Emergency Crews Rev Up for Speedway Glory

Karratha’s Nickol Bay Speedway was set alight with explosive racing at the Halloween Meeting on 31st October, offering the opportunity to thank local volunteer emergency services for their ongoing support of the speedway and the wider community. Shots were fired earlier in the week by a local newspaper promotion of the event, with some emergency services extremely confident of a win, including St John Ambulance and Police as local favourites.

The night’s highlight event was the “000” Emergency Services race featuring Karratha State Emergency Service, St John Ambulance, Volunteer Fire & Rescue Service and local Police. With each service entering 2 representatives there was no shortage of volunteers.

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Kayla flanked by fellow SES volunteers Cristy and Matt 

Dedicated speedway enthusiasts Kayla O’Keefe and Deborah Napier stepped up to the challenge, representing Karratha SES. Once the grid was set, the lights turned green and they were racing. Deborah was quick off the start and held onto the lead for the first lap, slowly pegged back by competitive driving as the field hotted up.

Kayla made an impressive start, coming from last place to third, before the red flag was raised after the unmistakeable sound of metal hitting concrete at high speed. Yes, a police driver clipped the wall then another vehicle (Deborah) causing her to slide out. Thankfully, he walked away uninjured but a funeral service was planned for the vehicle the following week.

The field regrouped and the race continued with Kayla starting at the back of the field before moving to second after the 4th lap. Managing to squeeze in front on the last corner, she took the chequered flag in an absolute nail biter. The roar from the crowd was deafening as the Karratha SES support crew, including Matt Eardley, Corey Malpass, Cristy O’Keefe and Mick Napier, erupted with excitement. A big round of applause and appreciation for her efforts was also given to Deborah who finished the race mostly intact, despite some damage sustained.

Well it turns out talk is cheap as, despite having a distinct disadvantage, the SES chalked up a win! Kayla’s winning comment, “At least an 18 year old female driver beat the police,” lets us know she was well pleased with the result.

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Kayla with her foot to the floor,  a champion technique.