*Editor's note: Please excuse the delay- it's been a busy summer! *

A glorious summer of sunshine unfolded, making for an uninterrupted season of Monday Night Racing in Corkagh Park with running out of suncream the only concern for trackside parents....... Okay, that didn’t happen, but the racing was still pretty good. And in the end, we only lost one and a half nights to the dire weather. This was indeed the summer where we all became cloud experts (‘I can see some lighter cloud cover ahead, we’ll be ok’), what direction a band of rain would travel (‘we might get lucky, it could just miss Corkagh Park’) and knowledgeable on how many millimetres of rainfall would be detrimental (‘that’ll be fairly light, we’ll be fine’).

Despite the conditions it was a great series, with 87 riders taking part at least once, and plenty showing up pretty much every week except for when their families forced them to miss a race by taking them on holiday, the selfish oiks!! We had riders from Australia taking part, as the Dicksons brought their bikes with them on a family vaycay, and some from even more exotic locations: Cavan.

Meanwhile the Turners went in the opposite direction, heading off to Belgium for much of the summer, but Katie and Molly still mopped up enough points at either end to get on the podium.

On a technical note, Brian’s spreadsheet wizardry resulted in automated point allocations each night and on-the-fly timing: a great way of getting the riders to hassle their parents for their TT times instead of the timekeepers. And for the first time we had a sufficient critical mass of girls to hand out prizes for the top three boys and girls in each category and were able to run a separate elimination for the U12 girls on several nights. Keep ‘em coming!

Plenty of great duels unfolded over the course of the series: Jaxon v Bobby in U8s; James and Ben drove each other to ever greater heights in U10; Daria, Laoise and Aoife were a great match for each other in U12s; and Luke and George pushed each other hard in U16s.

To the winners go the spoils though, and we were delighted to award Conor Regan with the Noel O’Neill Perpetual Youths Trophy, a worthy winner as he came out on top amid stiff competition in the U14s and is a popular rider who races with great enthusiasm. Last year's winner Issy Huele was happy to hand over the trophy to a worthy 2023 winner (see pic below) .