Derek Sheils doubled up with victories in both the Open race and Grand Final at the Skerries 100 this weekend.
The race meeting was overshadowed by the death of Dr John Hinds, one of the travelling doctors who attended Irish road races and saved a lot of riders lives over the years. He worked as a hospital consultant and was highly regarded by many in the medical field. He suffered a serious accident on Friday evening, during the practice sessions for the event, and sadly passed away on Saturday morning. He was an active campaigner for an air ambulance in Northern Ireland and a petition set up following his death has received over 25,000 signatures already. Dr John will be greatly missed by all and my thoughts remain with his family and friends at this very difficult time.
A number of riders including William and Michael Dunlop, Derek McGee, Sheils and Kells winner Alan Bonner were in action. It was Michael Dunlop’s first race meeting since the injuries he sustained at this year’s Isle of Man TT and it was his brother William’s first race out on the Superbike following his own TT accident.
McGee took a very comfortable victory in the Supertwins class, beating Paul Jordan by over 11 seconds while Michal Dokoupil came home in third just over a tenth of a second off Jordan. Bonner narrowly missed out on a podium spot, finishing ahead of Andy Farrell, Paul Gartland, David Lumsden, Mark Sheils, Brian Coomey and Callum Laidlaw. It was William Dunlop who took the win in the Supersport class finishing just shy of two seconds clear of McGee. McGee was riding his own bike following an amicable split with Wilson Craig Racing last week. Seamus Elliott joined the pair on the podium with John Walsh fourth and Farrell fifth. Thomas Maxwell was sixth ahead of Graham Kennedy, Dokoupil, Paul Cranston, and Stephen Procter.
In the Open race Sheils took a narrow victory over William Dunlop with the gap just four tenths between the pair. Bonner finished in third ahead of McGee, Walsh, Elliott, and Farrell. Alan Connor, Maxwell, and Jordan rounded out the top ten. Sheils doubled up with a win in the Grand Final race, once again beating Dunlop with Walsh on the podium this time. Michael Dunlop was fourth ahead of Elliott, Farrell, Connor, Dokoupil and Cranston.
Barry Davidson beat Ed Manly and Sean Leonard in the 250cc-350cc Classic race while Robert McCrum was victorious in the 500cc-1000cc Classic race. He beat Richard Ford and Manly. Senior Support was won by Procter who beat Kevin Fitzpatrick and Timmy Elwood. Elwood went on to win the Non Championship Support Junior races, beating Jason Cash and John Horgan. There was a win for Jordan in the 125cc/Moto 3 race, beating Paul Robinson and Nigel Moore while Tommy Henry beat Brian Coomey and Noel Bertram to the 201cc-400cc race victory. The Junior 250cc/400cc Championship race was won by Sam Wilson, with Neil Kernoghan and Dokoupil joining him on the podium.
The next Irish road racing action will take place at Walderstown in a fortnights time, while racing commences this week at the Southern 100 on the Isle of Man.