Northern Ireland saw 3000 officially registered Vespas turn up for the Vespa World Days, marking the world’s largest Vespa enthusiast events 2018 running, with 37 nations represented, including some from Australia.
Thousands rode over from throughout the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland on the spur of the moment, plus from around the world and including all of Europe, a testament to the strong appeal of the Vespa legend, which continues to this day.
A spectacular parade of Vespas made its way along the splendid Causeway Coast, amid green fields and the North Sea, welcomed by the applause of the local population as it headed for Belfast, a trendy destination and Lonely Planet’s number 1 location of the Top 10 places to visit.
Of the many Vespas on parade the award for the oldest and most precious vehicle went to a splendid and very efficient 1951 Vespa Douglas, in a perfect state of conservation and still with the original period spare tyre.
As is traditional, the final act of the Vespa World Days was to announce the winners of the Vespa Trophy, a sought after tourist trophy created thanks to a partnership with Michelin in which Vespa Club members demonstrate all of their stops on the way to Belfast thanks to photos and special stamps on their Travel Books.
Victory went to Italy, thanks to Vespa Club Verona, which came in ahead of Vespa Club Morciano di Romagna, while third place went to Belgium’s Vespa Club Oostende.
Special recognition also went to the Presidents of Vespa Club Cyprus and Vespa Club Oostende, while for the first time the award for Solo Vespa Driver went to a woman, a member of Vespa Club Prague who travelled over 6,000 km alone to reach Belfast.
The next edition is set for 2019 and will be held in Hungary.
Today, there are 53 National Vespa Clubs associated with the Vespa World Club and hundreds of registered local Vespa Clubs, for a total of more than 120,000 members worldwide.
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