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Andy's reports from race meetings

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Re: Andy's reports from race meetings

Post by kals » 1 year ago

Last post from previous page:

Hoping you have a speedy recovery Andy

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Post by Everso Biggyballies » 1 year ago

Get well soon Andy. :thumbsup:

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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

Get well soon Andy!
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Post by Andy » 1 year ago

Thanks guys. Looks like my boss is suspicous that I simulate, too.
Really hope it turns out ok, as it is all but simulating.

:bye:
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Post by Andy » 1 year ago

Since I`m back from the TT I`ve started a little series, called 'My first TT'. You've probably read the introduction called 'Part 1' in the Nostalgia sub-forum at viewtopic.php?p=315283#p315283 . Basically, it is quite similar to my Frohburg report above and I`m not reposting it here but if you haven't read it already, just do it. The following texts will make a bit more sense ;)


My first Isle of Man TT – Part 2

The departure from Hanover airport was scheduled for May, 26th. I would arrive an hour prior to the time my travel group, Brian Moore and André Rust, had set because my chauffeur (thanks dad) had something on later. The flight to Manchester was scheduled for 21.35 so I spent the hour waiting in glazing sunshine outside.

The flights with Flybe were real cheap but would include an 8h stop at Manchester airport. We arrived at terminal 3 in Manchester but found next to no shops open and no real possibility to camp on the seats somewhere, so we decided on a short walk over into terminal 1 and eventually would find some seats next to a 24h shop. During the flight from Hanover Brian asked me about my expectations and I`d answer that I had none. That worked always best for me because the disappointment if something fails is kept really low that way. But in reality it should have been, and I`m quoting the title of Hugh Andersons autobiography here now, "Being there".

Having arrived at Ronaldsway airport, Brian's good mate Stuart Baker would pick us up and give us a lift into Douglas, where I was to be picked up by my landlord Phil Hancock. After a bit of chat Phil would drive me to his flat where I got the keys and a few instructions in the kitchen. Phil was still supposed to be at work, so he left me alone and I decided on a nap as I was somewhat knackered after the 3h on the airport benches.

Following the nap, I made me a cup of coffee and went downstair for a smoke. Right there on the stairs I found my favourite place in the island. Down broadway towards the sea and the backside of the Villa Marina, I`d often see bikers arriving and departing and their machines. In all honesty, I could have sat there all day and just have watched the different bikes up and down Broadway. After I had finished with coffee and smokes I prepared for my first walk up to the paddock. I took the only route I knew at this point, which was walking up to St. Ninians and then turning right towards the grandstand. On my walk, I found what would have become my first spot to watch but weather prevented the first practice. I had a nice cup of tea at St. Andrews right behind St. Ninians that evening, though.

Behind the grandstand there was rather few action that afternoon and I knew that my long time twitter & facebook mates Tanya Atkinson & Phil Bancroft would be somewhere around there, too, so I rang Phil up and we met at the Hailwood Centre for the very first time in real life. Really lovely lads and the start to many firsts over there. We spent the afternoon, having some good fun together.

As I stated before, the first practice Saturday evening was cancelled, so I decided on a walk along the course as far as I could remember from the various videos and pictures I previously had seen. I started at St. Andrews, below the St. Ninians footbridge, down Bray Hill, over Ago's Leap and towards Quarterbridge. I was almost 2/3rd of the way towards Braddan when I got a message to join Brian, André and Stu at the Douglas Golf Club. A quick look at Googlemaps and I found myself in the opposite direction but only about 10 minutes away either. When I arrived at the Golf Club, the rather puzzled looking barkeeper Mike Vipond and the Ladies team captain Lindsey Tickell wondered about how that stranger could possibly become lost right there. I explained, that I was to meet my mates here and they kindly lead me upstairs. I`d meet Kevin Moore, Mark Curphey and his dad Brian here the first time since Frohburg. This evening went quite funny. At one point I had to handle three whiskeys because the boys were rather quick with their beer but I slowly sipping my whiskey. Then I went for a smoke and the loo. When I returned to the bar almost all of the gang was gone. Only Brian and Stu would still be there. They advised me to go downstair quickly because the others had ordered a taxi. When I finally was downstair I only could wave bye bye to the taxi. I went back up again and Brian told me I could go with him. I only said good bye to Mike but when I turned around, Brian and Stu were gone too. I ran downstair as fast as I could but only could wave bye bye to them, too. With both taxis gone, I had not much of a choice but walking back again.

