Huge crowds forecast as Armoy Road Races Week gets under way

ALL SET.  Road racers Paul Robinson, Ryan Farquhar and Ian Waddell join Miss Armoy Kathryn Munnis to launch the 2012 Armoy road races in Portballintrae, Co Antrim today. The race, which will be held on 27-28 July, will be sponsored by River Ridge Recycling. Picture by Pacemaker.INBM30-12 9050F.'PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON
ALL SET. Road racers Paul Robinson, Ryan Farquhar and Ian Waddell join Miss Armoy Kathryn Munnis to launch the 2012 Armoy road races in Portballintrae, Co Antrim today. The race, which will be held on 27-28 July, will be sponsored by River Ridge Recycling. Picture by Pacemaker.INBM30-12 9050F.'PICTURE BY STEPHEN DAVISON

The Armoy Road Race Week is finally here and without dispute it is the best national road race in Ireland.

Calls from across European countries, Italy, France and Holland in addition to GB and the Republic have been flooding in over the last few days and weeks about Saturday’s races.

Bill Kennedy, Clerk of the Course, said: “I’m expecting big crowds this year. The number of calls the club has received is just fantastic.

“The interest, particularly from Europe, is a credit to all the club members and to those road racers who come along and make Armoy what it is, a great race!

“This year we’ve some 60 newcomers – that’s a record for us!

“The JPS Norton bike which Robert Dunlop rode at the NW200 and won in 1990 has proved to be a big attraction.

“The number of calls about it alone has been staggering and I’m delighted to announce that Steve Cull will be riding it during the Parade Lap – it will be a sight to behold!

“What I would ask of those wanting a great day is if everyone could come early, plan their day, find a position and safe place to watch the race.

“Listen to the marshals and follow their instructions. I want a safe race, first and foremost!

“There are many vantage points around the course, natural ones in addition to the grandstands that we are putting up around the course including at Acheson’s Leap and the Lagge.

“There is absolutely no need for anyone to be in a prohibited area.

“Come along, enjoy the day and the racing, soak up the atmosphere and the occasion but stay safe.

“Roads close on Friday at 2.30pm and will open no later than 9.30pm and on Saturday the roads close at 10.00am and will open no later than 7.30pm.”

Many campers, caravaners and motor homes are also expected.

“I’d like to let our campers and carvaners know that if they want a hot shower they can go the Rugby Club and use their amenities. But come to Armoy early and get your pitch!,” continued Bill Kennedy.

The Armoy Motorcycle and Road Racing Club year in and year out continues to build on the safety features around the course.

This year is no different and a new spectator walkway has been put in place.

“Last year we put a spectator walkway behind the ‘Cuttings’ and it was a great success.

“This year we’ve an additional walkway at the Lagge Dams. This is to stop spectators walking on the roads in between the races, which is incredibly dangerous.

“It’s also a great place to safely watch the bikes and listen as the sound of the bikes as it echoes around the valley.

“The course is starting to take shape, a part of the road has been resurfaced, hedges and grass verges trimmed and the safety bales are now being put in place.

“The village will be transformed into the best national road racing circuit in Ireland but I’m still looking forward to six o’clock on Saturday 28th July when everyone is going home happy and safe.

“One last thing I would also ask in addition to staying safe, is for everyone to support the club and buy a programme – we can’t put on an event like this without the public’s help,” concluded Bill Kennedy.

For more information on the RiverRidge Recycling Race of the Legends, which is part funded by Northern Ireland Tourist Board, visit www.armoyroadraces.com or search for ‘AMRRC’ on Facebook and join the official fan page. You can also follow us on twitter at @ArmoyRoadRaces.

Please support the Armoy Road Races by buying a programme. They are available now and cost £10.00.