This post is now even more poignant given the postponements and cancellation of many 2020 events due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. Please take the time to read and digest…
I am going to ‘Stickie’ this post until around the start of the Season because I think all road racing fans need to read and share it. The future of Irish Road Racing is in the balance and that balance is slowing tipping the wrong way!
No one thought it happen – road racing in 2020, but it did!
Full credit must go to Cookstown 100 Club and every member of the team who pushed forward with what at times must have seemed like an impossible task – running a road race in 2020 and under the ever present cloud of Covid-19.
But press ahead they did and the result was an extremely successful and extremely well run 2020 Cookstown 100. There were some restrictions in place such as movement around the course and the numbers of people who could be admitted, none of which were under the control of the Club. You can after all only play the hand you are dealt, and they played their hand well.
In 2020 if the only thing you can complain about is that the weather closed in and meant the feature superbike race had to be called off, then you have done well, and really that’s all there is to complain about – the Northern Irish weather – typical. But, for most of the day it was grand, warm and dry – couple that with a ‘full house’ and riders and teams who were clearly thrilled to be back on the roads and you get a brilliant road race.
The only disappointment now is that that is all 2020 has to offer in the Northern / Irish Racing Calendar. One thing is for sure it will have wet the appetite for 2021!
Onto the racing and we saw the return of Adam McLean after his off at 2019 Tandragee and he came back with the outstanding form he had been showing prior to the Tandragee incident – excellent – resulting in a double for him in the Supersport and Supertwin classes, and adding the Supertwin lap record to his list of accolades.
The Superbike Open race took three attempts to get a result, the win for Derek Shiels on his BMW showed more of the same from the Irish man – fast and stylish – as we have grown accustomed two over previous years and brought his total to 9 wins at Cookstown.
Paul Jordan continued to show his class and form, taking a strong win in the Moto3 / 125cc class.
Neil Kernohan with his distinctive helmet and always immaculately turned out machines took the 250cc / Lightweight class and Barry Davidson took the Junior Classic.
Vinny Breenan took the first race of the Day in the Senior Support Class, Junior Support was lifted by Michael Gillan by over 4 seconds in an impressive race.
On the first anniversary of the passing of one of Irelands most popular road race team owner, Wilson Craig, it has been announced, that the team will continue to grace the road scene, albeit with a new owner!
With the blessing of Mrs Craig, the team will be run under the guidance of Darren Gilpin, Darren has worked with Wilson for the past seven years.
With the WCR machines having been based at Darren’s own workshop, it was an easy decision to make, and for road race fans, we will continue to see the iconic red and silver machines grace the road circuits.
However, for the new-look team, it will be a completely different approach, as the team will be concentrating on supporting a newcomer to the roads, who will compete in the Senior Support class, along with the Moto 3 class.
Having competed on short circuits, with the KDM Hire Cookstown 100 pencilled in for his road race debut, Antrim rider Stephen Smith is relishing the new challenge.
Stephen will have the use of two brand new Hondas, 600CBR, and 250 NSF Machines.
Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way GPX File : The World’s Longest Dedicated Coastal Route :
Firstly let me apologise.
Why you may ask?
Well, simply because there is no GPX file here for you to download. So for that I am sorry, but wait! Before you run off looking for another source of a GPX file, let me tell you why there isn’t one here… You simply don’t need one.
Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way is the world’s longest dedicated coastal route and at over 2,500km long you would think a GPS / GPX file would be useful, and normally you would be right, but not here. Every – every – single junction is signposted. Every ‘Signature Point‘ (of which there are 21) is signposted and every ‘Discovery Point‘ of which there are 159 is signposted.
You just don’t need a GPX file or a sat nav to navigate the Wild Atlantic Way, so instead of worrying about watching a screen as you drive you get to watch some of the world’s most stunning scenery as it unfolds around you for around 1,500 miles!
In 2018 the hugely popular Casio G-SHOCK got a facelift, in fact it was much more of a facelift, more like a massive upgrade.
Now that upgrade should take nothing away from the functionality, usability and relevance of the (still available) previous generation of the Rangeman. The huge difference between the two is that the 2018 Rangeman is now a full on GPS System for your wrist.
With the latest offerings from Casio now entering the Smart and Fitness worlds is the Rangeman still a good option?
I feel, yes. For two reasons. Firstly this isn’t a ‘Smart’ or ‘Fitness’ watch. It’s a watch with a navigation device built in. The Rangeman doesn’t measure heart rate, pace, run stats etc so isn’t in competition with a fitness monitor and it isn’t a smart watch. It doesn’t get your text messages or tell you you have an email. It could be one of two things then – a hiking / exploration watch or a survival / adventure tool.
If you are a G-Shock fan you will know all about the Master of G Series, of which this watch one. If not it is the G-Shock Premium range, made in Japan, considered to be well manufactured and as such commands a premium price tag. The RRP of this watch is £799 – although offers do frequently appear so if you are in the market keep your eyes peeled.
If you are considering a Rangeman the first thing you should know is that this thing is a beast. The watch is huge, and if your wrists are in any way below average size the watch will probably look comical, even on an average wrist the watch is noticeably large. It also feels quite heavy to me. It certainly isn’t uncomfortable, in fact Casio have done an outstanding job to make something so big, so comfortable. I strongly suggest you try one on to see if you could live with the size, if you can then you are in for a treat of a watch.
I have previously posted a review with detailed specs and technical data on a different colourway of the CasiOak GA-2100. You should have a read at it for more information as the only differences between it and this GA-2100-1A1-ER are the colours.
But oh, the colours! This ‘Blackout’ GA-2100-1A1ER came with such unexpected hype that it was sold out globally for months. At the time of writing it is still sold out on the UK Official G-Shock Site.
This is not a limited edition watch but demand has been so intense that eBay scalpers have been selling the watch at many times the RRP (£99.90). That is thankfully starting to calm down now. My advice is simply ‘wait out,’ this watch will be restocked. Or do what I did and purchase from a European retailer. Zalando were selling this at slightly below UK RRP – but at the time of writing are also out of stock.
I touch on it in the linked review but just as a reminder, this is the watch that ‘CasiOak’ seems to pay homage to. This AP Royal Oak however will set you back £30,000!
To the joy of road racing fans the world over we have actually had some racing in 2020! From 14th – 16th August Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough held the Barry Sheene Classic. A day of practice and qualifying followed by two days of flat out non stop racing.
The Oliver’s Mount events are ones that I do not normally cover, mainly because I have no chance of getting any where them but this year I did follow them quite intently on Twitter and on the live timings site and have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the coverage, tweeting and online content that I could find.
UKClubSport have done an excellent job in putting the results together for every qualifying session and race. You will find every result from the 2020 Oliver’s Mount Barry Sheene Classic here :
It brings me great pleasure to say that Northern Ireland’s own Lee Johnston shone to make it a perfect four out of four in the Supersport category.
Dean Harrison also brought his A-game and made it a superb five from five in the Classic Superbike races.
What a packed weekend that event was with a huge 31 races ran over the two race days. That really makes me want to make the trip over.
Oliver’s Mount next event is scheduled to be the Gold Cup due to run on the weekend of the 11th – 13th September 2020. Unfortunately that clashes directly with the planned dates for the rescheduled 2020 Cookstown 100.
MacOS 11 Big Sur Compatibility (+ iPadOS, iOS 14 and WatchOS) :
It is only about a month until the release of MacOS 11 (Big Sur), iPadOS and iOS 14. With each update will come a host of new features and additions to trick out your Mac or iDevice. The question is will your current device get the update or is it time to consider an upgrade?