SLEEPING covered in the tent’s groundsheet to keep off the drips or in full leathers and helmet to keep out the cold are just some of the experiences faced by TT visitors camping during the races.
While campers staying for the two-week period enjoyed a dry and sunny start to their visit, since then they have faced periods of heavy downfall.
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Ricky Rae and Jamie Stott, of Macclesfield, were drying their socks on top of their barbecue in an attempt to dry them out on Wednesday.
All of their belongings got soaked when their tent, at Douglas Rugby Club’s grounds at Port-e-Chee, leaked over the weekend.
Jamie, aged 21, who is visiting the island for his first TT, said: ‘We woke up at 5am soaking wet. We went into Douglas at 7.30am trying to find a shop that was open to sell us a tent.’
When asked if he had been put off camping at next year’s event, he said: ‘No, it’s one of its perks, camping. We’re not going to get down just because of a leaking tent.’
Both Jamie and Ricky, aged 32, agreed they had learned a valuable lesson about buying a tent on eBay.
Ricky said he didn’t mind if his food tasted of socks, saying: ‘My food tastes like socks anyway!’
Fellow camper Laurence Hardy, 26, of Stornoway, managed to forget his tent and once he had bought another one, struggled to put it up in the rain without getting the inside wet.
His friend Andrew Turner, aged 23, of Glasgow, has stayed dry in his tent but one night, was so cold that he pulled on his full leathers and his helmet to keep him warm.
‘I was nearly crying on Monday because I was that cold,’ he said.
Yesterday he was down to his last pair of dry shoes and his jacket was still damp from the day before.
‘I keep saying I will go up to the Grandstand to buy some waterproofs but keep ending up in the pub,’ he said.
A group of friends from Stockport arrived at the campsite on Tuesday.
Jon Henshaw, aged 46, said they were camping to keep the costs of the trip down.
‘It’s been a bit grim really with the weather,’ he said.
‘We anticipated sun tan cream but we failed miserably with that one.’
Paul Jarvis said he covered himself with the tent’s groundsheet because their tent was leaking, and dripping on to his face.
His tent partner Tim Davies, aged 29, went to sleep with his feet in plastic bags to try and keep himself dry.
TT marshals Brian Davenport and Carol Sims, of Derby, have brought their son Adam, aged nine, to the races for the last five years.
Brian said: ‘You have to be organised camping. When it’s wet, you have to be even more organised.’
His advice for wet weather was: ‘Stay inside your tent – and don’t forget your wellies!’
Brian said the tent was ‘getting a bit long in the tooth’. ‘I might put it ceremoniously in the tip here next year so it can be laid to rest here.’
Steve Keith, aged 65, of Hereford, was camping at Port-e-Chee as part of a group of five.
When asked about the rain, he said: ‘Just relax a bit and chill out.
‘There’s no point moaning about it because it’s the same every year.’