Rocky speedway rider’s three-month mission to get home
IT TOOK three months but Zane Keleher is finally back in Rockhampton after his international racing career was halted by COVID-19.
The 27 year old realised a dream when he moved to the UK in March to join the Poole Pirates, a motorcycle speedway team that competes in the SGB Championship.
But he never got to race, with the 2020 season initially suspended in response to the pandemic and then cancelled in July.
Keleher said it then became an “ongoing mission” to get home.
“The main problem was Australia’s border restrictions, they were limiting how many people could get back each week,” he said.
“The flights were pretty expensive to start with and then it was nearly impossible to get one because so many people wanted to get home.
“When I finally was able to book a flight, it got cancelled four times.
“It was a crazy experience but it’s a huge relief to be back in Australia, back home and back to some normality.”
Keleher said it was “heartbreaking” to come so close and be denied his international race debut, but he believes he will be better prepared when he returns to the Poole Pirates in March next year.
“It was certainly a year of ups and downs. You could never have predicted that this would happen,” he said.
“It was so exciting to get over there and get started and then, all of a sudden, it was on hold.
“It was looking positive, like it would start up a couple of times, and then in July they cancelled it completely.”
Keleher said during the three months in travel limbo he kept busy, putting in place the things that he would set him up for his return next year.
He said the seven months spent in England was like a dress rehearsal without the racing.
“I guess it’s been a good experience and I’m hoping it’s a year that has made me stronger.
“I’m really well prepared now so next year I basically fly in and I’m good to go.”
Keleher is now preparing for the Queensland Solo Championships at Bowen on November 14 and the Darcy Ward Invitational at Brisbane on November 28.