Features Interviews Forums Shop Links Contacts
Visitor Info
TT Message Board
TT Chat Room
Ladies in Racing
TT History
TT Map

TT Supporters Club Merchandise Sale

 Archive X "The Truth is out There"

The poor old motorcyclist, the race fan, the supporter of the TT festival is still stuck between a rock and a hard place now the decision has been made to cancel the TT. Mr Gellings speach in the Tynwald has sent its reverberations around the racing world. However all is not so crystal clear on the ramifications of the announcement that bring to light new issues we must face. But first a quick look at what was said and if the reasoning is justified. And before we go any further, the decision, given all the circumstances was correct, for no other reason than; it is their Island and their choice and at the end of the day nothing else matters.

How they got to the decision had a few examples of thin logic just the same. For example the spreading of the disease by motorcycle clothing by a rider out in the open air as opposed to a motorist who is going along with his car with the windows wound down is a bit hard to swallow. If one wanted the infection to be transported from Douglas to Ramsay, either way, the virus wont mind its mode of transport. The virus is invisible so any story is speculation.

Mr Gellings mathematics are mixed up a little also. Only a couple of months ago it was boasted the TT fetched in 60 million pounds and was second only to the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament as a two week sporting event earner. But now the price droppped to 16 million and the profit loss to the business community in the region of 6 million pounds.
I guess the price must go down when deciding on the compesation payments to them. The truth is out there somewhere. But if 40,000 people going to the TT spend 400 pounds each that makes the 16 million. I know people who spend 400 quid on camera film alone. Somewhere the maths got altered.

The value of the national herd was given at 47 million pounds to be weighed up against a profit loss of 6 million to the business community. Perhaps it is more fair to compare the profit loss of the herd not its value. Business houses need a comparasin of their stock value to the herds stock value in a loss situation. Its easy to make statistics work how you want them to.

Again, the herd numbers were given at 250,000 animals which is about 420 animals per square mile, and each and every one of them worth 200 pounds each. There are a lot of animals there.

But the most compelling argument was the one of separation of animals and people on farmers property and private land. Thats the real key issue and thats really all that needed to be said. That is a real danger and although plans had been put in place to avoid this occuring, the TT would have got the blame for the downstream effects had an oubreak ensued. Now we get to the difficult bit.

Mr Gelling has given an open invitation to the visitors that they can still come and that the island is still open for business. Keeping the separation between animals and people at a manageable level, so it seems. The normal festival activities will still go ahead. Sort of like going into a fish and chip shop and being told that you can still buy food here so long as its chips.

That presents a new set of problems that face the average motorcyclist and supporter. There is absolutely no guarantee against an outbreak of this disease and it could be carried by an innocent rider to the island. So thats problem number one. And if an outbreak does occur, who will get the blame? The virus is invisible so its not going to be easy to figure out who or what caused it.

On the other side of the coin-should they go and help the business houses to recieve some sort of income?. Some money being better than no money. Others are financially committed and feel they must attend as the refunds are not negotiable. But some go there because of the festival and not so much the racing and thats where it gets real difficult to advise people what to do.

Some years ago a study group from the Isle of Man went to Daytona Speed Week to ascertain if there were any aspects of the American event that could be introduced to the TT by way of improving the two week period for the supporters. Daytona is a real mixture of activities and some good promotions were instituted at the TT and now we have the Isle of Man TT Festival. Added attractions over and above the racing---good thinking and good planning.

Of course, over the years it has grown to the point that, some go across for the festival and some go for the racing. The two groups living and operating side by side making up the whole and feeding off each other in a benign symbiosis. Everybody benefits and the business houses have much to be thankful for.

Now this delicate partnership is to be broken for one year. The racing is off but the party is still on. Mr Gelling has thrown down a unique challenge to the motorcycling fraternity.Come to the party, he says. The party goers who accept this invitation will then indicate to the Manx Government a fairly good idea of their value in terms of income and worth to the economy of the TT. It can now be established just how well the Daytona study group did their job. We have now, by a quirk of nature, given the chance for the statistics collectors to place some kind of economic evaluation on the Festival aspect of the TT fortnight. From simple deductions and arithmetic, the value of the racing and its income can be judged.

