Like many other Sectors, Sector 5 is divided into smaller sections, with each section being under the direction of a Deputy Sector Marshal who is usually located at the main – or ‘base’ – position in the Section. We have 5 such sections known as ‘Burnside’, ’11th milestone’, ‘Handleys’, ‘Top of Barregarrow’ and ‘Bottom of Barregarrow’.
The minimum manning for the sector is 36 and there are 20 positions throughout the sector that need to be manned before the races or practices can commence.
Many places are one-man positions but we try to place two people at these locations if we are lucky enough to have sufficient Marshals on duty. Almost all positions are within easy reach of the section base allowing return at lunchtime or other delays to the racing. It a largely rural area meaning most, if not all, Marshals have to travel to reach the sector as none live locally.
Section 1 is known as BURNSIDE.
Sector 5’s first marshalling position is Voddy Flag at the end of the Cronk-Y-Voddy straight. It is a one-man point and the marshal at this point also alerts the rest of the sector as the bikes approach, rising out of Glen Helen as they appear at the end of the straight. It may look a long way away but it only takes them 7 seconds to reach us! No time to run across the road here! This position is located in a private garden but this is only separated from the spectators in the field by a garden wall. As such, there is no catering facility although there is a wagon in the field next to the house but it usually isn’t necessary as the house owners are very generous with their tea, coffee and even known to provide beef sandwiches!
The position is easily reached from the Section control point….
Burnside This is the control point for this section with one DSM (currently Michael) and 2 other Marshals. Plenty of parking on the owners land and although there is no catering, the house owners are generous with their tea and the DSM provides tea-making facilities.
The final point within the first section is known as the Stockade. This is halfway along the straight and is now a two-man position. This position is surrounded by spectators who are allowed on the banks either side of the marshalling position. There is no catering at this location and parking is either at the 11th milestone or at Burnside and between races, it is possible to return to base at Burnside.
Section 2 is known as ’11th’.
The 11th Flag is a one-man point within easy walking distance and parking of the control point. It is a one-man position stood on a scaffold platform. No catering here but between races, it is usual to return to base at the 11th milestone.
The base point for this section is the 11th Milestone. One DSM and 4 marshals are the minimum. Plenty of parking in the field but no public catering. There is a toilet here and the DSM and his family provide plenty of tea and biscuits! They even had their own Chief Tea Boy although now grown up (a lot!), he probably no longer appreciates the title!
The 11th Milestone also supplies a Marshal for the next position, a one man (or usually, woman) point called Ballig Flag. Another position located atop a scaffold with an excellent view of the bikes coming from the 11th Milestone and disappearing towards Handleys.
Before we get to Handleys, the next point is Mac’s Cottage. This is a one-man point and is the only red-flag position in the sector. Again there is no catering but return to base between races is possible through the field.
Section 3 is ‘Handleys’
Starting with the one-man (or woman) point of Handleys Flag on right-hand side just before the quick left-right, narrowly missing the stone wall. Again, there is no catering but the landowners provide cups of tea and access to their toilet if necessary.
The base for the sector is next – Handleys corner. Manned by a Deputy, and 4 Marshals. Catering in the form of tea & coffee plus biscuits, cakes and who knows what else is provided by the DSM. Now mounted on a tower which gives good visibility as the bikes suddenly appear.
Just along the road, is the 12th Milestone. Another one-man position with a small hardstanding.
Shoughlaige Farm is next. A single position but has full medical equipment at this position.
The final point controlled from Handleys is Shoughlaigue Bridge. A fast left-hand bend once described by John McGuinness as his favourite corner on the course and renamed after him in 2012. A small platform alongside the bridge for the Marshals to stand on provides good visibility as the bikes come round the right-hand bend from the Farm and disappear along the straight towards…
Ballaskyr. This is the first position in the next section, ‘Top of Barregarrow’. A single-man position with good views as the bikes hit a slight bump in the road and often pass the Marshalling position on their back wheel only!
Top of Barregarrow flag is just across the road from the base and yet another singleton position.
Barregarrow crossroads or ‘Top of Barregarrow‘ is the base station for this section. A DSM plus 3 other Marshals man this point.
Catering is available here from the Cronk Aashen campsite owners, a short walk along Brandywell road. There is also a toilet intended for the Marshals only but often used by the public as well.
Plenty of parking and a popular place for spectators on the bank. A close watch is needed to stop them straying into the restricted and prohibited areas!
Barregarrow Hill. A two-man position within easy walking of the base station although returning to base is uphill!
The final section on the Sector is ‘Bottom of Barregarrow’.
Three positions, starting with another one-man point, Bottom of Barregarrow Flag.
The main point in the section is next, Bottom of Barregarrow. A DSM plus a minimum of 3 other Marshals. Easy parking on the landowners driveway but no catering apart from the self-catering organised by the DSM and the regular team. A toilet is available at this location. This position is often very over-subscribed but we try to accommodate people’s wishes to visit occasionally.
A very popular position which is now, sadly, mostly prohibited or restricted meaning there are very few spectators in the area although some do brave the ditches and streams to get there.
The final point in the section and in the sector is Cammall Farm. No catering and very limited parking. This is the entrance to holiday cottages and usually manned by the owner of the farm. It is the final flag point before the next sector, Sector 6.