It is probably 40 years, if not more, since I have had the opportunity to come to the Island to watch the S100. Work always got in the way!!

I arrived on the Island on Saturday, my Easy-Jet flight being 40 minutes late. The reason for the delay was that they had arrived in Gatwick on time, this threw the ground crew who were not expecting them (due to them always landing late) who were not ready for them!! This did cause a chuckle on the plane when the pilot informed the passengers.

There is a very impressive field for the 11 race event, 95 solo and 25 sidecar crews have entered. Last year's Solo Champion and Senior TT winner Dean Harrison along with Solo outright record holder and Lightweight TT winner Michael Dunlop head the solo entry and last years Sidecar Champion Tim Reeves and Mark Wilkes along with the Sidecar outright lap record holder John Holden and Lee Cain head the sidecar entry. Michael Dunlop's fastest lap is 2 minutes 12.231 seconds, 115.707 mph, a little faster than my lap on Sunday. I completed the 4.25 mile course in 1 hour 6 minutes, without so much as a slide or mishap, I was walking however. The major difference, on the course, to that of the Pre TT and Post TT races is that there is a grandstand built at Ballakeighan corner to accommodate the increased number of spectators.

There are two nights of practice, Monday and Tuesday, and then racing on Wednesday evening and all day Thursday. The organisers have still managed to incorporate two spare practice sessions on Tuesday in case of any delays. The S100 races are known as the 'Friendly Races'and you can feel that in the paddock. There is none of the seriousness of the TT, the paddock is so much more relaxed.

Photographs by Mike Hammonds

Tim Glover interviewing Dean Harrison

Conrad Harrison making some adjustments

Jamie Coward giving his leathers the once over

Time Reeves and John Holden in conversation

Sadly, last years event resulted in the loss of James Cowton and the end of Ivan Lintin's promising career, hopefully this years event will not have such tragic incidences.

Mike Hammonds