Nearly 50 members and family attended the club BBQ last week. The rain dampened any outside activities, but there was still plenty to do in the house…
The quiz had the usual mix of left field questions and even wilder answers. We learnt about the changing nature of the club’s membership. 20 years ago the club had 54 members and 80% of them raced during the year, whereas we now have 131 members (according to Darren!) but only 20% race.
We also saw the high standard of the club’s open promotions – 3 of the last 10 Tour of Ards winners went on to turn professional (even if many members struggled to name them all – for the record they are Martyn Irvine (United Healthcare), Damian Shaw (An Post) and Conn McDunphy (Holdsworth)).
In the final count, it was the primary school team of Evie and Maria who managed to scam most answers from other competitors and take the win.
It was great to see nearly a dozen kids, along with assorted adults, take to the roller racing this year, and there was some excellent racing. The early pace was set by the girls, with Sophie getting 22.43 seconds, Maria 22.25, and last year’s winner Anna on 21.5.
The Rockett brothers then took up the challenge. 5 year old Jake showed great promise with a best of 26.2. Jamie and WIlly Gill then went head to head, to dip under 21 seconds. A delighted WIlly took the win by 2 hundredths of a second.
Their times didn’t last for long. English visitor Karma did 20.40, before Karl became the first rider to beat the magical 20 second barrier. He was followed by Jamie (19.93), Andrew Jess (19.86), Willy Gill (19.60) and Darren Colville.
The scene was set for a final showdown between the adults and the kids – Darren vs Karl. We weren’t disappointed. In the fastest race of the day, Darren took the win by 5 hundredths of a second in 18.05.
As always, thanks to everyone who helped to make it such a great day, including my wife Janine and our friend Katherine for preparing and cooking all the food, and everyone who brought desserts and drinks.