Andrew Cleave and Dave Power

Sports Hall of Fame Inductees

Category: Sports Hall of Fame

Sport: Motorcycling

In the 1980s Shepparton motor cycle sidecar rider Andrew Cleave was making a name for himself riding a motor bike and side car on dirt speedway tracks. He was aided by his brother Tom who rode with him as a passenger – known as a swinger. They tasted success when they finished third in the Australian Sidecar championships in the 1985/86 season. However Tom had to give sidecar racing away and Andrew asked his friend Dave Power to be his passenger on the bike.  With Andrew’s coaching Dave took to his job with skill and gusto.

It was Andrew’s partnership with Dave Power that propelled the duo to become Australian champions and world class competitors. The fearless Power relished in the dangerous job of swinging off the bike as driver Cleave negotiated the bends at breakneck speed.

They soon became stars of speedways across the country and as they thrilled the speedway fans with their daredevil performances.  The duo developed a trick which saw Power jump on Cleaves back at the start of the race to get more traction on the back wheel while Cleave opened up full throttle. Before the first bend, Dave had to dismount and swing off the machine to get around the bend at full speed.

The pair took all before them to win the Australian title and the Australian Grand Slam of titles in individual event and Australian best pairs or teams. This didn’t mean much to their bank accounts as sponsorship was scarce and prize money was low. However the pair battled on and were runners up in the Australian titles on five occasions.  They loved the competition, they were a popular team and were most welcome at speedways around the country.

In 1997 the dream almost came to an end when, at Murray Bridge they had a horrific accident, which saw the pair catapulted into the air, resulting in Dave Power being rushed to hospital in Adelaide with a serious foot injury. It took Dave some time to recover but the pair joined a group of Goulburn Valley motor cycling enthusiasts travelling around Australia to compete at top level. They continued to chase titles around Australia. In 2003 they won their second grand slam, becoming the first ever combination to do so.

The boys decided to try their luck overseas and headed for England to race in the world cup series. Not only were they competitive but they sped into third place in the series. This was a wonderful performance, considering that they were not able to take their own machine to Europe and raced on a borrowed bike. The team seemed to perform better under pressure and they were hungry for success.

When the duo retired they had a wonderful record to look back on – Third in two Overseas series, twice Australian Grand Slam winners, 14 times placed in Australian titles, 8 State Titles in Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania along with a host of winning events on speedway tracks around the nation. They also won one Australian Long track title and 5 Australian best pairs titles.

We can be proud of this duo who loved to race at high speed with balance, precision and smoothness. It takes special people to be able to team together and display the skills to be one of this nation’s most successful sidecar racing teams. Andrew Cleave and Dave Power showed fearlessness and persistence as they represented Shepparton at the highest level in speedway racing.