Saturday, February 27, 2010

Gympie Sports Star of the Year

At the beginning of the year when Kiri nominated me for this. My first reaction was, isn't this only for local teams like soccor and cricket? What I didn't realize is that the Sportman association with the help of Apex raise money to help local athletes.

Here is what the Newspaper had to say:

AN explosion of cheers marked the moment when Gympie endurance mountain biking athlete Sean Bekkers was crowned 2009 Sports Star of the Year at the weekend.
A visibly stunned Bekkers accepted the honour at the Gympie Civic Centre Saturday evening during the Gympie and District Sportsmen’s Association 2009 Sports Star of the Year Awards.
“It’s a massive surprise,” Bekkers told the 170 guests present for the ceremony as he attempted to compose himself.
“I just want to thank the Gympie and District Sportsmen’s Association for the recognition.”
The 2009 Sports Star of the Year managed to edge out 11 other nominees for the award, decided by the barest of margins during the voting process.
Gympie Apex president Glen Smith opened the golden envelope to deliver the eagerly anticipated announcement.
Bekkers’ family was on hand to witness the memorable moment and the athlete paid tribute to their support.
“A massive thanks to my family for all of their support and making all this possible,” he said.
“My partner Kiri has been source of strength for me and her help makes the difference.
“I also have to say a huge thanks to Kiri’s mother who has been the ideal babysitter for us during competition.”
Bekkers’ victory in lifting the title of 2009 Sports Star of the Year marks a new brave new era in Gympie sport.
It’s the first time endurance mountain biking has been recognised at the awards, demonstrating just how diverse Gympie sport has become in recent years.
“That was my main goal,” Bekkers said.
“If I could come away and have a handful of people know more about endurance mountain biking, then that was enough for me.”
Winning the top award on the night, however, has ultimately given far more exposure for the sport than Bekkers could have possibly imagined.
Bekkers’ claim to fame came on the back of an incredibly impressive 2009 and the audience marvelled as his list of achievements were canvassed.
Numerous wins at state and national endurance mountain biking events filled his sporting resume to the brim.
But it was his success overseas in Canada that gilded his shot at the prestigious award.
Bekkers competed in the 24 Hour World Endurance Mountain Bike Championships in Canada last year, finishing first in his age group and 18th overall against the very best in the sport the world had to offer.
The dedicated athlete touched on his training regime during his acceptance speech, raising a few eyebrows when detailing the nature of his training rides between Gympie and Brisbane.
“I think this weekend when I go back to Brisbane my wife may let me use the car,” he quipped.
With the title of 2009 Sports Star of the Year safely in his possession, Bekkers now says he is motivated more than ever to continue achieving.
“It’s just a great feeling to be acknowledged for my efforts and I have lots of motivation to keep doing well,” he said.
Meanwhile, 2009 Sports Star of the Year Awards organizer Jackie Curran was overjoyed with the success of the night.
“It’s gone really well,” she said.
“The entire night flowed really well and I think everyone has enjoyed themselves.”
Curran thanked the members of the Gympie and District Sportsmen’s Association that were on the awards’ committee.
“A lot of effort went in from every one on the committee behind the scenes, so a big thank you to everybody,” she said.
“I’m just happy and proud at what we have achieved and it was great to see all the sport stars gathered here tonight.”
Curran joined Bekkers in celebrating the diversity of Gympie sport.
“We had so many different sports on show tonight, so Gympie has to be very proud of that,” she said.

I am super stoked to have won this award and to get some more recognition for the sport of 24hr mountain biking.

Thanks heaps to the Sportmen's Association you guys do a great job.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

From the Jet Black

About 12km of use.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Jet [Wet] Black 24hr

Well, like Andy said it was a quick trip to Sydney - race a two man team, get the best result possible and get back. So we set off on Thursday arvo and the plan was to rest a little on the way down, so we drove to Coffs and set up camp probably under the noisiest bridge ever but at least we got some zzzz in.

We then drove down to Taree, and with a little help from the local bike shop and Andy's built in GPS it wasn't long before we were spinning the legs on some nice groomed single track. The track had a little bit of north shore type stuff, and if we had a little more time up our sleeves I'm sure we would have been treated to more sweet single track. The weather was nice: a little humid and sunny but this wasn't to last.

We eventually made it to Wisemans Ferry, and the country side around there is stunning. We set up camp that arvo and had an awesome pub meal and then hit the sack. That was about where our luck ended & the good weather stopped.

Race day - Woke pretty early and went hunting for the coffee van. Had breakfast and then we headed out for a practice lap. The first impressions of the course was a little boring: a couple of kms of bitumen and a big fire road climb which then dropped into a fun little descent and into a part of the course which alot of people were weary of. There was a little rock garden that went along the edge of the creek which wasn't that bad in the DRY. The track then went back out onto grass and into transition. Think the course was around 6 or 7 km.

After a little chat with Andy it was decided that he would do the first stint and we decided to string 3 laps together between changes. There was all the usual hipe leading into the start of the race then the gun went, and like you would expect from Andy he was off like a shot. He led the field out and about 21min later Andy went through transition with nothing but air behind him, followed by the rest of the field about 3 or 4 mins later [machine].

Ok so I have a team mate who's setting land speed records, so no pressure on me LOL. Andy came through transition, my turn. I set out to hold, if not build on the lead Andy had made. I had 3 good laps and that was when it started pouring. Not that this was bothering me too much but I had nothing other then my Canis tires (which were great by the way). By 8pm the race got called off by the organizers which I think was a good idea the track was not holding up and everyone was just destroying there gear. This was great - the first 24hr I get a sleep.

Sunday: The organizers had spent the night (while we were all sleeping) re-routing the course so we could get some ridding in to finish the race. Me and Andy woke to the Tomac tent destroyed and sitting in a pile, and the bikes lying all over the palce. The decision was made to race for the last 4hrs and we went into this with a 10min lead on the field. With there being only 4hrs of riding left the pace was going to be on. The re-routed course was fire trail but still a pretty steep descent and this is were the crazy part of the race was. We were chewing through a new set of brake pads in under 12km of riding (crazy). After trashing the bikes we managed to finish with the overall win and 1 0r 2 laps up on our catagory. Wicked

Big thanks to: Tomac for my Carbide and Ay up for my lights - they never fail. As usual my Canis tyres got put through their paces and were great, I love these tyres [Canis]

Thanks Andy for a wicked race, and good luck for this weekend


Daves shop

Daves shop
Big thanks to Pedal Pwr for their support