Race role is family tradition

ANNE Forsythe (pictured) will follow in the family footsteps this year by holding the position of Tandragee 100 clerk of the course.

Her father, Ian, is a former clerk of the course and long-serving member of the North Armagh Motorcycle and Car Club organising body.

Anne, the current vice-chair of the Motorcycle Union of Ireland’s Ulster Centre, will become the first female clerk of the course for a national road race when riders take to the Tandragee 100 route across May 3 and 4.

This year’s position marks just the latest in a string of ground-breaking achievements by Anne within the world of motorcycling - including the first female to operate as clerk of the course at a short circuit event.

Previous roles related to the Tandragee 100 include club steward, race secretary, programme co-ordinator and event safety plan co-ordinator.

“The Tandragee 100 is a team-run event, with over 800 volunteers required to organise the meeting alongside help from agency bodies such as the PSNI, DRD, Armagh City and District Council, NI Fire and Rescue Service, Red Cross, St John Ambulance and Southern Health and Social Care Trust,” she said. “I love the Tandragee 100 because it is the largest national road race in Ireland, based on the longest lap.

“It has been praised by international competitors as a ‘mini TT’ due to sweeping corners, tight sections and the Cabragh Straight.

“We consider the 5.3-mile course a test of road racing unmatched by other national meetings.

“It’s the only national event that runs clockwise and offers both fast and technical stretches, as well as presenting riders the chance to set up bikes for future international dates.

“I also love that it is truly a socially and culturally inclusive event open to all and family-friendly.

“I’ve been coming to motorcycle events with my father since I was a small child and it’s great that parents can bring the kids free-of-charge right into the Tandragee 100 paddock to mingle with the riders and soak up the noise and atmosphere.

“We also make special provisions for those with for specific needs, for example, a ramp to the main grandstand and wheelchair-access toilets.

“We have Child Protection Officers, a multiple-faith chaplaincy service and welfare officers on site.

“It has been widely reported about the soaring Public Liability Insurance costs for all racing events, which will mean nearly a 10 per cent increase in the premium for the Tandragee 100.

“We must secure £30 million PL cover in order to be granted our Road Closing Order from the DRD and Permit Number from the MCUI.

“Now, more than at any time in the past, we urgently need the support of everyone who follows road racing in Ireland.

“We encourage everyone to attend as many races as possible and please help all the clubs.”

For further information visit www.tandragee100.co.uk.