Sports

Insurance hike hits Cookstown 100

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Insurance hike hits Cookstown 100 thumbnailInsurance hikes are providing another headache for organisers of the Cookstown 100.

Bill To Run Prestigious Road Race Edging Close To 100,000

 

THE cost of bringing national road racing to motorcycling fans is continuing to increase, and once again this year the Cookstown club has been hit with an increased insurance bill, writes Baylon McCaughey.

An extra 4,000 will have to be found by Cookstown Motorcycle Club compared to last year's, meaning their insurance bill will be in excess of 16,000.

The club will have to raise upwards of 90,000 to bring this year's race to fruition.

In recent years, clubs have asked spectators to purchase race programmes to help offset the ever rising costs of the sport, and they are the lifeline of the majority of club's running events.

There is little or no gate money and if it rains, which it does a lot in Northern Ireland, then it's disaster.

Unfortunately, this year, the Mid Antrim will not take place, and the simple reason, was because of a poor turnout of spectators at last year's event due to the poor weather.

This has a knock on effect in many ways.

Last year, the Cork races were cancelled, then later in the year, the Killalane meeting was also called off, while heavy rain forced the Kells club to abandon their event.

Organising a national road race is no mean feat with loads of hurdles to jump through.

The tracks are every day public roads closed on Friday or Saturday for roughly nine hours of practice and qualifying, then the following day for another nine hours of racing, plus it takes weeks of circuit preparation.

 

The Irish National Road Race calendar for 2017 looks like this:

21st-22nd April - Tandragee 100

28th-29th April - Cookstown 100

17th-18th June - Kells Road Races

30th June-1st July - Skerries

8th-9th July - Walderstown

22nd-23rd July - Faugheen

28th-29th July - Armoy Race of Legends

9th-10th September - Killalane

 

The biggest problem to running a road race, other than the financial, is undoubtedly the weather, you can arrange all the dates you want, but there is no guarantee that you will have a dry day - if you have it is a bonus. Most clubs will be relieved to break even from a road race and if a profit is made it all goes towards next year.

To keep the Cookstown 100 and national road racing alive, fans are asked to put their hand in their pocket and purchase a programme, mostly priced at 10.

It is no longer a case of, 'If competitors still want to race the roads, clubs will organise events for them'. It is a case of the club asking themselves, "Can we run this event without losing any money?"

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