The Irish Mini Owners Club had won the bid to host the event in 2017 which would mark 20 years since the IMM was first held in Ireland at Bandon, Co. Cork.
The venue for 2017 was Westport House, Co. Mayo, this was a fairly late change of venue due to the planned site in Piltown being sold forcing the hosts to seek an alternative venue. Although the new site would mean a much longer drive for participants Westport proved to be an excellent choice of venue.
Dawn and Nick along with IMM friends Stephen, Jackie and Robert attended making a 2 week break of the event had booked a cottage in Connemara the week running up to the IMM weekend took in road runs up to Belfast to see the Titanic exhibition and down to Bunratty Castle near Limerick.
Thursday saw the five minis reloaded for the convoy up to Westport, tents were pitched in front of the main house before a run into town for supplies, the rest of the day and evening was spent checking out the site and a Guinness or 2 at the bar.
Friday morning saw minis head off on a treasure hunt in the local area, this meant an early start and after a long evening in the bar the night before and having already done a lot of driving the previous week we decided to sit this one out and spend the day around the trade village before the opening ceremony and party that went on well in to the early hours of the morning and resulted in sections of the hall floor having to be rebuilt as it had collapsed under the weight of the crowd.
On Saturday rocker cover racing got underway and there was also a reunion at the house for those of us who had been in Bandon back in ’97, a great display of items about the event back then was put on and the videos brought back memories of what had been one of the great IMMs. The evening was spent off site with a visit to local pubs where we were joined by Stephen, Jackie and Roberts German friends.
Sunday was spent on site with tickets being booked for next year’s event in Portugal and a go on the swan boats on the river in front of the Westport house. The evening saw the closing ceremony with Paddy Hopkirk getting the evening underway before the traditional handover of the key to the Portuguese ready for next year.