Isle of Man TT: Hail the Chief, Chief

Top Manx rozzer takes command of the ‘Orange Army’ of TT marshals

Posted: 2 May 2008
by Visordown News

ISLE OF MAN Police Chief Constable Mike Langdon has been drafted in as the new TT Chief Marshal. Langdon has replaced TT Marshals Association stalwart Roger Hurst, who resigned following an ear- bashing from Manx coroner Michael Moyle in his inquest verdict on three deaths at the 26th Milestone during last year’s Senior TT.

The appointment was announced by Manx tourism minister Adrian Earnshaw, who heads up the TT coordinating committee, in the Island’s House of Keys parliament on Tuesday 29 April.

Comedians in the TT Marshals Association are already asking whether they will now be expected to enforce the 30mph speed limits in built- up areas during racing, with the boys in blue running the show.

On a more serious note, one veteran marshal suggests that this move may lead to a bigger risk of the red flag going out to stop a race, given Langdon’s commitment to governmental health-and-safety culture.

In the past, TT organisers have always avoided red-flagging races - even though paramedics and marshals might be crossing the track to aid a stricken rider. This is because of the impossibility of restarting on the day and further difficulties with rescheduling a restart to another day in a packed race-week programme. Instead, competitors are briefed to ride cautiously under waved yellows and watch out for rescue personnel.

Coroner Moyle said that, in his view, the 2007 Senior should have been red-flagged, given that the leading riders were already over the Mountain on their last lap.

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Until just a couple of years ago the Chief Marshal was the Chief Constable anyway, so this isn't anything new, just a step back in time by a couple of years.

 Unless I am mistaken the decision to red-flag the race lies with the clerk of the course, not the chief marshal.

Posted: 03/05/2008 at 21:42

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