TT Races 2007 Isle of Man
TT races 2007: My first trip to the famous Isle of Man included observing the TT motorcycle races on the first race day, and on the last. The 2007 TT races were truly significant being the 100th anniversary of the event. It was anticipated that the largest crowd of motorcyclists would flood the island, and based upon what we saw, I would say that the prediction came true.
Steam Train to the Mountain Course in Snaefell
We stayed in Ramsey, the second largest town on the island and chose to watch the races from the course in Ramsey, not really knowing what to expect. From the size of the crowd, I thought that we had picked a rather good vantage point, right past an intersection and into a long straight portion of the track, leaving Ramsey. Ultimately, I think that we really didn't have the best spot, in that the bikes literally went by quicker than I could snap the shutter on the digital camera. (Note to self: need SLR digital camera if we ever return).
Crowd Gathering in Ramsey on the First Race Day
No surprises - the last day TT races 2007 was won by John McGinnis, again. We should have stayed to watch the sidecars, but didn't.
In order to further explore the island, we didn't watch any races again until Friday, the last day. Instead, we stayed away from the course, and rode around the island. No matter where we went, there were bikers everywhere.
Parking Lot Filled to Capacity with Motorcycles
On the last day of racing, we took a stream train up to the mountain course at Snaefell to watch the race. Much better view, from all angles on this part of the course. Using the lens magnification, I was able to get some pretty good shots of the racers as they went through the turn.
Racing on the Mountain Course
I was also struck by the memorial to Joey Dunlop at the top of the mountain. The statute is positioned so that it appears that Joey is actually watching the racers ride through the curve, up through the straight away. The statute is extremely lifelike, and somewhat eery. The helmet and gloves, and boots look as if they are real, just iron-cast.
I knew very little about Joey Dunlop prior to traveling to the Isle of Man - now I know that he won 26 TT races, the last being in 2000, the year of his death. He died during a TT race in Estonia.
During his lifetime, he was known as a winning motorcycle racer, but he was also very involved in charitable causes, using his spare time between races to help children in need. There is a foundation in his name, attempting to carry on his charitable works.
Visit the Joey Dunlop Foundation website, and read about his charitable works benefiting the children of the Isle of Man.
Joey Dunlop Memorial Pictures
We stayed until what I thought was the end of the race, knowing that John McGinnis had won, and wanting to beat the crowds off the mountain. We found out later that one of the last of the bikes had verved off the course, hitting and killing 2 spectators and himself. I'm glad that we didn't witness this incident. There were at least four points on the mountain course where spectators are fairly close to the road, and we watched from two of this points for a while. Read the news article about the TT races 2007 tragedy.
TT Racer Entering Curve on Mountain Course