Nicki Hawkes steps up as VC Baracchi Club Secretary

The biggest surprise at the annual meeting of Velo Club Baracchi was that Patrick Harbord managed to relinquish the post of secretary after many years’ faithful service to the club in that capacity.

Volunteers these days are few and far between but Nicola Hawkes was the exception, whose willingness to take the job on was welcomed.

Other officers were re-elected. They include Brian Boxall, chairman, Paul Bedford, vice-chairman, Sharon Mills, treasurer and John Swanbury, publicity.

The chairman reflected on a successful year in which the club had been in transition.

The members of the club’s former racing team are now riding successfully with a sponsored team and only one member took part in a road race, but the enthusiasm for time trials is undiminished, with 22 members having taken part in the year.

Records continue to be set or broken, including Jenny Anderson’s assault on the women’s 30-mile time and tandem records by John Swanbury and Ali Banks at 25 and 30 miles.

The club’s record holder Liam Gentry is now with Strada Sport but in his absence Mark Newnham has risen to the challenge of filling the void, including by his 2-02:37 ride at the 50-miles distance.

Mark Newnham after a time trial

Brian expressed his admiration for the performances in triathlon of Joe Skipper, who, after initially riding with the club is now a successful international triathlete, having moved up to the Ironman distance. He produced a stunning time of 8 hours 23 minutes to finish 5th on his Ironman triathlon debut in Barcelona.

Members became aware for the first time that Amy Finch and Emma Hewitt, sisters, had tackled and enjoyed half a dozen sportives during the year.

Emma Hewitt and Amy Finch finish the Tour ride

It was agreed that next year the club will give more publicity to the Bernard Dale hill-climb trophy before the event, as this is open to all Lowestoft cyclists and there may be others from outside the club, including the Rock Estate Runners and Riders, who might like to have a go.

After some debate about the best arrangement for the club’s winter runs, it was decided that riders will gather at 8.30am at the Cotmer Road roundabout and sort out between themselves who will go with the fast group and who will prefer to split off for a gentler ride.

They will then all set off together and the faster riders are to restrain themselves for the first eight or ten miles, to make a joint ride to begin with.

The presentation evening is this Saturday at the Marquis of Lorne, followed the next morning by the Chairman’s breakfast ride at 9am.  The normal club runs mentioned above resume next week.

There has been no competition or organised rides over last weekend but the Tuesday and Friday 9am rides from Carlton Colville church by the group of friends calling themselves the “Over the Hill Gang” or “the Wrinklies” who include club members has lately been well attended.

The Wrinklies on their way

John Thompson reported a very pleasant ride to Needham, planning routes for the next audax he will organise. Commenting on the difference between the fine day and the previous Sunday’s downpours he said, “What a difference a week makes weather wise – a lovely day for riding  through the prettier part of the Waveney valley.”