Armoy Race chief to step down - ‘new blood needed’

ONE of the men behind the well-established Armoy Road Races is to step down as the main architect of the event.

Bill Kennedy has served as chairman and Clerk of the Course since the inaugural race four years ago, but at next month’s annual meeting he will tender his resignation from both posts.

“I want to step down. These things need new blood and new people and there are plenty in the working group who are perfectly capable of carrying on from me,” Bill told the Times in an exclusive interview.

Business commitments are another reason why Bill wants to ease out of the main posts.

“I have a busy schedule and I find it more difficult to devote the time it takes to run Armoy Road Races. I don’t intend to leave the committee and I am as enthusiastic as I have ever been for the event, but my mind is made up,” he said.

Since the first race, the Armoy race has grown in stature and most of it is down to Bill and his committee members who have worked tirelessly to bring not only the top talent in the racing world, but to put Armoy firmly on the map as a place to visit.

This year was particularly impressive and Bill points to a busy website where scores of positive comments were made by visitors from all over the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

“We had so many visitors it was quite unbelievable. They really enjoyed the atmosphere particularly in the build up to the races where we had vintage cars and bike displays and the bike race on different nights.

“We were blessed with good weather and, of course, the racing on the day proved a real winner,” he said.

The country’s top riders are now endorsing Armoy as one of the best circuits in the country and every year it seems to be get better and better.

That is undoubtedly down to the business acumen of the committee and Bill Kennedy has played a huge part in the story negotiating sponsorship deals and bringing on board the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

Already, plans are being put in place for next year’s event and while Bill Kennedy is very likely taking a back seat his influence will no doubt continue.