, A ORLOV said:

Oxford also had a speedway star seller who kept trying to wind up the opposition fans, but at one meeting a few away fans had taken water filled balloons and he got wet and crap pelted out of him with the balloons.  Now that helped the away fans in addition to the booing of the Oxford riders.

 

Kojak !!!

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2 minutes ago, racers and royals said:

Kojak !!!

Yes, he had wound up the Swindon fans next to the pit entrance for a few meetings so the response was planned and went well.  Not sure if it was just Swindon or if he did the same with other clubs fans as well.

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7 minutes ago, steve roberts said:

Good old Kojak...remember him well!

Brings back some happy memories of when I was a kid supporting Oxford "speedway star, speedway mail"

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15 hours ago, steve roberts said:

...remember talking to the late Bernard Crapper about the times he would appear to 'rant and rave' at the referee whilst on the phone at the starting gate. He explained to me that often he was just passing the time of day with the referee but felt the need to liven up proceedings just to get the crowd excitable.

Eric Boocock once told me a similar story, but was asking the referee if he had had a good holiday.

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Knowing Eric, he was probably telling him where to go!

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Reading Robert lamberts interview in the star , he basically says he has signed again for Kings Lynn but doesn’t really want to ride there and wanted to go somewhere else but rules wouldn’t let him even though he had illeagle talks with another club, so why should any Kings Lynn fan spend their hard earn money to support Robert ? Seems to me the mutual rider/fan appreciation is a one way street these days 

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I think it's agreed on here that one area which needs addressing is the "spectator experience"

An observation from an old-timer who remembers better days, which on its own may sound trivial, but identifies a part of the reduction in the "spectator experience" - and it may not be correct at some tracks, I can only speak of the late, lamented Brandon

In the "good old days", for each race, four well-turned out track staff members, dressed in a top and beret/cap of the four helmet colours, would each wheel out a bike onto the track - there would stand the four machines, ready for action

Then the four riders, helmeted and ready to race, would walk from the pits onto the track - entry of the gladiators - and mount their bikes

The clerk of the course would then indicate that the track staff would push the riders away for their journey to the start line

All this would take a couple of minutes, perhaps longer, but was all taking place in the view of the spectators - they would see the bikes, the riders, the preparation - during this time, and be able to cheer their individual favourites (or the opposite!)

The race if not stopped would last some few seconds over a minute, and it was usual for the riders - perhaps all four - to complete another lap, whether a lap of honour or just a "warm-down"

So there was "spectator experience" of around five minutes for each heat throughout the meeting

In more recent times - certainly after the introduction of greyhound racing caused a relocation of the pits gate - riders would appear on track on their bikes heading to the start, pushed off by their mechanics from inside the pits like the GPs (out of view of the crowd)

So the "spectator experience" was diminished

I said it sounded trivial, I know there was a reason at Brandon with pits gate moved, but it's the kind of minutiae which Charles Ochiltree as promoter would look upon as very important, and the riders too had a part to play by not disappearing off-track asap at race end

I discount the trend for copious "gardening" by riders at the tapes - I don't see that as anything other than a pain in the backside of many spectators who see it as a delay, not a build up, to the racing

Do today's promoters even consider such matters to be important?

 

 

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