The International North West 200 is Ireland’s largest outdoor sporting event, attracting crowds in excess of 150,000 as well as the biggest names in the sport including Michael Rutter, Steve Plater and John McGuinness. Taking place annually in May, the International North West 200 circuit runs between the towns of Portrush, Portstewart and Coleraine – an area of outstanding natural beauty and home to the world famous Giant’s Causeway.
This week-long event is filled with super-fast motor cycle races in and around the towns of Portrush, Portstewart and Coleraine. But these aren’t just any old roads, this nine mile road circuit is considered by many to be amongst the fastest in the world! Have no fear, though, organizers have safety in mind at all times and will line the streets with bales of hay, just in case a stray rider happens to take a tumble!
Many people ask why the North West 200 is called the North West 200. The answer lies in the spawning of the event. History reveals that although the Club’s original choice of name for the race remained, their original choice of venue did not. The name has continued to generate some confusion amongst those who are unaware of the event’s origins. The inclusion of “200” simply indicates that the event was originally run over a distance of 200 miles. “North West”, reflects the original intended, location of the race, i.e. on a public roads course in the North West of Ireland.
The North West 200’s first organisers could not have imagined how the event would grow over the years. In 1964, the North West 200 event was handed over to the Coleraine & District Motor Club which continues to run the event today. In 2007, around two million people logged on from nearly every part of the world to watch what has become Ireland’s largest sporting event and one of the world’s fastest road races.
8th – 15th May