Irish National Championships
Yes it's that time of the year again, National Championship time. This usually means the best race of the year on a tough and testing track and this year will be no different. This years National Championships is being hosted by Flow Racing on one of, if not the best track Ireland has to offer. Carrick Mountain in Wicklow is the venue, it is located at the foothills of the eastern side of the Wicklow Mountains and over looks the sea in the distance. It rises above the small village of Glenealy and from last years NPS people will remember a track resembling something only found abroad, absolutely flat out, wide open and a whole lot of fun. Nothing has changed this year except for the fact that the course is now completely bed in, faster, longer and is probably the most fun you can have with your clothes on. The track mostly consists of steep straights with long undulating corners and many different jumps and drops. Mix this with high speed and you have a track that resembles something like an american moto tra ck sent straight down a hill, not that we're complaining. Nothing on this track is left to chance, everything has been built to withstand any weather conditions and in the dry this track turns into a completely different monster as speeds start to get scary.
The track now starts further up the hill than last year. Off the start ramp there's no messing about as you're thrown off a 7foot high step down off a rock, this is where the nightmare begins for any sort of braking system. From here the speed and gradient completely go off the scale as you shoot down a long straight, through the ferns into a large ski jump style take off that wouldn't look out of place in a snowboard video. Hit this fast enough and figures of 40ft plus are easily achievable. From here you pelt into an open loose right hand corner and straight down into a stupidly fast left hand berm which sends you out onto a small fire break, hard on the already glowing stoppers into the trees and speeds maintain the whole way, again this shoots you out onto the rocky firebreak and the track swings off left to 'The Chute'. This consists of a large compression sending you up a blind bank and over into the rocky chute, a few more corners and you're back out onto the rocky firebreak where speeds suddenly start to get a little scary. The fast approaching forest ahead is roughly the half way point, you drop into the forest onto the off camber and into a series of berms and corners which you could ride all day. Speeds pick up again as you arrive into the 'Vegas' section, this supercross style woops section is unique to the track and sets you up nicely for the road gap. Float over this and you're shot into the Eucalyptus forest, resembling a more Australian landscape this section is super high speed with long flat corners, usually resulting in the back end kicking and drifting like there's no tomorrow. After this section you drop out onto the fire road and drop back into a massive valley with the track carved into the banks. Here gradient really starts to tilt towards vertical and only the berms and ruts keep you from ending up in the river. Over the last big step down sees you out of the forest once again and into the finish.
And yes, it is as much fun as it sounds...
Saturday: Sign on is from 9am-3pm
Practice is from 10am-4pm, uplifts will be running.
Sunday: Sign on from 9am-10am
Practice 9am-11am, Racing is from 12pm onwards.
This is a pre-entry event only and the entry form can be downloaded by clicking on the link below:
Day licenses €15
Uplifts will be provided on both Saturday and Sunday. Riders are reminded that they need to have a race number before they ride the course. Any rider caught riding the course without a number plate will be disqualified from the event. NO sign on means NO number board, NO uplift, NO authorised course use and NO MEDICAL COVER!
There is one Bed and Breakfast in Glenealy
The nearest big town being Ashford, Rathnew, Rathdrum, there are several bed and breakfast's in these towns, which can be found using Google.
If any further information is needed please feel free to put a post on the forum where we'd be only willing to help with as much information as possible. In the meantime, see you in Carrick.
From the N11 take the Rathnew turn off head into Rathnew. When you get to the stupid small roundabout (little white one painted on the road). Take a right and head for Glenealy. When you get to Glenealy there is a right turn signposted for Ashford. Take it Go up the road about 200m and there is a GAA Club on the left park there for now unless its the race weekend. There will be other parking available then. Get your bike ready and then start to pedal back towards Glenealy there is a small road/lane on youre right which will bring you to the forest entrance. Go to the very end you will end up in the driveway of a house its a right of way so just head straight on into the woods. The track is fairly easy to find.
The race will be sign posted from the N11 exits in both North and South directions.
Carrick Mountain in Wicklow is the venue for the Irish National Championships