By Kyle White Belfast Newsletter
This year’s Armoy Road Races have received a double boost with the news that the Bayview Hotel will remain as title sponsors of the event while Bill Kennedy will return as Clerk of the Course.
Kennedy had intended stepping down from the role following last year’s ‘Race of Legends’ but has confirmed he will again take charge of the Irish road race this summer, although he will scale down his involvement in the overall organisation of the meeting.
He said: “I had anticipated taking a complete step back from the running of the races, however the club said they needed me so I’m looking forward to continuing the role.
“I’m also delighted to see Trevor Kane and the Bayview Hotel returning as title sponsor. His commitment to the club and the Armoy Road Races is unswerving; we can’t thank him enough,” Kennedy added.
“He has a wonderful hotel and the recent refurbishment is outstanding. It is a credit to him and his team.”
Changes to the organisational structure within the Armoy Club sees chairperson Jean McPherson taking up the baton to manage and run the event in conjunction with the management team, with another long-term club member – Mick Colgan – appointed to the role of President.
Ms McPherson said: “The Bayview Hotel and Trevor Kane are synonymous with the Armoy Road Races. Trevor has been a great friend of the Club and has been a mainstay of the races these past 12 years. Without him and other sponsors, the races just wouldn’t take place.
Bayview Hotel owner Trevor Kane has been a longstanding supporter of the Armoy Road Races and says the organisers have ‘built something special’ since the race’s inception in 2009.
“There really is no debate; I love road racing and the Armoy Road Races are a huge part of that,” he said.
“I’m delighted that I’ve been on this journey with the club since day one and I know what a great job the club does. They have built something really special here on the North Coast and I have seen how it brings increasing numbers of visitors year after year.
“I would encourage anyone to get involved with the best national road race. Partnering with the club was an easy decision given my love of the sport and the amazing job they do in organising one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the road racing calendar.”
The family-run hotel in Portballintrae has become a base for many riders and fans during the Armoy races each July and has recently been upgraded to four-star status following extensive refurbishment work.
A series of events are planned during Bike Week in the lead up to the ‘Race of Legends’, which takes place on Friday and Saturday, July 24-25.
Local hero Michael Dunlop won the feature race for a record eighth time in 2019, despite suffering from injuries sustained in a crash at the Southern 100 days a few weeks prior to his home road race.
The Ballymoney man will ride for Paul Bird’s VisionTrack Ducati team in the Superbike class this year at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT.