After three years at the helm of the Corkagh Park Race Series this week Siobhán O’Connor handed the reins to our new organisers Aideen Keenan and Maria Mulvany. Siobhán was instrumental in setting up the race series three years ago. Over her time at the helm the league has grown in popularity and is now a well-oiled machine that we hope will operate for many years to come.
In 2012 Siobhán announced that racing would continue at Corkagh Park for 10 more weeks after the final round of the Wheelworx Orwell Ladies Crit League. The idea was to keep the momentum going after this league finished. Corkagh Park is now popular with almost every league operating out of Dublin, however Siobhán was one of the first people to use it as the permanent venue for a weekly league.
She also had the smart idea of getting local clubs to take responsibility for each round, thus taking the pressure off one single organiser. This has proven to be a very successful model and one which will hopefully help the league run smoothly for many years to come. It has been particularly encouraging to see how many local clubs came forward to organise races, often putting their own spin on the evening’s racing programme by organising sponsored prizes, giving primes or even organising a charity event as part of their evening.
With its handicapped system the race series is aimed at giving beginners an opportunity to try racing for the first time and to improve their cornering and bunch skills while also giving more experienced riders a good workout on a Tuesday evening. The league has proved an invaluable asset to the women’s racing calendar. For the last 10 years the Women’s Commission has been keen to have some form of regular midweek racing for women. First up was The Boot Inn league, held on the famous circuit near Dublin Airport. It had to be discontinued when increased traffic on the course meant it was no longer safe to use. After the end of the Boot Inn League Aideen Collard was instrumental in organising the Orwell Crit League, originally held in Sandyford. The Orwell Crit League continues to run at the start of the season and thanks to the subsequent Corkagh Park Race Series women now have the option of continuing racing all summer.
Over Siobhán’s three year period at the helm The Corkagh Park Race Series has become a popular feature on the race calendar, regularly attracting great turnouts. In addition, due to a keen eye for organising, Siobhán has put a good system in place. We were all delighted this week to hear that Maria Mulvany and Aideen Keenan have stepped up to take the reins from Siobhán. We appreciate them coming forward to keep the league going and we wish them the best of luck for next year. Two experienced racers who have been very active on the racing scene in recent times, they’re sure to do a great job!