Soldiers drafted in to help marshal Manx Grand Prix

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British soldiers have been drafted in to help marshal at the Manx Grand Prix.

It had been hoped that up to 50 soldiers would be able to help out but numbers had to be reduced following postings elsewhere and in the event, 15 arrived in the island on the Manannan sailing on Tuesday afternoon.

They were posted at marshalling points around the TT course.

Their visit was the result of contacts between travelling marshal Jim Hunter and the British Army Motorsports Foundation.

St Ninian’s High School teacher Jim of the Mike Hailwood Foundation organises newcomer weekends and among the prospective riders at February’s event were members of the British Army Road Racing Team, Sgt Rob Chisholm of 4 Medical Regiment and Jason Markham. Both are racing in the MGP this week.

Jim said he discussed the concerns over recruiting sufficient marshals and the appeal for volunteers went out on the Army intranet. The soldiers’ ferry fares were paid for by the Manx Motor Cycle Club and free accommodation has been provided by the Army Cadets.

Terry Holmes, chairman of the TT Marshals Association, said: ‘It’s a boost for us. They have been really looking forward to it.’

Some 520 marshals are needed before any practice or racing can start. But numbers are up this year with some 1,400 on the list for the MGP.

The soldiers were given training, including on the use of the flags, before posted to the marshalling points.

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