Regency Cars Supports Northern Ireland Road Race Championships
May 16th is a date to put in your diary if you have an interest in cycle racing. North Down Cycling Club is promoting not one but four Northern Ireland Championships, in conjunction with the prestigious North Down Grand Prix.
First off at 10.30 am will be the Northern Ireland Youth Championships for Under 14’s and Under 16’s. The course will be that used three years ago for the same event, and will take in Springwell Road, High Donaghadee Road, Stockbridge Road with the finish line at the top of Orlock. The Under 14’s will cover this course three times and the under 16’s will cover it four times, a distance of approximately 19 and 25 miles respectively.
Also on the course at the same time will be a non-championship race for A4’s. They will complete six laps of the course, a total of approximately 42 miles.
At 1pm there are a further two championship events. Firstly the ladies will race over 3 laps of the longer High trees, Groomsport, Springwell circuit, with the finish again at the top of Orlock, a distance of approximately 26 miles.
The premier event of the day, the Northern Ireland Championships will also use the longer circuit and will cover no fewer than nine laps, a total of approximately 74 miles. There will be a short handicap between the A3’s, A2’s and the A1’s. This should give the A3’s and A2’s encouragement, especially as there will be points up for grabs on laps 2, 4, 6 and 8 at the top of Springwell climb.
Although these are Northern Ireland Championships, with the lure of medals, as it is in conjunction with the North Down Grand Prix there is an attractive prize fund, thanks to generous sponsorship by Regency Cars of Newtownards. With so many races happening it promises to be an exciting day’s racing.
One major consideration in events such as these is safety. Chief Safety Officer Austin McNally has done a sterling job in organising what promises to be a very safe but competitive course. For example, he has prepared a thorough risk assessment of the courses and has introduced innovations such as radios for marshals on all the corners. He has also called a meeting of all those who have volunteered to help on Monday 10th May in the clubrooms, when he will outline safety procedures. Everyone should make a point of being there.
Ten Mile TT
Ace time trial specialist, Paul Swenarton, once again demonstrated his class on Wednesday night last when he won the first 10 mile time trial of the North Down season. In far from ideal conditions Paul returned a time of 23.15, just 12 seconds faster than Ross Blayney, who had over a minute on Antoine Rivoire (25.03). There was a dead heat for 4th place with both Philip Dorman and Richard McCullough recording times of 25.13. Next home was the fast improving Matty Blayney (25.38). The full set of results can be found on the North Down website.
School Skills Night
With road safety being at the fore front of every parent’s agenda, the Bangor Cycle Skills event organised by North Down Cycling Club, is a must for all young road users. This event focuses on children cycling safely and will take place this year at Bloomfield Shopping Centre on the evening of Thursday 13th May. School children from all the local schools will converge on the parking area beside Marks and Spencer’s to try their hand at a variety of activities which will test how skilled and safe they are at riding their bicycles. Clearly physical fitness and safety have been given a high profile recently and it is not surprising that the popularity of this event has grown and grown.
Event organiser, Noel Boyce, who is a fully qualified skills trainer is excited about the skills that the young people will be expected to will demonstrate and how well the competitors can handle their machines in difficult situations. However, he is also aware that there are other aspects to the Cycle Skills Event. Before the activities commence, at 6 pm, everyone will have the opportunity of having their bicycles checked in a MOT type test. This check will be carried out by Bikeworld mechanics who will provide this service at absolutely no cost.
Thanks to generous support by North Down Sports Development, this event will again attract an extensive prize list. All the competitors will receive certificates and ‘goodie bags’, others will receive medals and vouchers.
All that’s left, therefore, is for all the school children in the borough to make sure they have entered. This can be achieved by contacting Tanya Fisher (Assistant Sports Development officer North Down Borough Council) at the Leisure Centre (028) 91270271 or by Emailing Tanya.Fisher@northdown.gov.uk.