Sector 9

Sector 9

The longest & least populated sector on the course . Gooseneck is the only location with significant spectator car parking so strangely this is where virtually all the spectators are . All other points except waterworks have parking for marshals but not spectators so please feel free to join us in the places others cannot access . All named posts have toilet facilities and shelter ( permanent stone or temporary steel shed ) and tea/coffee brewing facilities are provided ( own cup advisable ) .

Everywhere on the mountain is subject to rapid weather changes – sunburn is actually quite common – but the wind cools you down so you don’t realize till next day ! Come prepared with layers for all conditions and food for a potentially long day then you will be in prime position to enjoy spectacular action & superb views ( sometimes we get quite annoyed at noisy motorbikes spoiling our panoramic idyll ! ) . All main posts have outlying flag points before & after – manning for these is organised by DSM at main post to give everybody the opportunity to view from different locations ( on long days the outlying flag marshals usually return to base during lunch/tea break & marshals are shuffled to spread the workload around ) .

Starting at Ramsey Hairpin (which is the last post on Sector 8) the first post is Waterworks – no parking so a bit of a traipse up from hairpin or down from Tower bends this is actually a trio of right handers , all uphill & scene of some spectacular attacks on the air fencing . Almost always provided with a medic waterworks gives a good flavour of what marshalling is all about & the well trained regulars welcome new faces .

Next up is Tower Bends – a pair of fast left handers followed by a right . Loads of marshal parking on the road from the helicopter pad . Excellent view of riders brushing the wall but thankfully few incidents ; this is a red flag point as well as a regular retirement spot so good opportunities for chatting with riders .

Gooseneck is the only post on the sector with commercial catering . Invariably a large crowd of spectators gathers for the excellent view provided by this slow right hander . Medic & Travelling marshal are usually present as this is a common location for ( relatively ) slow incidents .

After Gooseneck comes a flag point at Elfin Glen which is manned by marshals walking up from Gooseneck and then the complex of Joeys bend ( AKA 26th milestone ) . Ample parking for marshals cars & bikes ( nothing larger ) ; Joeys marshals walk down to Joeys 2 & 3 – scaffold points for ambidextrous marshals ( flag in one hand + radio in the other ) . Some of the finest views anywhere in the world + bikes within touching distance make this a very rewarding location & the well drilled regulars are used to “ tourists “ coming in to marshal for odd sessions .

Next up is Guthries – limited parking by the tin shed but loads of room on the forest track about 100 yards on the right past the stone Guthries memorial . Very slick tea/coffee/chilli rota so be prepared to drink lots of brews . Excellent camaraderie from a crew who deal with incidents in a thoroughly professional manner ( as do all teams on the mountain ) – a favourite place for photographers who sometimes have to be reined in but do get cracking shots looking down the circuit & across to the lake district .

Also parking on the forest track are the marshals at 27th milestone ( the layby opposite the shed must be kept clear during race & practise sessions ) . This is an elevated location with a superb view all the way from the fast left hander after Guthries all the up to Mountain Box . A few riders misjudge the entry corner & end up in the field on the outside of the bend whilst others misjudge the bridge & attack the air fence on the way out – either way it is a considerable walk to sort things out – this is the price you pay for such a good view .

Mountain mile is aptly named – very fast and at those speeds not actually a straight . Very few incidents but a regular retirement spot as it is a long way to the next post in either direction . A DSM is located at the main post & there is a sentry box ( with small parking space ) half a mile before & after – a radio is a good idea to keep yourself up to date with what is going on elsewhere on the circuit .

Next on the course is Mountain box – a fast right , left , right , left , right combination that provides excellent viewing . Ample parking behind the stone hut ( you can even come up the green lane if you have a serious dirt bike ) is for marshals only so there are few spectators , though a few hardy souls do walk up to enjoy the peace & exclusivity . Due to the speed of approaching riders , the stone hut has been demolished twice by those who failed to accurately match speed to grip level and this is unfortunately a favourite place for non racers to crash before roads close . Spectacular but not for the faint hearted .

Last but not least comes Caseys/Black hut . A fast right ( formerly George’s Folly ) followed by an even faster left offer excellent viewing . Little parking at Caseys but this is only a short walk from Black Hut where there is ample parking ( marshals only ) even for large vehicles . Usually a medic is present as the high speed of this pair of corners means that the ( thankfully rare ) incidents tend to be serious .

For marshals new to the sector , I would recommend trying several locations to see which you prefer ; at times we end up with marshals unevenly distributed around the sector ( too many at joeys , too few at mountain box one night then the other way round another day ) in this case you will be asked to move to even out the manning but this is another opportunity to experience a new location & new colleagues . For TT there is a convoy system in place to get marshals from Douglas & Ramsey to their posts on closed roads ( or you can turn up early on the one way open road ) and off again at the end – this system is not used for MGP / classic TT when the public road is 2 way for the duration .