I left home on Friday lunch time with Callum following behind on the Varadero. We neede to leave it in to Geoff Kernahans for a rear tyre and for him to have a look at the rear braking and electric start issues. After a bite to eat I left Cal to the train and headed off to the Co Armagh town of Tandragee. After struggling with Belfast traffic I made it in time before roads closed for practice. I left my gear with Stephen Cargo Carr #96 and Ian in the paddock, where I was breathalysed, and went for a spin around the circuit before signing on with the marshals on Cooly Hill road.
We spent a good hour checking the zone and looking at the hazards. It was a very narrow section of bumps and twists on the approach to Joeys Dip. There was small diesel spill on part of the road so we organised a clear up. The roads were wet and it was raining. Practice sessions in almost all classes were controlled by travelling marshals although conditions did improve as the evening went on.
As the conditions improved, riders pushed harder and unfortunately we witnessed a pretty nasty off during the Senior Support practice. Not really sure what happened and the incident is under investigation by PSNI. The rider and his R6 hit bales hard, lost his helmet and was badly injured. The medical team did a fantastic job as usual and he was transferred to RVH in Belfast. Practice was suspend for the night and the scene was investigated by scientific officers from PSNI. The circuit was reopened to the public by the Cooly Hill Road remained closed until very late. I wish Stephen McKeever from Lisburn a full and swift recovery.
Once I got back to the paddock, Stepehn and Ian had prepared gourmet sausages, spuds and beans which were very much appreciated. We popped up the road to the local Orange Hall where Ian and I had a couple of beers and Stephen stuck to the soft stuff. Met some great characters and the craic was fine.
I slept well and woke good and early on a beautiful sunny, but frosty morning.
Nicky, William and Callum arrived from home before 8. Callum was kindly offered to help with Cargos 2 bikes which were entered into 3 races so he remained in the paddock while the rest of us headed out onto the circuit.
The weather was perfect and remained dry all day. There were a good few spectators in our zone and I am pleased to say they all behaved themselves very well. The action was fast and furious with only some minor delays caused by red flags and some issues due to the road breaking up.
The racing between Ryan and Michael was immense, both riders on the edge of their seats.
I apologise for not having pictures of the action but as I am sure you are aware, marshals are not allowed to take pictures during racing.
Once the action was over I returned to the paddock to help the guys pack up and then headed home for a well earned shower and a chinese. Roll on NW200.