Future economic planning can take place according to the areas where the best returns are found. Funny how this disease has led us into this situation!!! There is a faction who would wish that the racing was stopped at the Isle of Man. Certain newspapers sell copy to readers who learn of the sensational tales of misery and loss at the event. There are others who wish the racing to be stopped for their own reasons which are made public or kept private. Everyone is aware that there exists an anti TT faction in the general population.

They now have the opportunity to ask that, since the racing has been stopped for one year, it can stay stopped for all time. Futhermore --the Festival continues so thats good enough enjoyment for you motorcyclists to have each year. Make the Festival even bigger until the income reaches the same level as it used to be in the racing days. Thats the ground they now have the opportunity to aim for in their search for a solution.

Like in Daytona however -the racing and the other attractions go hand in hand. Take away one and you have taken away the lot. The TT racing and the TT Festival for me are one and the same thing.The atmosphere, the people, the whole joy of being there, is a combination of many little things that make up the fantastic spectacle of TT fortnight.

I am sorry Mr Gelling but thats how I see the event. Dont cut out the heart and expect the rest of the body by artificial means. Its all or nothing. If the Virus breaks out while the Festival part is on. Dont point the finger at one person who went there at your invitation. Dont expect me to be one of the statistics providers to help form the opinion that the TT can live without the racing. Dont let me an unwilling victim in the anti TT lobby.

It's a bit like the animals who have this disease. Either shoot them or leave them alone to get better. The UK government have decided that vaccination is no remedy for this foot and mouth problem. So dont "Vaccinate" this other problem as well.

Of course my non attendance creates the next one of the business houses who will suffer. Here is one small solution that can help.The companies who have deposits from me can keep them. No problem at all. Compensation payments to aggrieved businesses on the Island according to your speech have been allocated some millions in recompense. Start up a fund for them as well, so that I can make a contribution to it. Call it the Donald Gelling Fund. I will be most happy to donate the 400 quid you say I will spend into such a purse to assist these people in distress or financial ruin. I am absolutely certain that I will not be the only one to send money to them. I do not expect the Manx Government to foot the bill. As a TT supporter I do not wish any loss on the business houses. Get a financial support system into place that we can contribute towards.

Next thing-on Mad Sunday, the real one that is.( There could be a Mad Monday Tuesday and Wednesday from Festival goers making their own fun) On Mad Sunday. Make the mountain a toll road and collect five quid off every person who wishes to ride across the mountain. You will collect plenty of money. Give it to the business houses. They deserve it and I cannot be there to give it to them direct.

The TT prize money. It will not be paid this year. Give some money to the Southern 100 organisers so the racers who wish to attend, that is if the disease is under control and the Southern 100 can proceed, will get some money to carry on with. The Road Race riders are good people and also deserve some kind of support so they can keep up the payments on their already stretched budgets. They need to keep up as much racing as possible on the roads before the short circuit promoters swallow them up in inescapable contracts. Use some of the TT prizemoney to recompense the teams and sponsors who lost out over the cancellation.Half of them will probably give it back to those more needy.

The rest of the prizemoney-give it to the Joey Dunlop Fund for injured riders. But I will not go over there and take part in the "Festival" you have invited me to. You can have the money, but I will stay away thanks all the same. But I will be there in 2002 and I shall do my very best to make sure that I will spend up large doing it.

To all my friends on the Island-just wait. Its only 56 more weeks to go and you can be sure the next one will be a real bonzer.

My Kindest Thoughts Are With You.


Post your views on the TT Website Message Board To comment on this article please use the
TT Message Board

Back to Features Index

Read the latest local news here.

Read about your favourite riders and what they think about the the Isle of Man TT Course and Road Racing in general. [ more... ]

The TT Supporters Club - The Free Internet Service Provider for the Isle of Man
© TT Website