Back to Quarterbridge, up to Ago's Leap and the bottom of Bray Hill. Here I split from the way I used earlier and went straight on further till I eventually would turn left and end up behind the St. Ninians school. Until here it was all uphill and my shirt wet from sweating. From there it was only downhill and after another 10 minutes I would arrive at Phil's flat. But right here a bad surprise caught my attention. My mobile provider sent an SMS telling me that I`d have reached the 59.90€ limit and that they locked my card for further data service. Before I signed this very contract, I asked three times whether I`d have free data in the UK and the Isle of Man. Three times the answer was 'yes'. To say I was pissed about it, is some understatement.

I woke up early and did what would become my morning ritual. Coffee & a smoke on the stairs downstair, and that call with my provider. When I had returned, Phil was already up and preparing a full English breakfast for us. While I enjoyed Phil's great cooking abilities, he advised me to get a Manx phone card in town. This Sunday there was not much on so I walked into town, got a manx phone card, met again with Phil & Tanya at the Manx Legion Pub and was introduced to another twitter mate, Dave Naylor.
From there we'd go to Jaks for the Superbike race from Donington. Afterwards I went back up to the paddock again and had my first of many paddock walks during this two weeks. From there it was off to the first of Mark Curphey's fabulous BBQ's.

End of part 2

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The spot at St. Andrews

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Grandstand, pitlane and race tower on Glencrutchery Road in Douglas
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Post by Everso Biggyballies » 1 year ago

Nice.... looking forward to the next instalment!

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Post by Andy » 1 year ago

My first Isle of Man TT - Part 3 – Pre-TT Classics & Practice week

Following the BBQ Sunday night I`d wake up rather late on bank holiday Monday. A quick look out of the window wasn't too promising as mist was tucking in from Douglas Bay and surely these clouds were dropping their wet content. So I took a rather slow start again down on my favourite spot. As it was rather wet, I was back in rather quickly and off into bathroom. Coming out of the bathroom I turned the radio on to find that the pre-TT Classics at Billown were already underway.
That caught me out a bit. Now, I was aware that the racing there would take place on Monday but was under the impression that it would start some time past noon – not before !

I got my shoes on, grabbed the backpack with the camera and dashed off to the bus station on the prom. Following advice of Phil Bancroft, I took a bus directly towards Castletown. After about half an hour I`d arrive at Castletown Square. There were a few boothes, including a Joey Dunlop Foundation (JDF) one, where I asked for direction to the circuit. I arrived at Castletown Corner during the penultimate morning race, a solo class. From there, I went up to the start/finish area. As it still was raining, the mist still hanging low and I had no protection, I decided to buy a rain coat from the S100 club.

Back out and the final race of the morning schedule, the classic sidecars, would get underway. While I bought the fancy S100 rain coat, I asked for a direction to Cross-Four-Ways because I wanted to say 'Hello' to Roy Moore, who was already out there to commentate for Manx Radio. The direction was clear, more or less but I wanted to know whether the break would be long enough for the walk. So I went back to Castletown Corner and got me a tea until the roads opened for lunch break. During my walk to Cross-Four-Ways I came along Church Bends and stopped there for a while. "What a beautiful spot", I thought while I admired Malew Church and the surrounding cemetary. Little did I know, that it would have been better to just stay here rather than completing the walk up to Cross-Four-Ways. But I had a plan and would stick to it, so I moved on.

Up at Cross-Four-Ways I spot Roy directly on arrival, said 'Hello' and would have a quick chat. Roads closed soon after my arrival and Roy moved back to his commentary spot. I walked around the barricades and even hung in the tree next to the takeaway trailer to try the camera but I got no really satisfying results until I jumped over the wall behind the takeaway trailer and walked a bit up along the wall. From here my photos would become better on instant. The previews on the camera and later the a bit bigger ones on my mobile, that is.

