- A superb weekend under canvas with Callum. Also met up with a certain Walter Millar and children. Watch this space.
We had heard that camping was available at Armoy Rugby Club so decided that we would head up on Friday afternoon to catch practice sessions and stay over. We threw the tent into the back of the car along with a few baps, bacon, beers and coffee. That should do us 24 hours!
An hour later we were at the rugby club, quickly put up the tent and shared a beer with some lads from North Wales and then headed into the village.
It was a glorious afternoon and there was a good crowd enjoying ice creams and beers. My pal from Twitter, Sir Walter Millar @millarwalt called to say he was on his way down with a couple of his lads so we decided to meet up. However it took several attempts for me to find him until we decided to meet “at the back of the ambulance” which worked fine. Good job it didnt move, otherwise we would still be running round County Antrim. Practice was grand and our spot at the filling station in the villgae was handy for the pub, shop and a great view.
After practice Walter headed home and Callum and I decided to stay a while to visit the Miss Armoy paegant with judges, William and Michael Dunlop and Guy Martin. The wee village hall was packed to the rafters and everyone seemed to having a great time. Guy didnt turn up, but the Dunlops did themselves proud, especially seeing as they had just finished practice and had to race in the morning. It seemed that every lassie under 20 had entered the paegant and I couldnt hack it anymor and wimped off. Cal stayed until the bitter end. We sat at the tent later on with a beer. The sky was completely clear and we could see hundreds of stars. it was class. something we dont often see living in a town.
We woke good and early the next morning to the sound of bikes arriving at the circuit.
We all met up in time for the first race at the filling station again on the inside of the circuit. I am sure the garage owners were chuffed as the boys did well in munching through most of their stock, including several litres of Fanta. I seem to remember Matthew stuggling to aim an ice cream into his mouth withough getting it all over his beak. Bless.
The racing was fast and furious and bikes screamed towards us into the village before turning sharply left and up a narrow road into the country. The best racing seemed to between local lad, Michael Dunlop and Ryan Farquhar. I have one great memory of 5 bikes heading towards us in a tight pack – Ryan at the front and Michael at the back. They were all flying and hit the brakes hard before the corner, only for MD to pass them all under braking and disappear around the corner in the lead. The fans were loving it and cheered and applauded. Michael went on to win both superbike races and the 600. he even stopped at the filling station on his victory lap to get a packet of cigs . I never did find out whether he paid or just put them on his tab.
Once again Callum had to get back to Carrick for work so we headed off after the last big bike race, missing one. The whole meeting was over before 5 and I feel had been well organised. Well done Armoy, we will be back. And I made friends that will last a lifetime.