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Insurance hike puts road racing in spotlight

'I think that this will definitely lead to the demise of National road races in particular because every cost in organising a race is rising and something will have to give' - Bill Kennedy
Irish road racing's governing body has played down claims a significant insurance hike could spell the end for a number of national events in 2013.

The cost of providing insurance cover for race meetings in Northern Ireland such as the Cookstown 100 and Mid Antrim 150 has soared by £3,455 from £12,315 to £15,770.

Both the international North West 200 and Ulster Grand Prix meetings also face an increase in insurance costs of 27% from £23,810 to £30,130.

It is a worrying setback for Irish national road racing, which is struggling in an already difficult financial climate and has been left reeling following the retirement of two of its biggest names – Ryan Farquhar and Adrian Archibald.

And Mervyn Whyte, event director at the North West 200, feels the soaring cost of insurance premiums could sound the death knell for some Irish road races.

“I am sure that some of the smaller races will struggle to meet these extra costs and it will have a major impact on the sport,” said Whyte.

“There are now only a few companies interested in insuring road racing and the cost is soaring.”

Bill Kennedy, clerk of the course at the Armoy road races and a brother of former Armoy Armada hero Frank, provided a more damning verdict as he forecast the 'definite' end of some smaller races in Northern Ireland.

“We had no choice but accept this, our backs were against the wall. We tried to get an alternative quote but it was over £100,000 more expensive again,” said Kennedy.

“I think that this will definitely lead to the demise of National road races in particular because every cost in organising a race is rising and something will have to give.”

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January 16, 2013 4:00 PM

I'm not a legal expert - but given the races take place on closed public roads, and so the spectator areas are pavements, fields etc, how can the organisers be sued every time some idiot twists their ankle in a rabbit hole? Oli

dommie - Unregistered

January 18, 2013 12:52 PM

10 euro for a 2 day ticket to killalane and skerrise what a bargaine .read in 2010 half the fans got into the ulster gp withought paying and they wonder why it stuggles

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