The Arena-Essex Speedway Supporters Club held a very successful Presentation Evening on Saturday at The Sporting Club in Rainham. Five of the Hammers riders were in attendance with only Lee Herne (who had returned home to Australia) and Joonas Kylmakorpi missing.

Each of the riders was presented with a trophy on behalf of the Supporters Club by ex Hammer Jan Pedersen, who was the guest of honor. Lee Herne's mechanic, Dave, accepted the Australian's on his behalf and Commercial Manager Jo Banbury accepted Kylmakorpi's.

The Hammers Rider of the Year Award as voted for by members of the Supporters Club went to the very popular Leigh Lanham. The Ipswich based rider had a superb season for the Club upping his average by a quarter of a point to 9.42, Lanham also won the "Rear of the Year" award.

The trophy for the scorer of the most bonus points during the season went to Dane Henning Bager, who just outpointed Lee Herne for this award. The Dane also received a special award as the most entertaining Hammer of the year, mainly for his celebrations witnessed every time he won a race.

The award for the rider who increased his average the most during the season went to Lee Herne. The Australian increased his average by 1.68 over the season but four other members of the team also increased their averages.

Only Joonas Kylmakorpi, who came into the side on a very high average based on his Elite League performances, and Kelvin Tatum actually finished on lower averages than they started the season on. In Tatum's case his average dropped by only 0.08.

The Presentation Evening concluded a successful year for the Hammers and although they failed to win any trophies they did reach the Semi Finals of the Knockout Cup, win their group in the British League Cup and finish a creditable seventh in the League.

As far as next season is concerned the Hammers supporters will need to wait for the outcome of the Annual B.S.P.A. Conference, which is due to take place later this month. At that meeting the structure for the Leagues will be discussed and based on the points limits decided for next season Promoter Ronnie Russell will decide which League the Hammers will compete in for the 2004 season.



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