Good day for the furtive fans

Posted: June 8, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

Postponed races create a lot of problems, not least for fans listening off-island. You’ve sorted your schedule so you can be hardwired to the radio, laptop or smartphone, and you’ve signed up to family or other activities when there’s no racing. Then the winds reach gale force on the island, the Superbike TT is put back 24 hours, and come Sunday you join the ranks of the furtive fans.

The furtive fans are those of us who on the surface are putting in a normal day at work, doing the shopping, visiting family, or otherwise leading a routine existence – while below the surface we’re snatching ten minutes of commentary here, sneaking updates on the live timing there, glancing at Twitter as and when, any which way keeping across the latest as the race unfolds.

The trained observer can easily identify the furtive fan by the distant look in the eye, the constant fidgeting, and an inability to concentrate.

In the early days of Radio TT’s online broadcasting we used to get quite excited in the commentary box when someone emailed in to say they were listening from far-flung places. I remember TT fans contacting us from NASA in Houston and the British Antarctic Survey. It’s only now that I’m beginning to wonder what happened to that inter-stellar spacecraft that our man in Houston was tracking, and whether any emperor penguins fell through the ice near the south pole.

One way or another I kept up to speed with that very exciting Superbike race yesterday – although if anyone can explain to me how to get the live timing to display the splits between the leading riders I’d be very grateful. Completely baffled.

The postponement also created a huge challenge for Neil Duncanson and his team at North One, having to edit their one-hour highlights show in a fraction of the time they’d expected. They did a fantastic job, including dramatic onboard footage showing the spills of Gary Johnson and Michael Dunlop.

In the fuss about Michael, I don’t think anyone has shown enough concern for Scott Wilson, the rider who was involved in Michael’s crash. As the overtaking bike, it was Michael’s responsibility to avoid a collision. Scott’s TT is over and it is certainly not all his fault. He’s been a strong supporter of both the TT and the Manx GP for many years. Not only doesn’t he deserve to be laid up in Nobles with a broken collarbone, he doesn’t deserve to be overlooked as some sort of collateral damage either. (As an update to this, Ian Morris posted on the TT Talking Facebook page that Scott may have come off his bike a split second before Michael arrive, so I may be doing Michael an injustice.)

Well done Bruce – fantastic performance, and another brilliant achievement by Clive Padgett’s outfit. And how great to see Hutchy back at the sharp end after five very long years fighting back from serious injuries.

Now, how can I make sure I’m across everything that’s going to happen today? It’s time to get furtive again.




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