It was a very special evening for the club, not only the annual awards but a fantastic start to the 90th birthday celebrations. Otley Golf Club was again the venue and members filled the room, waiting with expectation for the freshly polished trophies to be presented. The amount of Effort Rachel Crowther has put in over the last few months could clearly be seen and was greatly appreciated by all who attended. The programme of events was kicked off by Rachel who then handed over to our President – Peter Middlebrooke, who gave his take on how the year had gone and summarised the successes from this year across the club.
It was soon time for the winners to be announced, starting with the Best All Rounder, then onto the young people with a large contingent of under 12s winning mini-flyers awards and under 16s winning the Cadet Awards. This year’s Harry Buckley Award, went to a very deserving winner Annie Chambers who had shone out to her coaches and progressed from barely pedalling to a podium place racing, all in a year and all with a smile on her face.
The Sunday club runs points competition showed dedicated riders awarded for their efforts, with long standing champion overall being Paul Agar, a seemingly permanent place for the trophy on his mantle piece!
Before the fabulous food was served it was time for Lizzie Deignan to be formally welcomed into the club as an Honorary member. Racing commitments meant Lizzie could not attend, but had deputised three ‘mini-Lizzies’ to read out her words of thanks and present the club with a signed and framed World Champion jersey.
Refueled and refreshed the awards continued after dinner, starting with the Fast and Furious awards for 10 mile, 25 mile and 30 mile champions, this was followed by the endurance awards with some very special achievements this year. George Baxter’s 1969 24 hour record was this year beaten by Iain Findley and there was a first time ever Women’s Tandem 12 hour record set by Christine Bell and Rachel Crowther.
The club’s investment in racing has contributed to a significant rise in British Cycling points, not forgetting that this is coincides with a change in the system this year with only riders 14 years old and over now eligible. Tom Cullen was dominant this year, with an excellent season of racing, hoping to get even better with the OCC team this year.
Otley and Beyond awards celebrated the adventurers in the club with thousands of miles racked up throughout the year and wonderful places visted. Why not read about the Grand Tours in our special article on the website.
The Mountain Goats Challenge recognised that special breed of riders who like to go really fast up very steep hills! Some would say have photo time at the top, but these people would not feel it was right unless they were unable to stand at the top.
That left The Testing Triangle champions, which not only looks at how fast riders are, but also tests their dedication to turning up every week come rain or shine. This dedication is only matched by Sheldon and his team of volunteers who make the whole competition possible.
The final award of the evening was the Club Person of The Year. This is voted for by club members and given to the person who gives the most back to the club. This year’s winner was John Barnett, who’s contribution was summed up in his nomination citing the care for the club house, his role as racing secretary and his encouragement to novices to have a go. It was fitting that his acceptance speech paid tribute to all the volunteers of the club and the fact we can’t exist without them.
The evening was a true reflection of everything that is great in our illustrious club. Here’s to the 90th year and all the celebrations and good times it will bring.
For a full list of winners – Click here
For more photos, taken by Andrew Crowther, see the dedicated album on Flickr – Click Here