The problem at Cross-Four-Ways is that without one of these fancy bibs you don't get into any good photographing spot and I was truly regretting my decision of leaving Church Bends at this point. But there would be another chance with the Post-TT races at the end of the TT fortnight. That was my consoling thought of the day. After roads opened again, I wondered whether I should walk back down to Castletown for a returning bus but a look at Googlemaps told me that it would probably be better to walk to Ballasalla and taking the bus from there as I still had my 7 GBP day ticket. Just ten minutes and I arrived in Ballasalla, where I saw the Manx Radio van passing me into Douglas direction. I`ve really enjoyed the walking around there, admiring the beautiful landscape. The mist had lifted by now but practice on the Mountain Course was cancelled again.

Later that night the boys told me that we'd go to Sulby Bridge for practice Tuesday night, if it should go ahead. The weather reports looked promising, at least.
Tuesday May 30th should really see the first practice session on the Mountain Course. Mark Curphey and his dad Brian would pick Phil Hancock, André Rust and me up for the drive to Sulby Bridge. We drove through Laxey, Ramsey and took a backroad which belonged to a "Jurby road course" in the past. On arrival the boys got grandstand tickets for all of us and tried to take a couple photos but wasn't too satisfied with them. I`ve tried a bit more but the owner of the selfmade grandstand prevented me from further shoots up there. So I went around and through the hedge there, over some barb wire fence and would eventually end up on the gras bank right before the selfbuilt grandstand. A real good position in the braking zone for Sulby Bridge, which would give me quite a couple of good shoots. It was still rather empty but more people would arrive, which made it tougher to get satisfying results as kids were waving frantically at each rider by. At one point I slipped down the bank and fell backwards into a spot of stung nettles, with short trousers on! After my fall there and all the itching on my legs I went back towards the grandstand and took a position on the wall in front of it. Meanwhile the boys had decided to go to Ballaugh Bridge for the sidecars and so we left there. At Ballaugh Bridge ît took me a while to find a spot from where I`d be able to get a decent photo. Later I found, that I messed up 90% of my shoots here. But what a great spot to watch!

Wednesday night Mark Curphey would lead me, his dad Brian and Phil Hancock to a private property along Ago's Leap. A great, if not spectacular spot to watch the bikes wheelieing over the light crest here. Between the houses you could see mist hanging in the hills and it was lowering so much that the session would be stopped and cancelled due to low visibility on the mountain. Again previews on my camera and later on the mobile looked promising and so I couldn't wait to see them zoomed out but would have to wait until I was back home in Germany again. Here I`d find out that almost all pics from there are completely messed up, bar a few tail end shots after the bikes had passed me. But it was an exciting three days with some racing finally. Weather would curtail the proceedings further so that the Superbike TT race was moved to mad Sunday, allowing for more practice on Friday & Saturday.

Thursday would become cancelled again. Earlier that day, the Roads Closed exhibition at St. Ninians would open its doors and I took the chance for a visit. At what was to become my favourite breakfast place, I met some of the mates I knew from forums such as realroadracing.com and realroadracingsupporters and to who I used to be connected through ordering the the RRS charity calendar each year. Here I first bumped into Andy Findlay, then Kevin Collier, Derek Leighton, Baylon McCaughey and John Coldwell followed in loose order. If you ever have the chance just go and visit the exhibition. Some real great shoots up there and some lovely church staff down in the cafe !

My landlord Phil told me that he does quiznights in a pub called The Manor on a regular basis and I became interested in what it would be like, so I went down to The Manor Thursday night, ordered a pint, got a couple of Phil's quiz sheets and hung there for a while until the question of when Hutchy won the 5 in a week popped up. There was a big discussion about it on the neighbouring table and I mumbled '2010' . I got into the discussion and could convince the team with '2010'. That got me into their quiz team, which I would rejoin during race week.

On Friday, I`d go on my own halfway down Bray Hill on the fence in the schoolyard. That was really a good place as sunshine was greeting us and it allowed the view up to St. Ninians footbridge. Later that night, I`d join the party at Bushys Beer Tent on the prom with a real good cover band named 'The Psychotix'. In fact they didn't play my kind of music while it was still lit but then really gave it a go as soon as darkness tucked in. I saw my landlord Phil hopping around there but he was busy with his colleagues, so I joined a Manxie and a Manx lass from Ramsey for the party. Some real good fun here !

