Just got this this morning.
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TT-style Motorcycle Racing Headlines Cape Breton Festival of Speed Announcement
SYDNEY, NS, Oct. 5 /CNW/ - The Cape Breton Festival of Speed in
Association with the Isle of Man TT announced a classic motorcycle race, the
first of its kind in North America today.
"This event will provide competitive motorcycle racing on a challenging
52 kilometre circuit unlike any other in North America," said Maureen Carroll
Chair of the Cape Breton Festival of Speed.
"Our event is styled after the legendary Isle of Man TT, a true road
course classic established in 1907. TT stands for Tourist Trophy and
competitors from the Isle of Man will come to Nova Scotia for our event. We
anticipate a large turnout as speed enthusiasts converge on Cape Breton, eager
to see the true thrill of the open road".
"First of all it will bring new visitors to Cape Breton and we all know
how important that is. Equally important, it means investment in our
infrastructure, especially the roads which will be used for the race" added
While motorcycles are will be the main event at the inaugural Festival,
September 20th to 24th, 2006, there will be attractions for car enthusiasts as
well as hope for status auto races in the future and an event patterned after
festivals such as those held at Goodwood, England and Monterey, California.
Next year, motorcycles will practice on the Nova Scotia roads near
Sydney, specially closed for the occasion on Wednesday and Thursday, September
20 and 21. On Friday the 22nd there's a motorcycle "Charity Ride" fundraiser
plus a full program of motorcycle road racing on Saturday, September 23rd. On
Sunday the 24th there will be a "Show and Shine" for Cars, Pickup Trucks,
Motorcycles and Custom and Racing Cars.
"One of the attractions of the TT is being able to get close to the
action" said Isle of Man Tourism Minister the Hon David Cretney, himself a
former Isle of Man TT racer who attended the announcement in Sydney.
Britain banned racing on the open roads early in the last century but
Isle of Man enthusiasts and government saw wisdom in attracting tourism to
their island in the Irish Sea in 1907 by hosting motorcycle races on the
public roads as it was being done at the time in Europe.
Racers Turn Out
Isle of Man TT racing legend Ian Lougher of Wales joined the announcement
and after viewing the current roads the most successful active TT racer said
"With some paving, these beautiful roads will offer a suitable challenge for
some of the best riders in the world. There are some fast stretches and the
only things I don't see which are part of the Isle of Man are the pubs around
the circuit, which I'll miss, and the stonewalls lining the roads which I
won't miss. I definitely want to come back next year for the race".
Canadian racer Pat Barnes of Scarborough, ON who challenged the IoM
circuit in 2004 said "An Isle of Man style competition and the Festival of
Speed will raise the profile of racing in Canada giving more exposure to
Canadian riders. That's how talented Canadian car racers have achieved so much
in the past few years".
Nova Scotia's Heritage of Speed
Nova Scotia has a history and tradition of speed. In Cape Breton, the
first airplane flight in the British Empire took place on the frozen surface
of Baddeck Bay in 1909. The aircraft known as the Silver Dart was designed and
flown by a Nova Scotian, J.A.D. McCurdy who later became Lieutenant Governor
of the Province.
There was speed on the water too and that of course was the famous
Bluenose, the greatest racing schooner of its time. In an era of wooden ships,
she was a working fishing boat designed, built and crewed by Nova Scotians to
run in the Fisherman's International Races. Bluenose was undefeated from here
first race in 1921 until the races were discontinued in 1938.
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