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 Southern 100 Road Races 2001 - Recent Press Statement

Southern 100The Organising Committee and Directors of Southern '100' Racing were and still are unanimous in their decision to call off the 2001 'Steam Packet' Southern 100 Road Races which had been rescheduled from its traditional dates in July to 14th-16th September.

The full facts of the decision were given in the Official Announcement made on 11th July, which was circulated to all interested parties and the Media. The Club has over the years built up a relationship with the farmers, landowners and residents surrounding the Billown Course and in the light of the continuing foot & mouth crisis which is far from being brought under control in the UK, the Club did not wish to jeopardise this relationship and wish to receive these persons continued support for future years - which is essential in ensuring the continuance of the Southern '100' as it approaches its 50th anniversary and beyond.

The decision to cancel the 2001 event was brought forward, primarily in the interests of the competitors - to enable them to revise their racing calendars and apply for entries at other meetings - something they would be unable to do whilst the Southern '100' was 'still on'. A number of competitors have e-mailed us to say that they were disappointed but understood our predicament and appreciated the club making an announcement earlier rather than later.

The Billown Course is only 4.25 miles to the lap, and may appear on paper at least to be relatively easy to 'police'- in reality it is different matter - footpaths, railway line and fields that could be encroached upon. The writer mentions the Skerries Road Races in the Republic of Ireland having been held recently. Crowd control was impossible around 'their 4 mile course' and the repercussions are awaited from the damage to barley crops surrounding the course. Also mentioned is the Ulster Grand Prix due to be held in the middle of August. All the adjacent area around Dundrod is declared a race area, where to enter requires the payment of £12:00 per person [2000 rate].

The fields are requisitioned for car parks, the farmers/landowners charging a fee and retaining same - a very different situation to the Isle of Man. The Southern '100' Club are disappointed that the 2001 Races are not going ahead, but feel that to ensure the future running of the hugely popular event it is a small price to pay. The situation is echoed by the majority of competitors who look forward to competing on the Billown Course and enjoy the friendly atmosphere that the meeting has built a reputation for over the forty plus years that the races have been organised.

All involved with the events on the Billown Course, are looking forward to a full season of races in 2002 and will endeavour to ensure their continued success and popularity.


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