Harvey Garton gave a typically honest opinion of where Manx Motor Cycle Club currently stands in his address to members at Friday evening’s AGM.
Commencing his sixth year in the chair, six years short of the Manx Grand Prix’s centenary in 2023, he said that in organisation terms 2016 was the hardest, most stressful year that he has experienced.
’Whilst I generally do not like to single out individuals, I have to particularly thank MMCC secretary Caroline [Etherington] and treasurer Ned [Bowers] for their massive efforts to reach a situation where we could run such a successful Manx Grand Prix.
’I want to also record the club’s thanks to IMGold for being our headline sponsor over the last three years. Unfortunately, that has now come to an end.
’Thanks also to IMGold for sponsoring the Newcomers’ race and Full Factory Winnerswear who sponsored the Senior race.
’The thanks continue as we must never forget the terrific support, given over many years, by the Manx Grand Prix Supporters Club and Mylchreest Motors.’
The balance sheet confirmed that MGP Supporters Club raised an astonishing sum of £43,496, which is all payable to the Department of Economic Development as a donation towards the cost of the rescue helicopters for the Festival of Motorcycling.
Harvey made special mention of the compulsory training weekend for all newcomers, designed to improve safety at the Manx, although he admitted that this did cause significant additional expense for some travelling from the likes of Australia and USA.
Another two such weekends are in place for 2017, thanks again to financial support from the Mike Hailwood Foundation.
He continued: ’Ultimately everybody’s efforts saw the club running the Classic TT - not without its controversy - and a very successful MGP, in which the quality and excitement proved, yet again, that the most exciting races are not necessarily the fastest.
’Here, I must refer to the TT Marshals Association which is to be thanked for the efforts which greatly assist the smooth running of the MGP and Classic TT.’
The chairman ended his address with a slight criticism of the Department of Economic Development.
’The club continues its dialogue with the Department, however we are concerned that, at this time, we only have a contract [to run the races] for 2017.
’This, of course, makes it very difficult to have any meaningful conversation with potential sponsors.
’Once the dust has settled from the Vision Nine scenario, we are hopeful that we will be able to agree a long-term future with the Department.’
After thanking all the various individuals, departments and bodies associated with the two race meetings, Harvey concluded by stressing that the MMCC committee is part of a huge volunteer base which provides its services without financial reward and, without which, not only the MGP, but also the TT and Classic TT could not be run.