Dawn rose on historical Castletown, Isle of Man, with the crying of hungry seagulls and the salty smells of the freshly caught catch in the harbour.
Castletown was the picturesque setting of the Southern 100 round of the motorbike racing and a strong contingency of Irish riders were waking for the four days of scheduled road racing.
ortadown’s very own road racing champion, Wayne Hamilton, 19, was one of the strong contingency of riders with high hopes and aspirations; however, as the weather changed hourly from beautiful sunshine to thunder and high winds, multiple changes were made to bikes, tyres, suspension, and race tactics; all riders were leveled by the unknown.
Each of the four race days saw huge levels of commitments and dedication from not only the riders but from the family, friends and sponsors we also traveled over to the IOM for the racing.
Wayne had an amazing week and true to form with his safe riding and sensible style, he found himself on more than one occasion dicing with the larger names such as Cameron Donald, the TAS Suzuki factory rider who only held a 0.09 second advantage on privateer Wayne.
Race 1, saw Wayne achieve a 7th in the 600 class and honored with best newcomer Race 2, was the Senior Open race (600 and 1000 mixed race).
Wayne won the 600 class and came 9th overall and also achieved the best newcomer. Race 3, 600cc race, Wayne gained another 7th place and best newcomer against the larger names and teams Race 4 – Invitation only for the fastest 30 riders over the four day event.
Wayne achieved an 8th overall, 2nd the in 600cc and best race newcomer overall. At the fireworks and prize giving the names of international, UK, Irish and IOM riders were warmly received in the Castletown square, for providing a great week of entertainment, thrills and dedication to a sport that they will all individually tell you is addictive and awe-inspiring.
Wayne commented on his achievements by saying “I had a great week at the Isle of Man, Southern 100 races. The races were well organized and it’s a credit to the club. I really enjoyed my racing and would like to thank ND Wray for his continued support and of course to my Dad who is always there for me.
"The weather situation was quite unique at one point, nobody knew what was going on and being on an island in the middle of the Irish sea will always bring unique circumstances. I thoroughly enjoyed the racing and hope to continue in the good form.”
Returning home, the Isle of Man Steam Packet fought its way through a force eight gale, onboard were some very satisfied Northern Ireland motorbike riders.
Despite the on-off weather and the incontinent seagulls in Castletown , one rider in particular from Portadown, delighted the spectators and his sponsors with some outstanding results.