Busy, successful WORCA season wraps with AGM

With another excellent season behind us, the 2010 Whistler Off Road Cycling Association (WORCA) AGM promised to be a busy one. It was last Thursday (Sept. 30) and it was time for the WORCA directors to file their reports and stand for re-election.

It was also a good opportunity to present the Lumpy Leidal Award. Geoff "Lumpy" Leidal was a local athlete who was killed in an avalanche in 1998. In his honor, the Lumpy Leidal Award is presented each year to a local junior who has been found outstanding as a sportsperson, a volunteer and someone who epitomizes athleticism in our local youth.

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With Lumpy's parents, Gordon and Carleen Leidal, standing by, the honor of bestowing this year's award fell to WORCA director at large Paul Rawlinson. This year's winner is Tristan Underhill, who succinctly described the honor as "crazy" and was very obviously pleased with the tribute.

WORCA Treasurer James Brooks reports that the club is financially pretty well self-sustaining with a $25,000 municipal grant being responsible for only about 17 per cent of total revenue. This is a good thing, what with municipal budgets being stretched to the limit.

Other big revenue sources were membership fees at $55,145, bike camp fees at $40,640 and bike swap revenues of more than $13,000. Total revenue for the year is forecasted at just over $143,000, with total administrative and general expenses pegged at $142,969.

The costs of putting on the bike camps, insurance and trail maintenance were the big expenses with the bike camps cost coming in at $52,387 for a subsidy by WORCA (cost minus fees) just shy of $12,000.

Paid membership actually grew this year by about eight members from 1,507 in 2009 to 1,515 this year, according to Director of Membership Steven Boorne.

Tony Horn, WORCA's director of race, reported that 20 Toonie races plus four special events went off this season without too much drama. Better risk management made for safer races with the Toonies averaging about 160 riders.

People are signing up with WORCA for other things then just the Toonie calendar, a good thing according to Tony. Other reports mentioned an increase in the number of skills clinics, including one maintenance clinic with more to come.

On the freeride side of things, Phat and PhaSt Wednesday saw eight events in the downhill park this year with an average of 170 riders participating.

Next year's bike swap will again be held on April 23, 2011 - hopefully in the Olympic Plaza again. Proceeds will be used to subsidize the youth camps again, keeping the cost down to $160 per participant.

WORCA President John Blok assured the members that WORCA is pushing the boundaries, highlighting efforts at improved trails and risk management, event sponsorship and dealing with different levels of government. Negotiations with the municipality for a good deal on the Lost Lake PassivHaus are ongoing.

This year every director on the board determined that they had not had enough and decided to try it for another year, leaving a full slate of incumbents running for their present positions. Only one challenge was received from the floor with Simon Smith nominating himself for the position of Director at Large. Paul Rawlinson, the current director, won that contest but Simon was invited to come in as shadow director for Tony Horn who may not be able to stand again next year.

With the election over, your current WORCA board is as follows:

John Blok - President, James Brooks - Treasurer, Craig Mackenzie - Director of Youth, Paul (Rolo) Rawlinson - Director at Large, Dan Griffin - Director of Planning, Steven Boorne - Director of Membership, Tony Horn - Director of Race, Jerome David- Director of Trails, Benoit Renault - Director of Skills Development and Vanessa Murphy - Director of Public Relation.

This coming Saturday (Oct. 9) the first annual Chasse au Tresor or treasure hunt will be held in the Whistler Bike Park. Be at the GLC patio between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. if you would like to sign up for this "more brain, less brawn" event.

Also keep your eyes peeled for announcements regarding the Oct. 28 WORCA Halloween Toonie. It will happen - where, what and how are still to be decided and will be announced in due course.

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