Skerries 100 Road Races
Every July, riders from across Ireland and abroad gather in Skerries for one of the most famous motorcycle road races in Ireland. First held in 1946, the Skerries 100 is a 100-mile race that attracts some of Ireland’s best riders. The inaugural race was around a 7.1-mile course through Skerries, and today a 2.93-mile circuit is used just west of the town centre.
The Skerries 100 attracts about 65,000 spectators each year. Typically bringing together some 150 riders, the programme features multiple races with different classes of motorbikes riding through the circuit. The races begin on Skerries Road northwest of the Skerries Golf Club. There are limited viewing areas at the Start/Finish line, so the best places to watch the competition is along the course. Running in a counter-clockwise manner, riders loop around the countryside between Lusk and Skerries. The Paddlock, which has toilets and other amenities, is east of the Start/Finish line close to Finnegan’s Corner. The friendly atmosphere of the Skerries 100 is evident at the Paddock, where riders mingle with spectators and sign autographs. The Paddock is also a good location to admire the motor bikes, or grab a gift from souvenirs stands. Food and beverage stands are also located at the Paddock. Formerly called Dublin’s corner, Finnegan’s Corner is a favourite among spectators and features a tight 90-degree left hand turn. You should arrive early if you want a spot here since crowds can get very deep. Some of the best and most exciting vantage points to see the race are between the Start/Finish line and the area around Finnegan’s Corner.
To the south of Finnegan’s Corner, the banks along the circuit’s Duke Bends and Gillie Iverson are also excellent places to view the action. At Gillie Iverson, riders encounter some of the most challenging portions of the course as they go airborne at Gillies Leap before entering the Hairpin, a difficult turn where riders jostle with each other to avoid collisions. A small grandstand is set up at Shady Lane near the Ardla Road junction along the northeast section of the circuit, just where riders rush out of Sam’s Tunnel, named after multiple winner Sam McClements.
The Skerries 100 creates a festival-like atmosphere in the days leading up to the competition. In addition to the road races, special events are held throughout Skerries during the preceding week. From special meals at restaurants to live musical performances in local pubs, the town centre comes alive with bustling crowds and a sense of excitement as tension builds before the races begin. There is also a parade of classic and vintage bikes of all makes and models. With revvning engines echoing through the village and admiring crowds line the streets of the town centre en masse, the parade acts as an unofficial kick-off to the weekend races. The parade typically begins at the Skerries Mills and serves as a fundraiser for local charities. Anyone interested in participating in the parade with their motorbike is asked to pay an entry fee of €10 per bike. On race day, the admission fee to the circuit is €15.
Just One Mile to Go by Mark McLachlan:
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