Belfast Telegraph

Hutchy is on target for new sponsor's big race

By Paul Lindsay

The Bayview Hotel in Portballintrae has become a famous landmark on the North Coast, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, especially as the favoured watering hole of Dungannon's favourite son Darren Clarke - who celebrated there after winning the 2011 Open Golf Championship.

Managing Director Trevor Kane understands the importance of sporting excellence and supporting local events and talent having previously sponsored Ballymoney's William Dunlop.

Now the astute businessman has added the Bayview Hotel's name to race sponsorship for the Vauxhall International North West 200 in May.

The popular local venue will support the 1000cc Superstock event - on Thursday evening, May 11 - which is set to be hotly contested, and a race that both Tyco BMW's Ian Hutchinson and Smiths BMW-mounted Peter Hickman will be hoping to conquer on the opening night of racing.

"As a hospitality provider in the locality we understand the importance events like the North West 200 have for not only the local area but for the Northern Ireland economy as a whole," explained the Bayview MD.

Speaking of the event, which brings visitors from all over Europe and beyond, he added: "It is a privilege to welcome North West 200 enthusiasts to the hotel, all keen to soak up the adrenaline-fuelled atmosphere."

Hutchinson, who is well known to enjoy his creature comforts, was delighted to hear of Bayview's involvement.

"It's a great spot for a pint of Guinness, not that I'm able to enjoy too many now the racing season has begun," Hutchy smiled.

"The Bayview for me is somewhere that really depicts what the North West is about for anyone travelling to the event, be that spectator or competitor.

"The Bayview has a warm welcoming atmosphere and it's great that (NW200 Event Director) Mervyn (Whyte) and his team can attract quality local sponsors in the area.

"I'll be busy during North West race week, but I'll definitely be in touch with Trevor at some point about coming back to the Bayview for a night or two," he added.

Speaking of the commercial benefits from being involved with Ireland's largest outdoor sporting event, the Bayview MD said: "In attracting race fans and visitors to the North Coast our races return the support we get from local businesses and the Causeway Coast and Glens Council every year."

NW200 Event Director Mervyn Whyte paid tribute to Mr Kane and the Bayview Hotel.

"It is a partnership that benefits everyone - the races, the local borough and Northern Ireland as a whole, and we are very grateful to have the Bayview Hotel's support for 2017," he explained.

Mr Kane has a long history of supporting motorcycle racing through sponsorship of the Armoy Races and William Dunlop in particular.

"With sporting exposure for Northern Ireland on the increase we have established ourselves as one of the best places to successfully host major events such as the North West 200," he commented.

"Each year the event continues to grow and with the introduction of live streaming the races are beamed to a larger audience than ever, showcasing our beautiful coastline worldwide," he added.

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