Shortage of marshals causes curtailment
ORGANISERS were agonisingly just 30 short of the minimum 500 marshals required to man a full practice session on the opening evening of the 2012 Manx Grand Prix on Saturday.
TT Marshals Association chairman Terry Holmes said it emphasised the need for individuals to contact their respective sector marshals if they are unable to attend, for whatever reason, any particular practice or race period.
‘We could have made a direct appeal at say 4 o’clock if we’d known we were so close to achieving the required number of bodies to man the course.
‘To give an example, 87 marshals have currently signed on for sector eight - the Ramsey stretch between Kerrowmoar and the Hairpin. But just 61 turned up on the night, so more than 20 per cent were missing.’
Ultimately, clerk of the course Phil Taubman could only permit the speed-controlled single lap for newcomers to go ahead under the supervision of travelling marshals and experienced riders.
Conditions were near perfect with only a couple of damp/wet patches on the Laurel Bank to Glen Helen stretch and Handley’s Corner to worry about.
The situation was all the more exasperating after all the work that had been carried out in the preceding 24 hours by race officials and Department of Infrastructure employees to clear stretches of the course affected by heavy rain and flooding on Friday.
‘We can’t legislate for insufficient marshals turning up on the night,’ added Terry Holmes. ‘If we’d known we were so close I’m sure that a late appeal would have gained the minimum necessary to run the session, but it was out of our hands I’m afraid. It was simply too late by the time we found out.’
After a 50-minute delay, around 50 riders got their first taste of the Mountain Course on the speed-controlled lap, under the expert guidance of ex and current TT and MGP competitors. Dick Cassidy, in his last year of service after over 30 years as a travelling marshal, was given the honour of leading the riders away while other experienced competitors assisting included Dave Madsen-Mygdal, Alan Jackson, Rab Davie, Dave Moffitt, Chris McGahan and John Barton. This evening’s (Monday) session is scheduled to get underway at 6.20 with the Senior, Junior and Supertwin machines first away followed at 7.05pm by Classics, Lightweight and Newcomers.
There is a record number of overseas newcomers taking part this year. We caught up with quite a number of them after their first taste of the course on closed roads after the completion of Saturday’s single lap. See page 57.
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Weather for Isle of Man
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
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