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Piggy in the middle of three annual doses of Manx motorcycle racing on public roads, the Southern 100 is growing fast, according to latest data from the Isle of Man Steam packet ferry company.

Held on 10-13 July this year around the 4.25-mile Billown circuit with a starting grid on the outskirts of Castletown, the Southern 100 attracted a stellar entry of leading TT contenders and hardcore Irish road-racing veterans as usual. This year, Michael Dunlop and Dean Harrison shared 1000cc Superbike victor’s laurels.

Ferry travel statistics reported a 12.5% increase in visitors to the 2017 event on motorcycles from UK ports, totalling just under 1000 bikes. Overall passenger numbers also rose to more than 7700 individuals. Cars, vans and trailers were 4.5% up.

Considering its rapid growth, the Southern 100 is barely commercialised compared with the much bigger TT and Classic TT/MGP festivals. But, given it now receives broadcast coverage on ITV3, promotional opportunities are obvious.