Circuit of Ireland Rally
Seamus McCanny’s Bushwhacker Rally memories appeared in the event’s 40th anniversary programme.
I was COC of the event at the time of the Baronscourt reference that Seamus makes. The Baronscourt Inn had a new owner and I had managed to get a large sponsorship donation from him for taking the rally there for a lunch halt. We had dropped a lot of time in the morning on the Gortin Stages and Seamus was adamant that we needed to pull back all of this in the regroup. In view of the sponsorship I was reluctant to cut the lunch halt so drastically but eventually agreed. The leading crews didn’t fair too badly but those at the tale end of the field ending up putting ice cubes in their soup to cool it enough so that they could back out of the regroup on time
1966 Ken Wharton
1984 Pre-Circuit Winners
The Dunomen Rally organised by Dungannon, Omagh and Enniskillen Motor Clubs in 1972.
A victory for our hard working Safety Officer
1975 Bushwhacker – photo of Hugo McDaid, Eamon O’Hagan and Hugh O’Brien
The mystery driver of the Starlight Rally Mini is none other than our President – Mr.McDaid
Ken Irwin’s 2015 Ulster Herald Hall of Fame Award
The 1988 Ken Irwin Autotest which was won by Colin Earney. Colin and his partner Laura do timekeeper for us at our autotest events nowadays, while his sons Andrew and Richard are competitors. Also if you look closely you might recognise our club Chairman – Gary Milligan….he actually had hair and no glasses!!
A N.I. C. C Championship win for Lewis and Leslie, and the top MMP Awards for Brian and Denis.
1984 Ulster Rally
A couple of photos from Hugo of a Breakfast Halt Parc Ferme in High Street, Omagh on the 1984 Ulster Rally.
You were up early to take these Hugo – PF in was at 05.39 and PF Out was at 07.00. From High Street the crews went to Gortrush for a 20 minute service.
These were the days before compulsory 6 hour rest breaks. The rally started at 18.00 on Friday evening and went through the night finishing at Belfast City Hall at 18.00 on Saturday.
There were 13 stages before the breakfast halt and another 14 stages after it with 20/30 minute services only.
The event made a big impression on Irish rally fans. We had never seen anything with the speed of Walter Rohrl’s 500hp Quattro and he scored the car’s first International win on the event.
Patterson’s Bulletins for the event. You will see that he was 43 seconds ahead after 2 stages! He won by over 4 minutes.
You can catch ITV ‘s World of Sport Saturday lunchtime rally report (10 mins) on the link below.
Gortin Glens Time Trial 2009
Moffatt’s Quarry 2007
Circuit Of Ireland in 1970’s
The second photograph features Brian Wilson who apparently owned a garage in Newtownstewart. Peter Johnston who was Club Secretary in the early 60’s, Mike Hart, Harry Johnston and Ronnie McCartney. The car on the right is a Renault 8 Gordini.
Spring Rally 2010 & 2011
The C.A.M rally was another Bushwhacker forerunner and ran in 1971, 1973 and 1974.
Winners were as follows;
|1971||Hugh O’Brien / Hugo McDaid||Ford Escort TC|
|1973||Ronnie McCartney / Peter Scott||Porsche Carrera|
|1974||Paul Martin / Derek Smyth||Ford Escort TC|
No Editorial’s for 1973 and 1974
With V.E day a few post wartime events – OMC’s first post war trial in June 1949 and the 1949 Circuit of Ireland Rally.
The 2009 Bushwhacker
First Year of the McKelvey Sponsorship
The Master and The Master Driver article appeared in the 2011 Bushwhacker programme
Omagh Council’s Reception for the Club winning the MSA Club of the Year Award in 2012 and the club win most of the major awards at the 2012 ANICC Prizegiving Dinner
1978 OMC Dinner Dance
Lewis is named the Ulster Herald’s Sports Personality of the Month
2015 Bushwhacker Rally
Moffatts 1987 was Gary Milligan’s first event as a COC and as Niall McConnigle kindly pointed out recently – he wasn’t even born then.
McAleers Landrover was the COC’s course car transport for many years on the event.
Communication between the start-line and the finish-line at the top of the quarry was by World War Two type field telephones and cloth insulated steel cable which we ran out on the night before the event. On one occasion during the “Troubles” I had the cable reels in the boot of my car and had to go to Belleek with “day-job” work. As I sat in the queue for the army checkpoint at Boa Island I had an “OFM” moment when I remembered that the cables were in the boot. I reckoned I would soon be on my way to Castlereagh Interrogation Centre to explain why I was carrying what looked like bomb command wires in my car, and the event next day wouldn’t happen. Thankfully I wasn’t searched!
You will see the phones on the attached photos. I retrieved them on a lockdown tidy of my garage roofspace a few weeks ago – I reckon they have been up there for around 20 years. You will see Moffatts dust is still on the phone cable!
Patsy Baxter used to be the starter …. Aidan – I think we presented a phone to your Dad at one of our Dinner Dances. No doubt it has pride of place in the Living Room China Cabinet?
Patsy McAnespey’s camper van was parked at the startline. If I remember correctly it wasn’t road legal in later years and had to be towed to the quarry. Hugo was Head Chef and occasional commentator. At lunchtime the senior officials sat down to Prawn Cocktail and Black Tower wine in the middle of a dusty quarry, while Hugo’s commentary got a bit more colourful post lunch!
In it’s early the years the event was sponsored by John Player.
The timing gear certificate was always dodgy – the liquid touch up was about a tenth of an inch thick over the re-typed expiry date and one year we didn’t have our certified timekeeper – Alistair McKane. The late John Watt was the RAC (as it was in those days) Steward and the startline personnel would tell him that Alistair was at the finish van at the top of the quarry. John would make the long climb to the top only to be told that Alistair had just left for the startline and so it went on all day until John gave up!
There are many unprintable Moffatts stories – they were good times.
I’ve got the phones to use on this year’s event Hugo – can you still get Black Tower wine?
Robbie McGurk wins the 2005 Spring Rally with Kris Meeke co-driving
Pre-circuit Rallies 1996, 1992 and 2003
There are 10 year’s worth of N.I Navigation Rally Champions in the 2003 photo;
From left to right – Alan Dorman (2003-2006), Barry Taggart (2002), Lewis Boyd (2013), Willie McKee, Paddy McCollum (2007-2009), Leslie Young, Eddie Murphy, Lloyd Cochrane, John Henderson (2011) and Philip Dorman.
November 2014 wins for Gareth Sayers and Alistair Fisher/Gordon Noble.
Spamount Hill Climb
2015 A second consecutive win for Seamus Morris at Spamount.
2014 Bushwhacker Rally
A popular local win for Martin Cairns on the Whacker
The 2009 Boneshaker report
The 2010 Spring Rally Launch,
The January 2010 ANICC Prizegiving , and Gordon Noble appointed COC for the 2010 Circuit of Ireland