Ryanair to carry over 22,000 racing fans for Cheltenham Festival

Ryanair, Irish budget airline and the official carrier of the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival, has announced that it will carry over 22,000 racing fans to and from the 2017 Cheltenham Festival due next month.

Cheltenham is a regency spa town and borough located on the edge of the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire, England. Home of the flagship race of British steeplechase horse racing, the Gold Cup is the main event of the Cheltenham Festival, held every March.

Ryanair has scheduled 38 extra flights and over 120 flights in total to and from Birmingham, Bristol and East Midlands for Cheltenham week, set to start on Tuesday, March 14. The highlights include the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase on Thursday, March 16, and the Cheltenham Gold Cup which takes place on St Patrick’s Day, March 17.

Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said: ‘We’re under starter’s orders for the 2017 Cheltenham Festival with just four weeks to go and racing fans are booking Ryanair flights in record numbers once more. We’ll carry over 22,000 punters to and from Cheltenham, all on the lowest fares, and we’ve scheduled over 120 flights to and from Birmingham, Bristol and East Midlands, including 38 extras.

All eyes will be on the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase, which takes place on Thursday, 16th March and as the official airline of the Cheltenham Festival, we’ll be hoping for even more Irish winners this time around. Racing fans can snap up the last seats to Cheltenham on the Ryanair.com website.’

Ryanair added that it is giving away race day tickets on its social media pages – Facebook and Twitter – in the build-up to the festival, and racing fans can book their Cheltenham seats on Ryanair.com.

Hill climbs and hair-pins… Sardinia’s Scala Piccada

 In the countryside behind the Sardinian seaport of Alghero, October’s annual automotive hill-climb time-trial, the Scala Piccada, blows the leaves from the trees before autumn gets a chance.

First held in 1955, its popularity has surged throughout the years alongside the dramatic evolution of the cars that now compete. Around eighty drivers wrestle their macho machines through vertiginous terrain in everything from super tweaked minis to out and out road racers.

A great many Alfa Romeos appear, and clearly feel at home. Pristine, elderly hot-hatches show their class, and venerable rally-bred Lancias are driven as they were truly meant to be.

The three-mile time-trial starts south-west of the town along a straight flat section that allows the drivers to gun their engines, but not for long. The route quickly ascends and transforms into dauntingly steep, tarmac fettuccini.

Here, the competitor’s readiness to sacrifice gears, discs and their own safety is evident for all to see. After only three minutes of constant short-shifting and last-moment braking, they’re already a quarter of a mile above sea level.

With the rapid climb comes an eye-catching, ever-changing Mediterranean vista, but distraction spells destruction. After this initial ascent, the cars climb still higher along the steep hillside with a stunning panorama opening across the ocean far below. The chequered flag waves them over a crowded finish-line as ecstatic spectators roar their approval.

More information about the Scala Piccada event can be found at http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cronoscalata_Alghero-Scala_Piccada.

Cottages to Castles can provide luxury Sardinia villas for anyone wanting to experience this high octane jamboree. Properties can be viewed online at http://www.cottagestocastles.com/properties.aspx?query=s&area=10.