Kyle White: Wet weather leaves race organisers between rock and a hard place, but rider safety is always paramount

Adam McLean leads Derek McGee during Supersport practice at the KDM Hire Cookstown 100 on Friday. Picture: Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press.
Adam McLean leads Derek McGee during Supersport practice at the KDM Hire Cookstown 100 on Friday. Picture: Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press.

Let’s hope the wave of expectation and excitement that greets the start of every new Irish road racing season isn’t washed away by the weather on Saturday.

An ominous forecast for heavy rain across Northern Ireland exacerbated by Storm Hannah makes for gloomy reading ahead of the KDM Hire Cookstown 100.

Inclement weather caused a headache for the race organisers in 2018, resulting in numerous red flag stoppages in the afternoon after a series of crashes – fortunately with those involved escaping serious injury.

The showpiece Cookstown 100 Superbike race was also cancelled as the day ended on a disappointing note following a series of delays.

Most of those incidents last year occurred at Braeside corner, the final left-hand bend leading onto the main start and finish straight.

Over the winter months, the Cookstown Club took steps to address concerns raised by competitors, undertaking extensive resurfacing work at both Braeside and Craigmount corners.

Unpaid volunteers put in a huge amount of work behind the scenes to run an Irish national road race, yet despite months of planning and preparation, ultimately every event is at the mercy of the elements.

Race organisers are often caught between a rock and hard place when the weather doesn’t play ball, but the most important thing is that everyone comes home safe.