A welcome break in the recent appalling weather set a dry, but very windy backdrop for the final round in the somewhat arcane “Reg Porter Competition”.
This Lewes Wanderers event reflects the eccentricity of the English, as no other nation could possibly dream up three such disparate and odd events to compete in. This round was based on speed judging, with riders having to trace round two loops of a circuit centred at Ripe at set speeds without the aid off a speedometer. The first loop, to be ridden at 12 mph, was deceptively tough, with the fierce headwind and undulating nature of the course making speed judgment more of an Art rather than Science. The second loop, at a slightly brisker pace of 14 mph proved equally mystifying to judge. The four main contenders for the overall title, Paul Gibbons, Ian McGuckin, John Miller and defending champion Mark Longhurst set off with high hopes, though some of these hopes were sadly misplaced as aspirations were dashed by a lamentable misjudgement of pace on the day. In fact all riders speed round above the target speeds, with Laurie Leaney being particularly culpable with a ride a full seven mph above the prescribed speed!
After the event riders returned to Peter & Ann Baker’s house where they were treated to lashings of hot tea and cakes with a collection being made for the Children’s Society. In the steam filled room, Peter sat hunched over his laptop entering complex numbers into a mystifying spreadsheet to ascertain the result. After a tense wait, the results were announced, as tradition dictates, in reverse order. The first three on the day were, Paget Cohen, Chris Martin and Martin Lunn, none who were to finish in the reckoning for the major overall prize.
After due deliberation, the final outcome of the overall contest was announced with suitable gravitas by club chairman Chris Martin. In a closely fought contest third placed was shared between John Miller and Ian McGuckin which left Paul Gibbons and reigning champion Mark Longhurst battling for the overall crown, but it was too close to call as both riders tallied an identical points aggregate to be crowned joint champions for the year.
The Wanderers would like to extend their appreciation to course organiser Bob Comben, Timekeeper Richard Mead and to Anne and Peter Baker for their customary hospitality.
More information of all club activities and events can be found at www.leweswanderers.co.uk