THE FRIENDLY RACES
Prior to the 1954 Manx Grand Prix success of Derek Ennett, George Costain and Sid Mizen, the Southern Motorcycle Club held their race meetings at Andreas Airfield.
As a result of double win at the Manx, the Southern club decided there should be a race in the south of the Island and to hold a meeting on what was to become known as the Billown circuit.
In the early 1950s, the Isle of Man Government decided to build a by-pass to avoid the town centre of Castletown, and whilst traffic was minimal compared to today’s motorised Island, the by-pass provided an integral part of the new course.
The first meetings to set up the organisation were held in the Station Hotel, now the Viking, in Castletown, which is where the Ennett family lived. This band of gentlemen with foresight also used to meet on a Sunday morning in the Control Tower at Ronaldsway Airport, with Theo Watterson. In between landing planes, the time was taken up planning the Southern ‘100’!
Amongst the first committee were, George Costain and Joe Mylchreest, who officially measured the circuit, using the official ‘chain’ measure (22 yards) and walked around the course measuring down the centre line of the road. The total official distances was, and still is 4.25-miles.
Southern 100 Racing took over the organisation of the Southern 100 Races in 1981, the Southern Motor Cycle (IOM) Club having taken to decision to separate their two sections, road racing and off-road. However it was the same team at the helm and the races, and the event has grown in stature over the forty years of the present organisers to the reputation the event is held in today.
Since the first race on Thursday 14th July 1955, the 350cc won by Derek Ennett a total of 604 races have been run over the Billown Course, including 145 Sidecar races, with 108,749 racing laps completed, a racing distance of 461,911.520 miles at the end of the 2022 meeting.p>
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Southern 100 Road Races
2024: 8th, 9th, 10th & 11th July
2025: 7th, 8th, 9th & 10th July
2026: 13th, 14th, 15th & 16th July
2027: 12th, 13th, 14th & 15th July
2028: 10th, 11th, 12th & 13th July
2029: 9th, 10th, 11th & 12th July
2030: 8th, 9th, 10th & 11th July
SOUTHERN 100 2023
10TH, 11TH, 12TH & 13TH JULY 2023
PHOTOGRAPHS BY CJS PHOTOGRAPHY (CALLUM STALEY)