Saturday, 25 August 2012

ManxGP 2012 - Day 8 - Sombre Mood

This morning I heard the sad news that Steve Osborne lost his life in last night's incident during practice. I didn't know Steve personally, but parked next to him and his son in the day-paddock on most days at last year's Manx and had a bit of paddock banter with them. Steve's son was a newcomer last year and Steve was giving the ManxGP a go for the first time this year.

The incident happened about half a mile down the course from the house where I'm staying. Last night's session was red-flagged then cancelled and when I got back to the house I saw the police taking a statement from the marshals at the post near the house - I feared the worse. I saw the statement on the MMCC website this morning. Condolences to Steve's family and friends - having raced since he was 16, Steve died while doing something he loved.

I was woken by the neighbor's two stroke ring-a-ding-ding. This morning was the start of the Manx 2 Day Trial

So, I was in a sombre mood this morning... the pouring rain didn't help. I went about getting both bikes prepped and making a few chages to Betty. At four, the rain stopped and the sun came out - the roads started drying nicely. Might be chance for a lap during scheduled practice after the Newcomers Race at 17h30. I havn't done a dry lap on the little bike yet so slung her on the trailer and loaded up.

This is why the bikes are prepped so meticulously - things just break and fall off around here

I got the the day-paddock to find it water logged and filled with cars - after the company that manages the paddock gave us instructions that the day paddock was for competitor vehicles only. I found out it was them that sent these 'officials' to park there. Nice. I let them know what I thought of it.

Pissin' doon

Bike up through skrootineering and haul the equipment (toolbox, fuel, tyre warmers, paddock stands...) up to Parc Firme. Then the Newcomers race is delayed. By the time it gets underway at 18h30, its announced that the practice scheduled for after is cancelled. Bollocks!

Day Paddock was mostly a mess... and where it wasn't a mess... there were cars parked

Haul all my shit down the hill again. Get the bike down and load it all up. Back up to the grandstand to watch the rest of the Newcomers race. Despite the sunshine, I quickly got cold sitting on the grandstand in the wind so popped in for a cup of tea in the 38th Milestone - it's a cosy little clubhouse type portacabin just behind the grandstand for Manx and TT riders. There I met the ex-Deputy Clerk of the Course and we shared some stories about Steve Osborne and some of my previous Manx campaigns as we sipped tea from porcelain cups. Frightfully proper I say! What, what?

All sorts of fabulous stuff at the Manx...

... this one with it's own wee birdie!

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