TT Isle of Man – Most Dangerous Event on the Planet

Image: en.wikipedia.org

Each year the TT Isle of Man attracts tens of thousands of spectators and some of the most daring men on the planet for a high-octane battle for all.

And I mean ALL!

At stake is the kudos of racing, and perhaps, winning the most notorious sporting event on the planet.

And the race is notorious for a reason:

The Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) takes place at over 300 k/hr over winding roads and around country farmhouses. The slippery roads are dotted with stone walls, telephone poles, and ice cream vans.

In fact (to drive the point home) the starting line is opposite a graveyard where the ashes of former competitors are sprinkled.

It doesn’t seem to deter the racers who are thrilled to test their skills against the course and each other.

The event is more than 100 years-old. In that time 246 riders have died, with many more being injured. So long as you qualify you may race – this isn’t for professionals only.

There is only the most modest attempts to protect riders – hay bales line the most dangerous parts of the course, a few mattresses are wrapped around some telephone poles.

Image: commons.wikimedia.org

Image: commons.wikimedia.org

In 1970 six riders were killed during what is known the Mad Sunday race.

And the crowds, standing just metres away from the action, aren’t immune either.

When it comes to deaths, this is an audience-participation sport.

In 2013 Jonathon Howarth lost control on the first lap and ploughed into the crowd, injuring 11. Ten days later Japanese competitor Yoshinari Matsushita was killed in a qualifying session. Australian spectators Marc Ramsbotham, Dean Jacob, and Gregory Knezig died in 2007.

The crowds will tell you it is the risk that draws them to the TT Isle of Man. In this uber-safe world, where there are rules for everything, this is arguably the only uninhibited competitive event in the world.

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