Verandah, Isle of Man

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The Verandah, Isle of Man is a series of four bends which are negotiated at high speed by competitive motorcycles during road racing on the Snaefell Mountain Course.[1][2]

Located on the primary A18 Snaefell Mountain Road which starts at Ramsey and then traverses the Snaefell mountain at 1,400 ft (430 m) altitude before leading to Douglas, the Verandah is built around the edge of a Snaefell mountainside slope with adjacent steep drops between the 29th and 30th Milestone markers measured from the startline at the TT Grandstand. Falling within the parishes of Lezayre and Lonan in the Isle of Man, it precedes The Bungalow, a major viewing point and visitor attraction on the TT course.

The Verandah series of bends follows the land contours of Snaefell mountain as an embankment with a purpose-built graded road section and reflects nineteenth-century highway and railway construction practices.[citation needed]

History[edit]

The Verandah area nearby Stonebreakers Hut was part of the Highland Course and Four Inch Course used for the Gordon Bennett Trial and Tourist Trophy automobile car races held in the Isle of Man between 1904 and 1911. Also, the Verandah is part of the Snaefell Mountain Course used since 1911 for the Isle of Man TT and from 1923 for the Manx Grand Prix Races.

During the first lap of the 1934 Isle of Man TT Lightweight Race, Syd Crabtree, the winner of the 1929 Lightweight Race and Continental Grand Prix competitor with wins in the Swiss, French and German Grand Prix's crashed in heavy hill fog on the Mountain Section of the course at Stonebreakers Hut and was killed.[3] For the 1935 Isle of Man TT races two motorcycle-equipped Travelling Marshalls were employed to search for missing riders, particularly in poor weather conditions on the Mountain Section of the Course.[4]

Safety[edit]

During the winter of 1970/1971 road-widening occurred on the A18 Mountain Road at the Verandah series of bends by cutting into the hillside by the Isle of Man Highway Board. The major 1970/71 road-widening scheme also included the nearby Stonebreakers Hut or Black Hut, the 30th Milestone section of the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road and the nearby Bungalow Bridge.[5][6]

Despite the safety improvements to the Verandah section, while lying in first place on the second lap during the 1972 125cc Ultra-Lightweight TT Race held in heavy rain, Gilberto Parlotti crashed his 125 cc Morbidelli solo motorcycle at the Verandah section and later died from his injuries.[7]

Parlotti's fatal accident helped to bring about the end of the Isle of Man TT as a world championship event as his close friend, fellow Italian motorcycle champion Giacomo Agostini announced that he would never again race on the TT course as he considered it was too-dangerous to be included in the FIM World Championship.[8][9] At the time, the Isle of Man TT was the most prestigious race on the world championship calendar.[10] Other top riders joined his boycott of the event and by 1976, the event was dropped from the FIM Grand Prix championship schedule.[11] From 1973, any weather conditions that would not allow a rescue helicopter to take-off or land would lead to the race start being delayed or cancelled at any Isle of Man TT or Manx Grand Prix Race.[12]

Manxman Conor Cummins crashed off the side of the Verandah at high speed during the 2010 Senior TT race, tumbling down the mountainside,[2] breaking several vertebrae, an arm, and damaging a knee.[13][14][15]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Motorcycle Mechanics, June 1973, p.74 Around the TT TT Time, item 22. "The Verandah is also best seen when roads are open, because in bad weather there is nowhere for the spectators to move to until roads open after racing. But it's great for the riders in the race". Accessed and added 2015-07-02
  2. ^ a b ESPN May, 2011 Man vs. Isle Retrieved 2015-07-02
  3. ^ Isle of Man TT & MGP Memorial 1907–2007 page 18 Paul Bradford The Copy shop (2008) ISBN 978-0-9560151-0-5
  4. ^ Travelling Marshals At the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy and Manx Grand Prix Races by David Wright page 15 (2010)(2nd Edition) Amulree Publications The Premier Print ISBN 1901508064
  5. ^ Isle of Man Weekly Times p.1 dated 6 January 1971
  6. ^ TT News 2006 – Preview Edition page 2 Isle of Man Newspapers Ltd (2006) Johnson Press Publishing ISSN 1471-7905
  7. ^ Mona's Herald p.4 dated 13 June 1972
  8. ^ Motorcourse History of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Races page 148 by Nick Harris (1990) First Edition Hazelton Publishing Graficias Estella SA ISBN 0-905138-71-6
  9. ^ TT News – Preview Edition 2012 page 16-18 Isle of Man Newspapers Ltd (2012) Johnson Press Publishing Bridson & Horrox Publishing Ltd
  10. ^ The Guinness Motorcycle Sport Fact Book page 118 by Ian Morrisson Guinness Publishing Ltd (1991) The Bath Press ISBN 0-85112-953-6
  11. ^ The Guinness Motorcycle Sport Fact Book page 120 by Ian Morrisson Guinness Publishing Ltd (1991) The Bath Press ISBN 0-85112-953-6
  12. ^ Italian Racing Motor-Cycles by Mick Walker page 147 (1999)(1st Edition) Redline Books ISBN 09531311-14
  13. ^ Conor Cummins’ x-rays. Warning: not for faint-hearted, Motorcycle News August 2010. Retrieved 2015-07-02
  14. ^ BBC News Isle of Man September 2010 Retrieved 2015-07-02
  15. ^ Conor Cummns: Resurrection year Archived July 4, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. Island Racer (Morton's Media). Retrieved 2015-07-03

External links[edit]