Down Under couple gear up for first ever NW200 experience04/12/2012
Australian bike fanatic Rod Hill and his wife Peta are the first ‘global’ visitors to snap up Vauxhall International North West 200 hospitality packages and will be making their debut trip to the North Coast of Ireland to experience NW200 Race Festival Week as well as checking out the region’s top tourist attractions.
The couple, who live in Glenhaven, near Sydney, are immersed in the world of bikes as Rod’s day job is training manager for Honda Rider Training in New South Wales, where he and the team put more than 8000 motorcycle students through their paces every year.
The Hill’s had heard fabulous reports of the Vauxhall International North West 200 and after viewing the 2012 DVD they were hooked and decided to travel to the hallowed NW200 turf and see all the action live and in person. The biking pair will arrive in Dublin on 6th May and plan to take in some of the Fair City’s sights before heading up to Portrush. Whilst Peta had visited Ireland many years ago it will be Rod’s first trip to the emerald isle and once their Ireland odyssey has been completed the couple will head over to the Isle of Man to take in the famed TT.
“You could say my life revolves around motorbikes,” explained Rod Hill. “I’m a passionate restorer of Honda CB750 fours and currently the New South Wales President of the Australian Honda CB750/4 Owners’ Club. I have over 15 motorcycle instructors who work for me and a 40 acre property with a dedicated two kilometre road circuit and several off road training zones. We train riders of every make and size of bike from 50cc scooters to ATVs (quad bikes) as well as organising group courses for the biggest Harley Davidsons. We also put together an annual Scooter Expo and offer test rides on board many different bike brands. In fact this year we clocked up over 1500 test rides over two days! We’re also sponsors of the annual Barry Sheene Festival of Speed – so biking is definitely in the blood!”
The Hills are hugely excited about their biker trip and described what they’ve seen of the NW200 on DVD as ‘out of this world.’ Rod commented, “I was hugely impressed by all the action on the DVD and think the NW200 takes place in a fabulous setting. We just simply had to make the trip part of our itinerary. We’re fascinated by the whole Northern Irish racing scene and we’re really looking forward to meeting people and just soaking in the whole atmosphere. Bring it on!”
As an Aussie Rod hopes to see Melbourne rider and NW200 regular Cameron Donald (who incidently is related to one of Rod’s instructors) on the grid, but says with his Honda background he’ll definitely be closely watching all the Honda riders – especially Honda TT Legends star John McGuinness!
Vauxhall NW200 event director Mervyn Whyte MBE said, “As organisers we’re been working hard with both sponsors Vauxhall, Coleraine Borough Council, Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Tourism Ireland to really put the NW200 on the global sporting map. Recent visits to Macau GP and high profile show Motorcycle Live in Birmingham’s NEC coupled with BBC Sport NI’s coverage online and Duke’s worldwide distribution of our official DVD has increased international awareness of the North West 200.”
To check out event updates log onto www.vauxhallnorthwest200.co.uk. The Vauxhall International 2013 North West 200 Race Week Festival takes place from Sunday 12th – Saturday 18th May 2013.
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