LOCAL motorcycling star Baylon McCaughey has retired from the sport after twenty five years in the fast lane.
McCaughey has been involved in the sport since 1977 but it was only in 1987 that he took up tarmac racing at a meeting at Mondello Park.
Twenty five years on, McCaughey completed a lap of honour to celebrate twenty five years on the local motorcycling racing scene.
A late starter in racing, Baylon, began racing in the popular 350 LC class, as he gained experience, he began to score numerous wins. In 1997, he became Irish Enkalon Clubmans 400 short circuit Champion on the ex Fran Morrisson Kawasaki.
Baylon has competed in the six hour endurance races on the Mainland with top three finishes (400 class), as well as scoring top three in the 1010 clubmans championships. He also competed in the Irish CCM Supermoto challenge, finishing second at his first attempt!.
He has been successful in other aspects of the two wheel sport, including, minimoto racing, Grass Track racing, Hillclimbs and Drag Racing!.
Last year, he scored his first ever road race win, when he came out tops in the 400 Support B race, at his local race, the Cookstown 100, in doing so, he without doubt received the biggest cheer of the day!
Well known for his race reports and Photography in local newspapers and motor cycle magazines, Baylon was soon Christened “Irelands Fastest Photographer!”.
He also runs his own website, which has proven very popular with the race enthusiasts; www.irishracephotography.com.
The 53 year old is often seen helping out with newcomers to the sport, and is without doubt, one of the unsung heroes of the sport. He is responsible for bringing on, one of our top road races into the sport, John Burrows!
Despite not being in the same league as the likes of Irelands top racers, such as Ryan Farquhar , Michael Dunlop, Michael Laverty etc. Baylon has many achievements to his name, Including the fact that he is the only rider to have taken part in both the Honda 50th and Suzukis 50th Anniversary lap at the TT races in the IOM!
However, it is probably his own personal achievement, within the sport that does him most proud, he has raced competitively on tarmac since 1987, and has only three spills to his name, and neither of these were his fault!
Back in 1987, on his opening lap of practice, his front mudguard somehow caused the front wheel to lock up, and he was spat over the handlebars!
In 1980, he was lying second to Stephen Ferguson in the 400 race at Aghadowey at the Celtic Match races, when on the penultimate lap, he was t-boned by a fellow competitor.
In 1997, he had a slow speed crash during practice, when oil found its way on to the rear tyre!
In his own words, “I have proved, that you can race hard, and be safe at the same time!”
After his last race on Sunday at Mondello Park , where he finished 4th, and ahead of former TT competitor, Dave Coughlan, Baylon was given the Honour of his own “Lap of Honour,” around the circuit where he started his racing career 25 years ago!
It was quite an emotional one at that, where everyone shared in his moment of glory.
Baylon was then presented with a magnificent piece of Mullingar Crystal, from www.rideireland.ie,
He may not have reached the dizzy heights of Farquhar, Laverty, Rea, Burrows but he certainly equals them in popularity amongst his many fans.