As promised here is my little post on Northern Ireland’s Festival of Speed. I won’t labour on and on about it though, just check out the pics for a pretty concise series of events for the day.
Remembering that this was the first such event in Northern Ireland on such a scale. And to be fair for a first attempt it was a really good day.
The events were great:
1. a good insight into Autotesting, which I have to admit really has my attention at the minute and is definitely something I want to try my hand at.
2. the super special rally stage. Which I saw as a bit of a plus and a minus if I am being truthful.
3. the emergency services rescue – a sobering experience, and really well executed. These are the sort of things that all road users should see once in a while. Just to see how quickly and easily it can all go badly wrong.
4. the stalls were of a high calibre, with lots of merchandise to lust over, and cleaning products that really brought a new dimension to the term cleaning. Detailing is where it is at now! Snow Foam all the way!
5. the funfair still had the rides that I remember as a child. I have no idea why that Astro Rocket thing still exists but it was good to see her still bringing smiles to the young kids.
6. the off road experience was just ok, obviously the drivers have to be exceptionally careful so as not to wreck the cars, or worse injure someone. I’m sure a stubbed toe now warrants a claim in such circumstances, so well done for even having such a spectator activity.
7. the off road racing was fun to watch
8. The Flyin’ Ryans were outstanding – just check out the pics from their last show of the day, a really good display team operating on what was some pretty crappy ground.
9. The Charity Car Show / Show and Shine was pretty dire – just a couple of clubs making the effort to put on a display stand. I have pics though of pretty much every car in the show and shine. I’m sure you will agree though the quality of the cars on display was brilliant, it’s just a shame that there wasn’t a lot more of this.
10. The Ulster Aviation Society Hangar is unreal. Getting so up close and personal with such a fine collection of aircraft is truly a great experience. In fact this was probably my highlight of the day.
So having read all of that I am sure you’ll agree that £10 for a ticket is a pretty decent price, and it is. However, what should have been one of the biggest draws of the Festival – the Super Special Rally Stage was actually one of the biggest drawbacks, something that hopefully the organisers will correct for next years show. When the stages were going on you were trapped in whatever half of the arena you happened to be in at the time the stage started. Now that meant you were walking in circles getting bored very quickly. There is only some many stalls you can look at so many times. I hear you screaming at this point, ‘Watch the Rally!’ Well that would have been ideal although the most you could see was a roof and an odd side shot of a car whizz past, the whole course was lined with hay bales and concrete crash barriers. I know that this is all to do with health and safety and the huge number of visitors etc etc… However that doesn’t change the fact it was useless for spectators except for the noise (which is great from a WRC) and the very odd glimpse of a car go past. My main gripe is as I said that you were stuck! And the stages were so long, too long considering the restrictions they came with. Now I am a big fan of rallying, but this was grim, a terrible introduction to anyone new to the sport, and with the Health and Safety Executive being the nightmare that they are I don’t know if this can be addressed. If it can’t is there really much point of such a stage at the next event, and without such a stage can there even be a ‘next event?
Check out the Gallery here :
A little teaser :