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North West 200 organisers “have not given up the fight” amid mass cancellations

North West 200 organisers “have not given up the fight” to stage the event in 2023, despite all road races in Northern Ireland being cancelled due to insurance costs.

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The Motorcycle Union of Ireland announced via a statement on Thursday night that, due to a tripling in the price of public liability insurance, costs of running road racing events in Northern Ireland had become unsustainable.

Following a crisis meeting, the governing body announced that all road racing and short circuit contests in Northern Ireland have been cancelled for 2023.

A statement from Motorcycling Ireland on the matter pointed the finger at the effects of Brexit as having contributed to the problem.

The North West 200 is Northern Ireland’s biggest outdoor sporting event and has run for almost 100 years, with the race contributing over £15 million to the local economy.

Prior to Thursday’s announcement, the future of the North West 200 following the 2022 edition was uncertain, with more funding from Tourism NI requested to keep the event running.

Despite all of this, organisers say they are pushing ahead with its plans to stage the 2023 North West 200 on 7-13 May.

“The crisis the fonaCAB and Nicholl Oils North West 200 and the rest of motorcycle sport in Ireland currently faces is due to a huge increase in the cost of insurance cover for 2023,” the statement read.

“The organisers of the North West 200, the Coleraine and District Motor Club, have been working tirelessly to mitigate the pressure created by these extra costs.

 

“The club was confident it could manage the initial premium increase but with other events unable to do so, the transfer of extra charges to the North West 200 created an unsustainable financial burden.

“Yesterday the sport’s governing body, the Motor Cycle Union of Ireland (UC), announced the cancellation of all motorcycle sporting events in Northern Ireland this year.

“But the organisers of the NW200 have not given up the fight.

“We cannot afford to lose an event that has been running for over 90 years and plays such a vital role in the economy of the north coast area.

“We have been overwhelmed by the messages and offers of support we have received today and whilst we understand the decision taken by the MCUI (UC), the Coleraine and District Motor club will continue in its efforts to stage the North West 200 on 7-13 May.

“Plans were already in place to welcome new competitors to the event during an induction day next Tuesday, 14 February.

“Both that event and the Meet the Stars race launch, scheduled for 15 February, will go ahead as planned and we will continue to keep everyone informed of our progress.”

It is not clear yet how organisers will surmount the swelled insurance costs.

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