When it was announced the Isle of Wight TT – Diamond Races, planned for October 2021 was postponed due to Covid-19, just a day or so later, a new motorcycle race was announced, the Isle of Wight Road Races (IWRR).
The IWRR announcement came with very little detail, just that it would be taking place on a different route to the Chale-Brighstone-Military Rd one, but was planned for around the same time of year.
There were no details of who was organising the event and whether any of the original team from the Diamond Races were involved.
Digging for more information
News OnTheWight has been doing some digging and discovered several pieces of information relating to IWRR that readers may find of interest.
The information comes from a briefing document leaked to News OnTheWight and parish council minutes.
Different type of race
One of the main differences between IWRR and Diamond Races is that the latter had planned their races as time trials.
This requires riders setting off individually and their time to complete the course will rank them in the results.
Those who have been briefed say the IWRR are hoping for a road race – although this is subject to circuit inspection – with 10-15 competitors setting off at the same time.
Who is involved?
If approved, the date IWRR are discussing with parish councils is 20th-24th October 2021.
Although the vision for the IWRR is of James Kaye (the man behind the Diamond Races), the “primary producers” have been named as Josie and Rob da Bank, the team behind Bestival. The popular three-day music event was held on the Isle of Wight from 2004-2016, moving to Dorset from 2017 onwards.
Josie and Rob will be working with an events company called APL Event, who have previously worked with couple at Bestival.
Race organiser and clerk of the course
The race will be organised by ACU Events Ltd who are the commercial arm of the Auto Cycle Union – the governing body for motorcycle sport in Great Britain.
Gary Thompson MBE BEM from ACU is expected to be clerk of the course, as he was named for Diamond Races. You can listen to our podcast with Gary from the launch of Diamond Races.
When asked by Brighstone Parish Council where the start, finish and race village would be, organisers said it is “subject to the circuit inspection”.
However, a briefing document to town and parish councils reveals the race village is likely to be Tapnell Farm (it’s named in the logo artwork), with the route described as being based around Freshwater Bay and Brook.
Based on that, News OnTheWight has put together what that route would look like and estimate it to be 8.27 miles:
Dates of the event?
The event is planned for 20th-24th October, the second half of October half-term holiday.
Organisers say there will be three days of practice, with the final day including qualifying, plus one day of racing (Saturday 23rd).
The roads are expected to closed between 10.30am and 5.00pm each day and discussions are being held with Southern Vectis about diversions for the routes 12 and 7 buses.
Stewart: ACU only likely to licence one event
Minutes from the Shorwell Parish Council meeting held in March revealed that the council leader, Dave Stewart believed the ACU were only likely to licence one event on the Island.
The minutes read:
The Diamond Races event will not be taking place in 2021.
An alternative event organised by IW Road Races Group is still hoping for an October 2021 date & the ACU Licensing body are due on the Island shortly to consider the proposed course & arrangements. This proposed event would be based around Tapnell Farm & the course would be around Brook, Freshwater & Compton. This would be racing, rather than time trials.
Councillor Stewart confirmed that the IWC would only be prepared to allow an event that met the highest safety arrangements & that the ACU were only likely to licence one event on the Island.
Approval from Secretary of State
The IWRR were discussed at the March meeting of Chale Parish Council where it was claimed the races would require consent from the Secretary of State.
“The Diamond Race event is still ongoing but have to secure funding so the proposed April 2022 date is questionable. The other, shorter event over at West Wight now has local parties involved, namely Tapnell Farm and Rob Da Bank. This is looking to be a more family orientated event. The route has far less residential properties on it. The event is still on target to run October 2021. The national body is coming to the island at the end of the month to look at the route etc. It still requires consent from the safety Advisory Group and Secretary of State. There are mixed views from local residents.”
“It still requires consent from the Safety Advisory Group and Secretary of State.”
A meeting with the Safety Advisory Group (what’s this?) was due to take place this week. News OnTheWight have asked the Isle of Wight council whether this is still due to take place.
We’ll update once we hear back.
At the beginning of last month, organisers wrote to all parish councils to explain that they planned to start consulting with residents and business as well as town and parish councils later that month.
Freshwater, Yarmouth and Shorwell Parish Councils will all be discussing the event at tonight’s (Tuesday) meetings.