Whilst there will be no racing on the Colas Billown Course during 2020, cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic on 19th March 2020, a great deal of preparatory work had been undertaken by our Chief Marshal and Chief Medical Officer prior to the decision being made.
When the chequered flag waves for the final time on Championship Day and the prize presentation celebrations have concluded, the fixtures and fittings and course furniture stored for the winter sabbatical, meetings reviewing the road races take place and ideas, suggestions discussed on how to maintain and improve standards and implement new rules and regulations for the season ahead.
Peter Chadwick, Chief Marshal along with his Deputy, Juan Crawley are responsible for ensuring the required paperwork is up to date and correct prior to being uploaded to the club’s official website, www.southern100.com at the beginning of the year for prospective marshals to download, complete and return.
Numerous meetings are held with Government Departments to ensure everything in is place to ensure the safe and successful delivery of the three road races the club organise.
As the Marshals Availability paperwork is returned, Peter, Juan and their six Sector Marshals compile the staffing of the marshals points around the Colas Billown Course ensuring that the minimum levels are in place and thankfully such is the enthusiasm from the Billown Marshals, from on and off Island the minimum numbers are exceeded in most cases, with exception to Pre-TT, when most off Island marshals are still making their arrival for TT. This where we would like to see more Island based marshals joining us and in particular younger marshals to keep our sport going and replace retiring long service marshals.
Similarly our Chief Medical Officer, Dr Sally Simmons will be contacting her medical colleagues and drawing up rota's of availability of Doctors, Paramedics and other Medical Personnel required to man the 4.25-mile course in sufficient numbers to ensure the ‘action’ can take place during the road closing times without delays.
Chief Marshal Peter Chadwick And Chief Medical Officer, Dr Sally Simmons cannot emphasise enough how appreciative they are of all the volunteer marshals and medical personnel who give up their time to attend the practise and race sessions and in addition the various training sessions that are organised during the ‘closed season’.
This is echoed by Southern 100 Club Chairman, George Peach: ‘As race organisers, we fully understand the importance of having the required numbers of marshals, doctors and other medical people and other officials to ensure the safe running of our events and cannot thank them enough for the time and effort they afford us.
‘It is not only their dedication that we appreciate, more so these days as many of our ‘volunteers’ are from the adjacent isles and go to great expense to get here to help us run the races.’
Peter Chadwick added: ‘We are also incredibly grateful to the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company for their assistance in providing a loyalty fare for returning marshals.
‘I know all our volunteers were disappointed when they heard the news that the 2020 races were cancelled and all have promised they will be here in 2021 and we look forward to welcoming once again to the ‘friendly races’.’
It is often quoted ‘without the Orange Army there would be no racing’, equally so without the required number of medical personal the result would be the same! Likewise it would similar situation without the competitors – road racing really is a team effort, with everyone involved pulling together and vitally important to the success of the event.
We look forward to welcoming friends old and new to the Colas Billown Course in 2021 for the Blackford's Pre-TT Classic Road Races; the Silicone Post TT Road Races and the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Southern 100 Road Races.
The dates are as Follows:
Blackford Financial Services Pre-TT Classic Road Races
Friday, Saturday, and Monday 28th, 29th & 31st May 2021
Silicone Post TT Road Races
Saturday 12th June 2021
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Southern 100 Road Races
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 12th, 13th, 14th & 15th July 2021