We officially brought the 2020 ERCU racing season to a close on December 6, with a virtual happy hour to present awards and share some camaraderie.
The small group of members who attended had a great time sharing stories of racing, memories of Harry Gatjens, Roger Newton, Howard Price, Ron Erickson and others, and celebrating the winners of the 2020 ERCU Season Awards.
This year, we recognized our traditional awards and handed out Top 8 for modern, Top 9 for classic and top 11 for vintage. With our abbreviated racing schedule - due to the Covid-19 pandemic - we wanted to recognize all who participated in each class.
Season champions in each class include:
ERCU Contest Director of the Year: Len Taylor was given this award, having sacrificed his own racing at three events this year in order to keep things moving, and officiating every heat at the Champion Spark Plug Regatta, Gold Cup and Roger Newton Memorial. Len also made sure the critical equipment was on site for our races and set up and broke down the official barge at each event.
ERCU Most Improved Driver: Mick Shutt participated in one race this year before returning to Arizona during the summer hiatus of racing, but was recognized for his improvement during that event.
ERCU Sportsmanship Award: Paul Dunlap was given this year's sportsmanship award after having captained the chase boat - exclusively - at three of our five races, always being willing to lend a helping hand, picking up the buoys at all five races, and simply displaying a positive attitude and great sportsmanship all season long.
ERCU Rookie of the Year: We continued our tradition of recognizing the best rookie in each class this year, and the choices were pretty clear.
ERCU Hall of Fame: The 2020 inductee into the ERCU Hall of Fame is Robbie Roberts. Robbie has made a significant difference in the club, both on and off the water, for years. He's consistently up front, brings new boats to the club, always helpful to both the club and to other racers, brings a positive attitude and friendliness, serves the board of directors as inspector, has a solid knowledge of the rulebook, and provides first-rate representation of members when it comes time to decisions the board has to make.
While it's truly too bad we could not gather in person this year to celebrate the awards winners and another racing season, those who were able to attend did have fun with the virtual version of our awards gathering.
As Robbie often has said in the last month, "April will be here before we know it", so start thinking about your winter boat work. We'll see you at the races in 2021!
To see the PowerPoint slides that we shared on the Happy Hour, please click below.