A sad postscript
Sadly, the event was marred by two fatal accidents and four serious injuries, although, at the time of going to press, it was unclear if the second person that died had any involvement in the rally itself. The first fatal accident happened at 7.20pm on Saturday night, on the stretch of the EN125 that links the airport to the stadium. A 25-year-old man from Pombal apparently lost control of the vehicle and ran into the back of a car that was transporting a 25-year-old man and a 15-year-old girl. Neither occupants of the car sustained serious injuries.
The motorbike rider was assisted on the scene by doctors and then taken to Faro District Hospital, where he later died. Only an hour later, another motorcyclist, 37-year-old José Luís Moreira da Costa, a resident of Santo Tirso, hit an obstacle while riding on his BMW. Speaking to The Resident, GNR Captain Manuel Jorge explained: “The concentration of bikers between July 15 and 18 was, on the whole, a success. We guaranteed a good rally but, just as important, we guaranteed public safety in the area where the rally was held. The first person that died was attempting a dangerous manoeuvre. We don’t think that the second person, who died in Albufeira, was really part of the event.”
Police accused of excess zeal again
During the four days of the event, the GNR fined 96 motorcyclists for contraventions, many of them for driving without a helmet or with an unsuitable helmet or for other irregularities. During the period of the event, six people were found guilty of driving while over the legal blood alcohol level of 1.2 g/l. But, in total, fewer people were fined than last year, something that Captain Jorge described as an indication of “acceptance of civilised norms on the part of the vast majority of bikers”.