Sunday, 20 July 2014

Old Portlians CC - Club Track Championships

Back at the AGM, long stand member Clive Jeffery put his hand in the air and offered to run a club track championship at Herne Hill. Given that putting ones hand in the air and offering to do things is not what the club is known for this was something special in itself. The normal method for apportioning tasks is a combination of chicken and you touched it last. The track champs used to be a fixture of the Old Ports calendar but had slipped away in recent years, so we were all delighted that Clive was up for breathing life back into the beast again.

The championship revolved around four events. A 200m sprint (basically eyeballs out giving it everything from a flying start. A four lap pursuit with riders starting on opposing sides of the track. Probably the cruellest event is the Devil Takes the Hindmost , where last rider on each lap is eliminated. To close the day was the points race, points being awarded for the first 3 places on each lap.

To be honest there at not that many experienced track riders at the club. More than once Clive rolled his eyes as his charges failed to follow his instructions. A number  of people were referencing doing it at school, and for most of us, school was a very long time ago. Michael Fowler was probably the most candid with his comment. 'I did it at school, I wasn't very good then, I am not very good now. But people pretty quickly got that hang of things, and once the riders stopped gasping for air, there were plenty of broad smiles. Sally Avery could barely contain her delight at the end of her sprint. Having knackered myself doing at 25 at Steyning this morning I sat out of the racing opting to take pictures and offer largely unhelpful advice.

The podium was, 3rd Place Dave Warne ( a bit tuckered from his 56 on the F1 this morning, I note he did not use a time trial as an excuse not to race this pm, hmmm), 2nd Steve Avery (looks strong) and 1st place went to Iain Hawthorn. Well deserved. Has been putting lots of time crit racing this season and the craft transferred well, especially as the bunch fragmented at the end of the points race.

Fantastic event for the club. Congratulations to Iain and the other guys on the podium. And a huge thank you to Clive and Ian Jeffery for doing the hard work and making the thing happen.