Holding a torch for Olympics

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MOTORCYCLE, tram and boat will be used to transport the official Olympic flame around the island when it makes its much heralded visit next weekend – and the government has issued a spectator guide.

The official start of the Manx leg of its tour around the British Isles is at the NSC, Douglas, on Saturday where it will complete one lap of the running track before heading off for the Quarter Bridge to Braddan section.

This will celebrate the island’s motorsport heritage by travelling along the TT course with torch bearer Enduro star David Knight who will be a passenger on a motorcycle ridden by TT winner Richard Milky Quayle. The torch will arrive in Braddan at about 10.25am.

RNLI founder Sir William Hillary was an Isle of Man resident and to commemorate this, a crew member from each of the island’s lifeboats will be on board the Douglas Lifeboat, the Sir William Hillary, while the torchbearer carries the torch from Battery Pier to Circus Beach. This is expected to be at about 11.20am.

The island’s vintage transport systems will play a role with the torch being carried by both horse tram and electric tram and the success of cyclists such as Mark Cavendish and Peter Kennaugh will be reflected in a bicycle section along Douglas promenades.

Arriving in Laxey for 2.20pm, the torch will briefly visit the Laxey Wheel before heading back down to Onchan for 2.40pm, Ballasalla for 3,15pm and finally Castletown for 3.40pm.

Celebrations

Celebrations hosted by Lloyds TSB will take place in Castletown square to mark the occasion and welcome the torch relay as it passes through the square and the Speaker’s Gardens. There will be various sport themed activities as well as entertainment, sporting demonstrations and music. There will also be refreshments available and guests will have a chance to have their photographs taken with the torch. The celebrations are open to the public and take place from 2pm to 4.30pm.

Tim Crookall MHK, Minister for Community, Culture and Leisure said: ‘The Isle of Man is extremely privileged to host the Torch Relay for a whole day on June 2.

‘The route and activities have been planned to ensure that the island takes full advantage of its moment to shine.

‘The island’s proud sporting, cultural and maritime heritage is represented in what I am sure will be a highlight of the entire Torch Relay. Coinciding with the first race of TT2012, it will be a busy and memorable day for the Isle of Man.’

Between locations, the relay will be in convoy, transporting the torch to the next leg. Spectators can watch the convoy, but there will not be a view of the torch.

As parking will be limited, spectators are being encouraged to arrive before roads close at 10am and park at the Bowl stadium so they can use the bus or to walk to the NSC. With just one week to go the Department of Community, Culture and Leisure is encouraging everyone to line the streets and show their support for the event and the local torch bearers taking part.

They have also appealed to the public not to obstruct the course.

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