By GAVIN CANEY, Sports Reporter
Thursday, July 19, 2012
King’s Lynn’s clash with Eastbourne was abandoned last night after a freak storm turned their Norfolk Arena track into a boating lake.
In scenes that wouldn’t have looked out of place in the blockbuster film The Perfect Storm, a huge black cloud engulfed Saddlebow Road little more than 30 minutes before the meeting was set to begin.
Riders and supporters looked up at the sky in hope that the expected bad weather would pass. But it didn’t, as a barrage of rain, hail – mixed with thunder and lightning – descended on Lynn’s home ground.
The meeting was called off as people ran for cover, including Stars chief Buster Chapman who had worked tirelessly on the rain-soaked track all day to make it fit for the evening’s speedway.
Team boss Rob Lyon said: “We all thought it was going round us and we were convinced we were going to be lucky again like we were against Coventry in our last home meeting.
“It turned and blew up and came right across us and once it came we knew it was the end. It was horrendous. It flooded the pits within five minutes.
“Buster prepared the track all day and put a lot of time and effort into it and the forecast was predicted to be OK and it proved to be slightly wrong.
“In these situations you always feel sorry for him the most. Everybody else just turns up on the night and he’d been here since the early hours of the morning trying to get the track right.
“He puts so much effort into it but what can we do? We can’t control nature. It was freaky really. We had this bad thunderstorm which knocked his work on the head. It’s a bit of a downer but all you can do is look forward.”
The postponement was the Stars seventh of the season – six of which have come at home. It is the 101st abandonment of a miserable British season that has been wrecked by the weather. However, a philosophical Lyon admitted there’s simply no point getting down in the dumps about the number of calls off which have blighted the sport across the country this season.
He said: “I think you become a little bit matter of fact about it all really. You can’t control the weather and if you can’t control it there’s no point getting too depressed about it.
“Hopefully the weather will turn and we can get a prolonged period of meetings. We’ve got a rearranged date that everybody is happy with but it’s just frustrating.
“Hopefully this jet stream will move up and we will get some decent weather.”
The fixture has been rearranged for August 8 and any Stars fans who paid to get in last night can use their ticket for that – or any other – home meeting. Lynn won’t have to wait long for their next meeting, weather permitting, as they travel to high-flying Swindon this evening.
Stars team boss Lyon said: “Swindon’s a place that has been kind to us over the last year or two because we’ve picked up a few points there so hopefully we can do the same tonight.
“We want to try and ruffle it up and bit. They’re going good this year – and credit to them for that – but we’re going to try and get a point out of it at the very least.”