ARMOY Road Race organisers are all set to go this summer after getting the go-ahead from the MCUI.
But it won’t be without a few changes as club chiefs adapt to fit Stormont’s new event regulations and procedures.
While the Northern Ireland road racing staple is now all set to run on July 30 and 31, the event’s Clerk of the Course, Bill Kennedy MBE, revealed it wasn’t without plenty of hoping and wishing.
“For the last number of months we’ve been watching closely all the various restrictions and associated data and praying that we can put the Armoy Road Races on,” he admitted.
“Although substantial steps are being taken in the Covid vaccination process and with restrictions slowly lifting to various degrees, we will be running a closed event. We’re fortunate in that the Armoy course is over three miles long with an abundance of natural grandstands with many of the viewing areas on hilly grass fields.
“For now, we have to plan a race that will have various guidelines and restrictions in place. To this end, there will be an online booking system for spectators.
“We are still working on the finer detail and with restrictions constantly changing, ensuring racing spectators are at the races is a great start.”
Among the many changes to this year’s event are sponsors, which Kennedy believes is now more important than ever.
“It was initially announced that we would receive much needed funding from the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council but at this stage we are not really sure where that is,” he added.
“We understand that it is being reviewed, which is disappointing for those locally, the Club and the road racing fraternity – we are hopeful but one thing I’m certain of is that it is critical to ensuring that the future of the Armoy Road Races.
“Regarding other sponsors, and again It’ll be a different type of event this year for them, we are delighted to see a number of local sponsors back, but for various reasons whether a sponsor had come to their end of sponsorship agreement or it isn’t for them this year, we do have a number of races available. We would ask anyone interested to get in touch by emailing the club at email@example.com.
Talks are reportedly now underway with Greenlight TV to produce and broadcast a race-day programme for 2021.