Skerries 100 TT Road Races & The Killalane Road Races

Skerries 100 TT Road Races & The Killalane Road Races

The Skerries 100, is without doubt one of Irelands most famous motorcycle road race. Skerries, a small fishing town, situated just north of Dublin, has been associated with road racing since 1930, when the Leinster 100, which became a ‘200’ in 1931, was run on a 13 mile circuit which linked the villages of Skerries, Lusk and Rush.

The Leinster races continued until 1935 and during that time some of the greatest names in racing took part; the legendary Stanley Woods, Jimmy Guthrie and Walter Rusk to name but a few. These men were then, the equivalent of Doohan, Biaggi and Criville today. From 1935 there was no racing at Skerries for ten years, as the Leinster races moved to the Taillight course, but when war-time difficulties prevented the Dublin and Districts annual 100 mile road race from running at Phoenix Park, the Skerries 100 was born.

The first race took place on July 6th 1946, around a 7.1-mile course with the start/finish on Skerries Main Street! Harry Turner from Belfast won the inaugural Skerries 100 and since then all of Irelands top road racers have raced at Skerries. In the fifties such names as Tommy Robb, Ralph Rensen and Sammy Miller took part.

The sixties stars such as Ralph Bryans, Cecil Crawford and Brian Steenson all raced successfully at Skerries and in the seventies the battles were between Tom Herron, Joey Dunlop, Conor McGinn and Ray McCullough. Of the eighties racers, like Eddie Laycock, Phillip McCallen, Steve Cull and Robert Dunlop and the most popular of all, Bangor’s Sam McClements, who rode at Skerries for an amazing 21 Years. The present 2.93-mile circuit may seem small in comparison to the 7.1-mile Skerries track, but it is no less demanding, with a record lap speed of 105.95mph set last year by a certain Mr WJ Dunlop MBE, OBE.

In 1987 the future of the Skerries meeting looked bleak, as the organising Dublin and District Club withdrew from the event, leaving the (at the time) relatively new locally based Loughshinny Club to take over. The Loughshinny Club has done a marvellous job ever since, raising finance for the event plus the massive insurance cover in very difficult circumstances. The Skerries now regularly attracts around 30,000 spectators each year, with it’s mix of good weather (usually!), fantastic racing and ‘carnival’ atmosphere. Historically held on the same weekend as the British Grand Prix, The Skerries 100 crowd, wouldn’t even consider a trip to Donnington for the Grand Prix. The Skerries 100 takes place in a completley different world to the Donnington event.

A world where time is just a statistic but pure road racing is a way of life. I wouldn’t swap sitting on the hedge at Duke’s, waving my programme at Joey as he brushes past my feet, with watching some Japanese or Italian Bloke, whose name I can’t pronounce, 200 meters away from the track for all the tea in China. But that’s just my choice.

The Killalane Road Races first took place in 1984, and were the first races organized by the Loughshinny Motorcycle Supporters Club. The Kiilalane Road Races have taken over from the Carrowdore as the last road race of the Irish season, which means that exciting racing is ensured as the competitors battle it out for a result which could net them a championship win. In it’s short history, some of the top names have ridden a Killalane including Joey and Robert Dunlop, Mark Farmer, Steve Cull, Sam McClements, Phillip McCallen, Dave Leach, James Courtney and Owen McNally.

The Course is almost side by side with the Skerries 100 circuit and actually uses about 100 meters of the same road. 2.3miles long, the Margaretstown track is even narrower than the Skerries circuit in places, and at one section you will find a tree in the middle of the road! The Killalane Road Races is an emerging event, which is catching the Skerries 100 up in the amount of spectators it attracts. If you fancy some brilliant Pure Road Racing to end your motorcycle season, why not try the Killalane, which takes place this year on in early September.

Funded by the Cianan Clancy Community Enhancement Fund 1997 to 2018