Lee Green took the Rally Class and overall win
The Tour of Mann turned out to be a true test for riders with probably the most relentless and demanding terrain for riders. It was a good good the weather was good on both days as the riding may have been too tough.
As it was some of the riders didn’t make the first hill climb which was just about the first bit of the off road trail and this was a sign of things to come.
The event started with a group of us meeting up for the Friday ferry out of Heysham, this made the event feel like we were competing abroad as the camaraderie on the ferry was a great start to the weekend. The paddock was well sorted with good facilities, and the Southern Motorcycle Club even made retrovision to view the big match for those staying at the camp site – well done guys.
Everything went well on Saturday morning, signing on, a free event s-shirt, scrutineering and onto the start line – we were off.
Being a round of the ATRC, this was a follow the arrows event and this proved difficult at times as the organisers had to use the waterproof arrows as the course was laid out two weeks in advance, so they were not as bright as the usually arrows we use. Needless to say it was an 80 mile course and at some point all the riders were lost.
Dave Watson took the Multi win
I only made one lap as at about the 8 mile mark I crashed out on a wooden bridge in the forest. We were warned numerous times in the riders brief about the slippery bridges but I just didn’t see it. I crashed hard on my left hand side and damaged my shoulder and lost the left hand peg. On such a demanding course it was all I could do to finish the lap so I called it a day.
The course compromised of stony tracks, stony uphills, stony downhills and when you had just about had enough of stony terrain we had some ruts thrown in for good measure. The course was tough but awesome at the same time with a bit of every type of going, with the added benefit of fantastic views and at some points you were totally on your own in the wilds making it feel like a true rally.
The special was an enduro type test and I admit this wasn’t my favourite but the club had been let down and had to improvise at short notice.
The highlight of the day has to be riding on a rally and the route takes you onto the “Mountain Road” section of the Isle of Man TT – absolutely fantastic. All the riders will remember that moment when they approached the corner signs for the TT with the familiar names on them – some of us missed the turn off and did more of the TT course that was required 😉
Rob Loupart waits for the off at the start of the test
Once the 80 mile lap was done, the guys refuelled and headed straight out for a second lap, most riders lost time but a select few kept the their minute and made all the checks, this included Lee Green and Rob Loupart – so well done guys.
Day 2 saw the course reversed with some slight changes to make the lap more interesting. Again the weather held and the riding was just as tough as day one. Congratulations to all those that finished the course as it was probably the toughest ATRC event to date – a finish was a real achievement.
This was the Southern Motorcycle Clubs first rally and lessons have been learn’t – so expect to see this event improve.
Are we going back – you bet we are.