The world-famous Isle of Man TT races are now well under way and thousands of race fans have descended on the island to watch their favourite riders take on the 37.73-mile Mountain Course.
iomtoday visited the Grandstand to talk to motorcycle fans from all over the world about their experience so far, why they come to the TT and what they are looking forward to.
SAMANTHA DOYLE, 43, LEICESTER:
‘It’s my first time here and it’s been a life long dream to come to the TT. I go to the Moto GPs around the world and I wanted to try the TT. It’s been fantastic so far, I’m absolutely loving it.
‘I watched from Bray Hill the other day and we went to the Joey Dunlop exhibition at the Motor Museum, then watched the racing from Ramsey at two or three different stops so it was great being up close with all the bikes.
‘There’s still loads more we’d like to do but we just don’t have the time unfortunately. We’re going to spend some time mooching round the pits and soaking up the atmosphere and making the most of it. The TT is such an experience, it’s world-famous and to be that close to the bikes is fantastic.
‘It’s known all over the world and it’s just an experience unlike any other. There’s so many different people and everybody just loves it. I’d definitely like to come back.’
AMANDA COATES, 39, FROM BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA, AND FIONA GODKIN, 45, FROM PEMBROKESHIRE IN WALES:
Amanda said: ‘It’s our third time at the TT. We like the atmosphere, my husband does photography here and we come all the way from Australia.
‘We’ve just been walking round the grandstand, that’s the first thing we did when we got here and we’re just staying with friends. We’ll be going all round the track and watching the bikes.’
Fiona said: ‘This is our third consecutive year here.
‘We enjoy everything, the atmosphere, the bikes, the places round the island – it’s just fantastic.
‘I’m looking forward to seeing the bikes on the track. My partner is into his bikes and we both love it.’
MERRICK PLATER, 57, AND KEVAN HENNELLY, 56, FROM SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA:
Kevan said: ‘It’s our third time at TT, we arrived at 10am and had out first beer at 11am. We like the racing and everything else that goes with it. We’re going to miss next year but we’ll be back in 2018.’
Merrick said:‘ I like the island and the atmosphere, I also like the history of the place too, the castles and stuff. There’s still so much to see, there’s so many parts of the track to go around and we’re going to 120 pubs in the island as well so we’ve got to get to them all!
‘I’m a big McGuinness fan and I also like Ian Hutchinson, Lee Johnston and Conor Cummins.’
PHIL BOLTON, 32, BUCKINGHAMSHIRE:
‘It’s my first time at TT and I’ve come for the racing and the motorbikes. I’d also like to see what the Isle of Man’s like, have a few beers with my mates and see the bikes go past my head at 200mph.
‘I’m a biker but I don’t have my bike with me, it was quite costly. I like it so far. I’ve seen four TT winners just in the paddock and everybody’s friendly. We’re staying at Quarter Bridge campsite and its been good because it’s sunny
‘I don’t really know where I’m going so I think transport could possibly be better advertised.’
SIMON MANNING, 42, AND DEBS WARD, 41, FROM BRADFORD:
Simon said: ‘It’s our fourth year here, we missed it last year unfortunately. We like the whole experience, the riding, the people – it’s just brilliant. We’re fans of it all in general really.
‘I’m a Michael Dunlop fan myself and I like John McGuinness. Dean Harrison is also a local lad to us so we’d like to see him do well, and Ian Hutchinson comes from the village we come from in Bingley so we’d like to see him do well too.’
Debs said: ‘The TT is unique in itself. There’s a couple of nice places we’d like to eat in and we’d like to visit a little beach while we’re here as well.’
JOHN CRAIG, 55, AND TRACEY-ANN CRAIG, 51, FROM CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA:
Craig said: ‘It’s our second time here and I’ve never seen, for a very long time, so many people having such a good time in one place. There’s nothing I’ve seen that compares to it.
‘Last time we came we went to Castletown and Ramsey and went on the train and the tram, so we will do that if we can but it’s mainly about the racing for us.’
Tracey-Ann said: ‘We like everything, it’s just absolutely fabulous.
‘I love the island and I think it’s the most magic course, it’s just mind blowing!
‘We’re supporting Hudson Kennaugh and AJ Venter who are racing and we chatting to AJ so we’re going to go round the track with him.
‘We’ve got a friend in the island who we’re staying with at the moment and it’s fabulous to catch up with them.
‘We’re also looking forward to finding a Manx cat this time!’