In a sombre atmosphere following Saturday’s tragic incident during practice for Sunday’s event in which William Dunlop lost his life, the 2018 Skerries 100 Road Races went ahead with a slightly revised programme.
Following discussion with the family, their sponsors and fellow riders, the Loughshinny Motorcycle Supporters Club Ltd made the decision to proceed with the day’s racing. The intended feature event the Martin Finnegan Memorial race was however cancelled.
Credit must be given to the organisers, officials, medics, marshals and especially the riders for keeping the show going under such difficult circumstances.
Some of the riders did decide not to compete in the ten-race programme following yesterday’s events.
In fine sunny weather the spectators were treated to some superb racing, the day’s proceedings kicking off with the Open Race. Local man Michael Sweeney led from the start - at one point holding quite a comfortable lead - but Magherafelt’s Paul Jordan on his own Yamaha R6 shortened the deficit in the closing stages setting the fastest lap of the race on the way, but his efforts were just a little late and Sweeney took the chequered flag with only 0.764 seconds between them. With Darren Cooper in third almost 22 seconds behind the leading pair.
The Supersport race turned out to be another duel between Jordan and Sweeney. Jordan got the holeshot off the line and took the lead into the first corner a lead he held for the opening two laps Sweeney making his move to the front on lap three, Jordan was never more than a bikes length behind for the remaining three laps, Sweeney took the win, this time the gap was only 0.192 seconds. Andy Farrell was third.
The days racing closed with the Country Crest & Des D’Arcy Grand Final. With no Paul Jordan on the grid it was New Zealander Dan Mettam on his first outing on the Wilson Craig Honda who took the lead in the open part of the first lap, but Open Race winner Sweeney soon took to the front and quickly opened up a lead winning the race by 2.135 seconds from Darren Cooper in second and Dan Mettam in third.
Sweeney also had a great battle with Andy Farrell in the Supertwin race Farrell led from the start then Sweeney had a few lamps at the front before Farrell stole the lead back on the final lap winning the race by 0.124 seconds, Darren Cooper finished third.
The club with the riders permission have decide the entire prize fund should go to William’s Family. It was a non-championship event and the club hope everyone will consider this a fitting tribute to William and his previous race performances and results at the Skerries 100.
“The Loughshinny Motorcycle Supporters Club extends their heartfelt sympathy to William Dunlop’s family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very sad time.”