The picturesque venue at Knockagh Hill that played host to last year’s Carrickfergus Two-Day Motocross will return again in 2012 – not for motocross – but for a new Cross-Country event.


On Saturday, March 31, the hillside motocross circuit on the outskirts of Carrickfergus will be included as part of a cross-country style event promoted by 
Carrickfergus and DMCC. 
At the end of last year the club had to travel to Tinkers Hill, Newry, to hold this type of event, so officials got to work over the winter to bring it into their local borough.
Club officials recently explained how this decision came around: “When we first looked at the venue for a motocross event at the start of last year, in the back of our minds we had it marked for a possible cross-country in the future. 
“Thanks to James Wilson of The Knockagh Lodge Hotel, we can now look forward to that very event at the end of March.
“We plan to use some of the motocross circuit as part of the lap – maybe with a few more thought-provoking obstacles added in – while the majority of the cross country track will be on the outside of the motocross circuit.
“The rough terrain, steep inclines and trails through the trees on the hillside will provide riders with a challenging task to navigate what we hope to be a ten-to-15-minute lap.
“Preparations are already 
underway with a number of club members getting to work over the weekend, scouting out a possible route around Knockagh Hill.
“Others have been preparing entry forms, booking first-aid cover and beginning the rest of the work ‘behind the scenes’ that needs done to make this event happen.”
Speaking on the potential of the event, which is the first of its kind in the Carrickfergus borough in quite some time, clerk of the course Gavin Lawther said: “It’s great to have an event like this in our local area. 
“You will have the regular competitors from all over the country pleased to see another venue on the calendar and they will make the trip to Carrickfergus to compete. 
“It should also generate interest among people who haven’t entered a cross-country before.
“Having competed in events of this discipline myself, I think it will appeal to the folks that have maybe had a bike lying in the garage for a number of years, to get it out and try out this form of off-road racing in a legal and controlled environment, without bother from the authorities.
“I would encourage those at all interested in competing to get in contact with the club now. 
“We can provide more information on what will be a relaxed and enjoyable event, open to all abilities.”
You can keep up to date with all the club’s preparations for the event on the website –
Entry forms went live on March 1 and if all goes to plan there will also be helmet camera footage of the lap available in the run-up to the event to whet potential riders’ appetites.