For Saturday practice, I`d join Tanya Atkinson and Phil Bancroft at St. Ninians crossroads, again in beautiful conditions but the practice itself became curtailed by red flags up to a point where we decided to just go down to Jaks where I`d meet another of my long time social media contacts in the name of Phil Smyth.

During the days I was walking up and down the paddock and bumped into the #46 sidecar crew of Mark Saunders and Karl Schofield here. The following days I`d always stop here for a bit of banter whenever I was walking the paddock.

End of Part 3
ImageImageImageImage
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Post by Andy » 1 year ago

What a sensational meeting down at the Schleizer Dreieck. Brilliant weather and some cracking racing on a fab circuit. I`ve not yet seen a video that does the place justice and these sensational corners such as Buchhübel and the highspeed drop into the Seng, where the fastest machines reach up to 300 km/h is just fab to spectate.Having walked the entire circuit Saturday afternoon, I just wonder how it would have looked in the old days, when the bikes didn't take the chicane leading into new link road following the Seng but almost headed straight on that steep hill behind. Also the ride down, a bit over 300km at about 160 km/h to 170 km/h average, was something. Just the way back, due to building sites, wasn't that a pleasure to ride. Here's a few photos from the weekend
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

I`ve only added photos to roadrunners facebook page so far, but it is a public profile so it should be possible to have look without an account ;)

:bye:
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Post by Everso Biggyballies » 1 year ago

Great pics Andy. Thanks. Looks like a brilliant weekend had by all.

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Post by Andy » 1 year ago

Everso Biggyballies wrote:
1 year ago
Great pics Andy. Thanks. Looks like a brilliant weekend had by all.
It really was, mate. The Buchhübel corner is really something. the rise into it is compareable to Laguna Secas corkscrew but at Laguna the final few meters the rise is low. Here it remains steep till cresting but falls away not that deep to the left into a banked to outside road with next to run off on the outside, too. The crest is that steep that sidecars often do not get the inner wheel down and sort of wheeleing through it :mrgreen:
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Post by Everso Biggyballies » 1 year ago

Andy wrote:
1 year ago
The crest is that steep that sidecars often do not get the inner wheel down and sort of wheeleing through it :mrgreen:
Sounds like 'the DIpper' at Bathurst... I have pics at the Dipper of me on two wheels (in a car!)..... sadly hosted on photobucket which no longer allows pics to be displayed in forums, but here is one of my contemporaries showing similar happening in a mini.

Image

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Post by Everso Biggyballies » 1 year ago

Off topic here but re Bathurst mentioned above, there is news on the return of Bike racing to Bathurst. Full story posted here viewtopic.php?f=71&p=317985#p317985

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Post by Andy » 1 year ago

Everso Biggyballies wrote:
1 year ago
Andy wrote:
1 year ago
The crest is that steep that sidecars often do not get the inner wheel down and sort of wheeleing through it :mrgreen:
Sounds like 'the DIpper' at Bathurst... I have pics at the Dipper of me on two wheels (in a car!)..... sadly hosted on photobucket which no longer allows pics to be displayed in forums, but here is one of my contemporaries showing similar happening in a mini.

Image
That's a fantastic shot, mate ! :thumbsup:
Also the news on Bathurst sound promising but I read 'secondary track'. What's meant by that ?
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Post by erwin greven » 1 year ago

That there will be a new track next to Bathurst. The moto cycles won't use the Mount Panorama circuit.
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Post by Andy » 1 year ago

That's what I feared reading the post.
I got around to add some superbike pics to roadrunners on the public facebook profile. some are really good and I was quite surprised about it as I messed up about half of the first sbk race

:bye:
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Post by Everso Biggyballies » 1 year ago

The track design has not even started yet but there are different options currently in place. The land that has been purchased is directly west of Mcphillamy Park and Conrod straight. One of the initial designs shows plenty of undulation as can be expected from what is a hilly region. A second design incorporates the upper part of Conrod Straight.

On the good news front the track has today announced additional funding of $10 million pledged by the Federal Govt.

This design that follows does not utilise any of the current track which is immediately to the right (east) of this image, but shows the undulation.

Image

I am not writing it off yet, certainly not before some of the new designs currently being tendered are considered.

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