Saturday was our first time at the Skerries 100 road races.
It was the only race in the South that is run on Friday for practice and Saturday for the races, as in the North. All other Southern road races are on Saturday-Sunday.
This year the Skerries 100 celebrated their 70th birthday- without interruption. The club organising now is Loughshinny Motorcycle Club since 1987, but from 1946 to 1986 it was organised by the Dublin & District Motorcycle Club. In 1987 the Loughshinny MCC who had been helping the D&DMCC in the setting of the circuit for the previous 8 years, bravely took over the organisation of the Skerries 100 in spite of already organising Killalane Road Race held in September on a close-by circuit.
Running a road race is quite costly, this year organising the Skerries 100 costed 120000EUR, a big part of it being the insurance. Road races have some good sponsoring, but if you really enjoy road racing and want it to go on, it is important to participate with the costs paying the entry fee and buying the programme.
This year price was 20EUR per person including a very nice programme with very nice articles about the Event history (including the information above), memories of ex competitors, photographer, etc… a very entertaining piece of writing.
But let’s come back to our experience. As we can’t take all the racing Fridays off, we missed practice day and left on Friday after work, and arrived late to the hotel close to Dublin. Early morning we left to arrive before road closure (9.00am). The GPS brought us easily to the circuit where we paid the entry and had 2 nice programmes (that way, everyday of the following week we both have entertaining reading for breakfast without any fighting 🙂 ).
We found a place to park and walked to the paddock for some breakfast, buy Skerries tee-shirts and say hello to Andy Farrell.
Then we headed to Sam’s Leap from where we would start the day. While waiting for the start we came across Mark, whom we had met in Armoy last year and who had introduced us to Andy Farrell. We were happy to see him again and he came back later and took Juan with him to show him other nice viewing spots.
The races started in the planned order, we were on the straight line after the tunnel, with a small leap, before a corner and the chicane before the finish. They were quite fast at that point but we could take some good pics.
Michael & William Dunlop
Before the 600 Irish Championship race we moved back to the start/finish from where we watched the Start. Impressive.
I did a short video with the phone, from my husband’s shoulders (thanking him again from here for his cooperation 😉 as it might not have been the best race watching for him at that moment LOL ).
Still have to improve my video skills, but I’ll get there some day 😉 .
After the start we kept moving to the next barrier, from where we watched the race from a different view. It was nice to see a happy face there.
The Marshalls lead and/or follow the riders during practice, warm-up laps and first lap, and then stop at some points of the circuits ready to go in case of incident. They are doing a great job and are quite fast too! They are also checking the circuit conditions, which were quite changing over all the day, mainly in the afternoon. We could see the next shower coming, and had almost a shower between each race.
So between races we moved to a field after Finnegan’s Corner (named after Martin Finnegan, local road racer who raced and won many races before being tragically killed in Tandragee due to a brake failure).
The field had not been harvested yet, and the owners were kind enough to let people along. A pity that there are always a few who don’t care about others’ property (and business) and didn’t respect the “keep out of the crops” signs.
It was a strange place to watch as we were behind thick hedges but lower than the road. The view was amazing, and so close!
Parade Lap – Baylon Mc Caughey with Derek Sheils bike.
Baylon manages the Facebook group irishracephotography with all hot news about road racing, the racers, the teams and with many pics. Highly recommended for road racing lovers.
Parade Lap – a Rudge
Then we moved further along that same field, we had to wait for a shower to pass and watched the 600 B race,
and then moved to a field in front, at Joey’s Sweep, where there was a grandstand and also a food truck (at last! It was almost 3.00pm I think…).
Another shower while the 125 race was starting, but they ran it anyway, and rain and wet road didn’t seem to bother them too much. Nice race and impressive riders on those small machines, with those conditions!
Derek Mc Gee
After the race we moved further down the road to Dukes Bends (called after Geoff Duke although he only rode once at Skerries in 1949 and crashed on that bend…).
We were also in a field but this time above the road, and very close to the riders as they came out of the first bend. This was impressive. We watched the next races from there.
Here is a short video of the Supertwin Race
Derek Sheils & Paul Jordan
Paul O Rourke
With again showers. During a last heavy shower, the Superbike (Grand Final) riders went around the circuit for 2 laps with the marshall leading. But they decided that the conditions were too bad for the big bikes. One part of the circuit was drying fast, but the road from Finnegan’s Corner to where we were took some time for drying, with some very damp patches. Not talking about the tunnel under the tree which was probably the worst.
So the Grand Final was cancelled, but fair play to the riders who decided to go around for a few Parade laps.
Michael Dunlop did his own parade laps as if he was racing, or at least it looked like it as he didn’t go too slow… maybe he doesn’t know what slow means 😉 .
Well, that was very nice from all of them to go out anyway, us spectators really appreciated it.
When it was over we went back to the paddock to say goodbye to Andy’s team and then headed back home.
Once again a great day of races, very well organised in spite of the difficult changing weather conditions. No race incident, just one red flag during the last Classics race, but nothing to do with racing, a fight broke out in a potato field… A pity.
A huge thank you to organisers, riders and all people involved in giving us such a great event.
We will defo be back next year! 🙂