Thought it was about time I wrote this up…
Callum and I took the Varadero and Fazer with us for this years Manx Grand Prix courtesy of Steam packet. We paid £70 each for the return crossing. This was our first MGP and first time that we had taken bikes to the IOM. All our previous visits to the TT had been on foot.
We left home on the Sunday morning with the bikes cleaned, fuelled and levels checked. It was a lovely morning and we could see the boat sailing towards Belfast as we made our way along the Marine Highway in Carrickfergus. There were loads of bikes at the port, all ages and types. We soon boarded the boat. I was a little dissappointed that there didnt seem to be much help securing the bikes. As this was our first time we decided to simply copy everyone else, although Cal did forget to leave his bike in gear. The crossing took us all the way down the west coast of IOM and round the bottom past the Calf of Man.
Once in Douglas harbour I nearly choked to death as riders started their bikes far too early. I watched a foreign rider on a big BMW scrape the panniers up the side of a transit in his rush to disembark. Plonker.
After a quick ride up to Willaston to our great hosts Dave, Trina and Rhyanne we rode south to Port St Mary. John Foster, Gorse Lea Marshal Vice President, had invited us down for some team building. The ride down was excellent and we reached Foster Manor just as Cargo, Ian and Jan were about to leave for the steam train trip back to Douglas. We enjoyed the hospitality, food and drink and even got to play on Fossies grandsons train set 🙂
The weather took a real turn for the worse on Monday and quite sensibly all racing was postponed. So that meant we could spend some time in the paddock, in Douglas for a fry and a general nosey about. Dave had gone to Liverpool to annoy the nurses and we wished him well. That evening we made the short trip to The Manor and were joined by two Johns, Beth, Charlie, Ian, Cargo and Barry ( and more lads too but I dont remember them all, sorry). Callum and I handed over our sponsorship for Stephen as part of the “Get a flippin replica this year” camapign. There were kisses. As part of the sponsorship deal Callum decided to head down to The Irish Embassy for more beer and frolics with the experienced team members whilst I chickened out and headed for my pit.
More follows 🙂