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Beirao

The first Internationale in 1981

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I think this was Britains consolation prize for losing the World Final to Sweden. Each of the ten NL tracks staged a qualifying round with 40 riders taking part, each getting  four rounds, with the final being staged at neutral Harringay. This wasn't repeated with just a one off meeting at Wimbledon with invited riders. Anyone remember things from this time? Perhaps the qualifying meetings weren't a good deal for the staging tracks with increased costs not being absorbed by bigger crowds? Was Harringay a cheaper neutral track than Wembley?

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I saw both the qualifying round at New Cross and the final at Harringay. I have to say I am not sure why Harringay was chosen. Harringay had closed in 1954, so it was a bit of curious choice. The only other meeting held there that year was the Provincial League Riders' Championship final. And they were the last two meetings ever held at Harringay.

The qualifying round at New Cross did give us the chance to seeing foreign  riders we might not otherwise have seen. I remember seeing the Finnish rider, Timo Laine, for example.

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4 hours ago, Beirao said:

I think this was Britains consolation prize for losing the World Final to Sweden. Each of the ten NL tracks staged a qualifying round with 40 riders taking part, each getting  four rounds, with the final being staged at neutral Harringay. This wasn't repeated with just a one off meeting at Wimbledon with invited riders. Anyone remember things from this time? Perhaps the qualifying meetings weren't a good deal for the staging tracks with increased costs not being absorbed by bigger crowds? Was Harringay a cheaper neutral track than Wembley?

Except that it wasn't in 1981...

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1 hour ago, chunky said:

Except that it wasn't in 1981...

Missed that! Yes, 1961.

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6 hours ago, norbold said:

I have to say I am not sure why Harringay was chosen. Harringay had closed in 1954, so it was a bit of curious choice.

In February 1961 Wimbledon was mooted as the most likely venue for the final of the new competition. Harringay then began to be talked about as a better choice for two reasons, firstly that it was neutral and secondly that it could accommodate a much larger crowd than Plough Lane. The decision to stage the meeting at Harringay was announced at the end of the first week in March. It was considered unlikely that a sufficiently large crowd would be attracted to Wembley to make hosting the final there a viable proposition.

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14 hours ago, norbold said:

Missed that! Yes, 1961.

I missed that too,  until this morning! 

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1 hour ago, RobbieB said:

 

Great piece of work, Robbie. Such an important addition to speedway history. And thank you for your acknowledgement.

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On 2/15/2024 at 8:00 PM, Split said:

You'll find "The Complete History of the Speedway / Wills / Embassy Internationale by Robert Browne" here:

https://www.speedwayresearcher.org.uk/wimbledoninternationale.pdf

 

 

My memory is a bit different crowd-wise. I thought there was a noticeable drop in the crowd from 1973-77. 73-74 were amazing crowds. The cars parked down to the gates of the cemetery, and the queue outside the stadium.... I didn't go to the last couple, but i guess it dropped even further ? Or why did they stop running the meeting ?

1973 also witnessed two other bumper nights in my memory. The Spring Classic and for me , even better at least a more vocal colourful crowd was the BLRC 2 meeting. I am not sure that was ever topped for the various fan groups with their flags etc

Edited by iris123

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32 minutes ago, iris123 said:

My memory is a bit different crowd-wise. I thought there was a noticeable drop in the crowd from 1973-77. 73-74 were amazing crowds. The cars parked down to the gates of the cemetery, and the queue outside the stadium.... I didn't go to the last couple, but i guess it dropped even further ? Or why did they stop running the meeting ?

1973 also witnessed two other bumper nights in my memory. The Spring Classic and for me , even better at least a more vocal colourful crowd was the BLRC 2 meeting. I am not sure that was ever topped for the various fan groups with their flags etc

Yeah, I loved doing the BLRC 2/BLRC; the crowds and support for each rider was incredible.

Funny thing is, I never went to the Internationale! Not sure why, although in later years, we always had a dart tournament that weekend.

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11 hours ago, iris123 said:

My memory is a bit different crowd-wise. I thought there was a noticeable drop in the crowd from 1973-77. 73-74 were amazing crowds. The cars parked down to the gates of the cemetery, and the queue outside the stadium.... I didn't go to the last couple, but i guess it dropped even further ? Or why did they stop running the meeting ?

1973 also witnessed two other bumper nights in my memory. The Spring Classic and for me , even better at least a more vocal colourful crowd was the BLRC 2 meeting. I am not sure that was ever topped for the various fan groups with their flags etc

Iris, the crowd at the last Internationales were quite low. The stadium for the final Internationale in 1981 held on a Sunday in bright sunshine, after it had been originally postponed was extremely quite. 

I have to agree with you both the second division riders championship at Wimbledon were always extremely loud and colourful with tremendous atmosphere.

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