Sunday, 17 May 2015

North West 200 races? THEY'RE GREEEEEAAAAAAT!

I'm just back from the annual North West 200 motorbike races, held in my native Triangle of Coleraine, Portrush and Portstewart.  And, as has become an annoying habit in recent years, the weather was "changeable" but somehow I still ended up with a burnt and stripey face.  Honestly, I look like a cross between a Swan Vesta and Tony the Tiger.  This is not an image I crave.

The highlight for me was a second and third place for someone who should be Guiseley's most celebrated resident - if only you'd heard of him.

I'm referring to eight-time Isle of Man TT winner Ian Hutchinson (pictured leading a race yesterday) who, in 2010, shattered his leg in a particularly horrific racing accident.  He has since undergone more than 30 operations to fix it and yesterday got his reward with two North West podium finishes.  

Below, arm in the air, you can see him acknowledging the well-deserved big cheers.

He was on the same Leeds-bound flight as me after last year's races, when he didn't do very well.  So I left him alone.

This year I was all set to make a fool of myself by telling him how great he was and that I lived in Guiseley too and that he should probably come over for tea and maybe play football with me in the back garden afterwards.  But he wasn't on my flight so none of that happened.  Maybe I'll see him in Morrisons.

Away from the racing, there was a vibrant North Coast social scene to take advantage of, including firewater on tap.

Personally, I prefer to drink it rather than spit it out and was fortunate to spend a fair bit of time with others of like mind.

This included my Scottish pal Sandy who flew over from London especially for the occasion.

And after a few on Friday evening, he even got his jugs out.

I hope we'll all be back for more in 2016.