Centenary Isle of Man TT 2007
What a “fantastic” celebration of 100 years of TT racing at the Isle of Man this year!
l have got to say that I felt really was honoured when I received an unexpected invitation from the Isle of Man Government Tourist board to attend and participate in the 2007 TT Centenary celebrations. This included doing a lap.
Suzuki Great BritainT supplied and prepared a new K7 GSXR1000, for me to ride in the Champions parade lap. It was painted in replica livery of the Texaco Heron Suzuki team of the early 1980's. KushitaniT,, my racing suit sponsor from Japan generously supplied me new leathers (Yes, I could not fit in the original ones - just a few centimetres of adjustment was required - I thought! ) The suit arrived from Japan and it too was a retro piece of art designed to replicate the TEXACO HERON SUZUKI days of the early 80's. DiadoraT provided me with boots and ARAIT organised for me to have a new RX7 Corsair helmet that I had painted in a new design that incorporates the TT, my TIKI logo, my website and a chequered flag symbolizing competition - I had it painted up to honour the centenary occasion. This was provided through Arai's agent here in New Zealand - Dold International.
My wife Helen and I were guests at several functions during TT week and I was able to do a few laps on the replica GSXR1000 to try and remember where the track goes. We were lucky and afforded enough time to become tourists and participated in a brisk Sunday walk on the southern end of the Island. Port St Mary to Port Erin, a walk of about 8 kilometres and we were guided all the way by Quentin Gill (MHK) the letters after his name signifies he is a member of the House of Keys. Quintin is also the local MP for the area and a real nice guy. He even gave us an impromptu private tour of Parliament which was a real eye opener for me. It is fascinating how the Government of the Isle of Man operates. The Parliament, Tynwald, is the longest continuous parliament in the world. I got to learn what the three legs of the Manx flag mean. They symbolise Tynwald Court, House of Keys, and the legislative Council. The Government is actually made up of non political party members and decisions by made by consensus. This provides a stable way of governance.
The whole race program was as usual great with the highlight being the outright lap record going to John McGuiness at a shade over 130mph.
As part of the 100th Centenary celebrations I was privileged to be asked to present a Maori carving and a letter from the Trevor Mallard - NZ Minister of Sport, to Adrian Earnslaw (MHK and IOM Tourism Minister). The carving was presented on behalf of Motorcycling New Zealand in recognition of this great milestone.
So a big thank you to all those who were part of having me re-visit the Island and making it such a memorable occasion.