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Turkey’s regains famous Bed Pan Trophy at 45th annual Cloverdale Bed Races

Brookswood claims first Chamber Pot Trophy

The 45th annual Cloverdale Bed Races rolled out to another “resounding success” May 16, according to Rick Hugh.

Hugh, 1st vice president for the Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association, was the head-race marshaller, starting-horn blower, and photo-finish finalizer for the famous event.

“This was another race that was one for the ages,” said Hugh. “It was nice to see a new team like Brookswood, relatively new, take away some hardware.”

Brookswood, in the #73 car, captured the Chamber Pot Trophy on the women’s side. Turkey’s Party Makers Racing Team, now 11-time champs, won the Bed Pan Trophy on the men’s side. And the Surrey Firefighters took home the Bill Reid Centre of the Universe Trophy in the mixed event.

After having his win streak broken last year, Turkey Kielesinski—owner of the Turkey’s Party Makers Racing Team—vowed he’d recapture the podium in 2024 and he didn’t have to eat his words.

He chalked his resilience up to “the beer not tasting as good” after the loss last year and 364 days of planning and prep work. Turkey’s, the perennial favourites, missed the podium in 2023 when the team’s bed racer scooted off the strip, earning them an instant disqualification.

Last year’s loss, ended a four-year championship run and their bid to duplicate their five-Pan dynasty from the early 2010s. (Turkey’s had a five-Pan run from 2010-2014.)

Turkey was on the winning team in the first race in 1976 and after two-plus decades of staring in at the winner’s circle from the opposite sidewalk, Turkey got things rolling again at the end of the ’90s. (His team uses the same bed one of Turkey’s employees crafted for the race in 1999.)

“Turkey won the very first race in 1976 and here it is a million years later and he’s still managing to get it done,” Hugh said.

Turkey was jubilant after the victory.

“Best feeling in the world,” he said. “I almost feel like the Canucks when they win.”

Turkey said his goal is to now repeat his 5-peat from the early 2010s and look to add the elusive, and never-before-done, 6-peat.

“Darn rights we’ll go for it!” he exclaimed. “We crashed and burned last year and nearly took out some spectators, but it’s good to be back.”

Turkey said his team solidified the win in an “amazing” exchange at the race’s midpoint.

“That’s what does it.”

Rob Paterson, vice president of the Cloverdale BIA, was once again the event emcee. He played music from the stage—the flat deck of a classic truck on loan from the B.C. Vintage Truck Museum—and provided play-by-play commentary for the races.

A large amount of spectators showed up to take in the 45th annual running of the beds. The crowd size was similar to 2023, despite organizers’ concerns about a Canucks’ game later in the evening.

To start off the evening, there was a children’s bike parade. Kids decorated their bicycles and pedalled several laps up and down the bed racing strip before random prizes were awarded to several kids.

After that, competitors from the World Freestyle Round-Up Skateboarding Championships, held as part of the Country Fair over Rodeo Weekend, performed for the crowd in a preview of what their competition would look like. The competitors rolled, jumped, and spun out a demonstration for curious spectators.

Paul Orazietti, executive director of the Cloverdale BIA, the organization who has put on the bed races since 1976, said the event didn’t have as many entries as he would have liked, but it was successful nonetheless.

Turkey later reflected on what the win meant in the greater context of Cloverdale and life in general.

He said even though his goal was to reclaim the Bed Pan Trophy, he was just happy to be able to compete.

“It’s just great to be back in Cloverdale doing this,” he said. “It is. It really is. It’s a great community, full of great people, and great community spirit. What else can I say? It’s a lot of fun.”

Malin Jordan

About the Author: Malin Jordan

Malin is the editor of the Cloverdale Reporter.
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