While the Ulster Grand Prix and the North West 200 are now well known to motorcycle road racing fans in Ireland, there was a time when the Enniskillen 100 was equally prestigious.
Between 1929 and 1952, seventeen races were held on the six and a quarter mile triangular course between Mossfield, Sydaire and Ballinamallard. Many of the leading Irish and overseas riders of the day competed in the race over the years and local heroes diced with famous names like Artie Bell from Belfast, Joe O’Neill from Dublin and many others. The Enniskillen 100 was always held on a Wednesday afternoon, as that was the half-day for shops in Enniskillen.
Unusual aspects of the event include the fact that the race scheduled for 22nd June 1949 had to be postponed to 21st September, because a heat wave had melted the tar and left the circuit in a dangerous condition. Even more unusual is that the winner of the 1936 race, Percy Farlow from Maguiresbridge, had an artificial leg.
The last Enniskillen 100 was held on 20th August 1952. There was no race in 1953 because an application for a Road Closure did not reach Fermanagh County Council in time. Interest and enthusiasm waned and in 1955 the Killinchy 150 took the place of the Enniskillen 100, which was consigned to the history books.
Interest in the Enniskillen 100 did not disappear totally however and a group of local enthusiasts, mindful of the fact that the 60th anniversary of he last race was approaching in 2012, persuaded Fermanagh District Council to assist with plans to revive the event in some shape or form. Various ideas and options were explored, including the possibility of running a parade type event for vintage racing motorcycles on the old course. As a Road Closure could not be obtained, the organising committee decided to hold an ‘Enniskillen 100 Revival’ event at Enniskillen Airport on 25th August 2012.
The core of the Revival event will be demonstration runs and parade laps by a wide variety of historic motorcycles, on a course laid out at Enniskillen Airport. It is planned to have static displays, guided bus tours of the old circuit, a PSNI BikeSafe event, displays of historic racing and rally cars and a selection of other attractions for motorsport enthusiasts and the general public alike.
A motorsports Event Management company, Real Time Promotions, has been brought on board to assist with the organisation and support obtained from Fermanagh District Council. While the heat wave of 1949 is unlikely to be repeated in the damp summer of 2012, the organisers are confident that the Enniskillen 100 Revival on 25th August at Enniskillen Airport will provide a mix of nostalgia and excitement an that the event will become an established fixture on the Fermanagh events calendar.
Further Information can be obtained from Eddie McGovern Fermanagh District Council, Town Hall, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, BT74 7BA or by calling +44 (0)28 6632 5050.
Michael McGarrity on +44(0) 28 68628111.
Wayne Owens, Real Time Promotions +44(0)2892 662422