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Old 01-25-2019, 11:29 PM   #31
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Our sixth viewing location was the Nobles Park "Fanzone" reserved grandstand seating. We were there to bear witness to Michael Dunlop running the first 16-minute lap in one of the big bike races. This was actually kind of a cool place to watch from. The grandstands sit perpendicular to the road, facing up towards the starting line, so you can see the bikes wheelie off the crest at the top of Bray Hill, and we felt like we were spending less time craning our necks to watch the bikes. Nobles Park is located at the extreme south end of the TT compound, right near the Monster Energy show. Portable toilets are reserved solely for the use of these grandstands. The track exit is right in front of the grandstands with a hairpin turn that takes them back along an access road to the paddock. Many racers stopped right in front of us to congratulate each other before heading back to their respective pits. It was only a short walk to the beer tent behind the main grandstands.





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Old 01-25-2019, 11:35 PM   #32
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Our seventh viewing location was Ballacrye "Fanzone" reserved grandstand seating. Not a bad place to watch from. The portable toilets were clean. There was a tent selling cold sandwiches, soup, hot drinks, and cookies. Plenty of parking. No alcohol sold here. You're on the outside of a bend in the road, but it actually looks safer than most viewing locations, since the grandstands are up on scaffolding to allow spectators to see over a tall hedge. You can see the entire corner, and then the bikes drop off the Ballacrye jump out of view.


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Old 01-25-2019, 11:43 PM   #33
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Our eighth viewing location was the VIP compound. This was expensive, and it just wasn't worth the money. The VIP compound, located between the main grandstands and the Nobles Park grandstands, had it's own reserved grandstands. The VIP compound was air-conditioned, it was decorated nicely, it was very clean, the gourmet food was great, and the toilet trailers were very nice.

However, it was represented to us as being all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink, and it just didn't turn out that way. We were there for quite a while before they started serving drinks. It took even longer for the food. By the time I was ready to head back for seconds, they shut down the food service, and the alcohol was shut down shortly after. Later in the day, the whole thing repeated. The VIP package does come with vouchers that you can use with the vendors to get a commemorative T-shirt or something. And the viewing location was no better than the main grandstands.

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Old 01-25-2019, 11:53 PM   #34
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Our ninth viewing location was the Creg-Ny-Baa corner, fronting the famous Creg-Ny-Baa pub. This is where we watched the Senior race from (the most important race), and it is yet another iconic viewing location.

The Creg-Ny-Baa pub has at least one VIP package, so the pub itself is closed to outside customers, but they have a beer tent out back that you can buy Guinness, cider, and some food from. There is also an open-top double-decker bus there, but I can't remember much about that. And then there is the reserved "Fanzone" grandstand seating, which is what we paid for. Plenty of parking. Nice toilet trailers.

Unfortunately, a crash two days before, had wiped out the grandstands that we had paid for. We were fortunate to be able to find a spot right in front of them, at the edge of the pavement. The spot we took, was right in the gap where the crash barriers had been taken out, so we literally had no protection. Three times, race bikes came off the course on a collision course with us, but every time they were able to gather it up.

After the course was opened back up, there was a mad rush for the busses, and the pub opened up at the same time, so we just stayed and had dinner there, and caught a later bus without having to wait in line.

We sat under the tree:


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Old 01-26-2019, 03:32 PM   #35
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We wanted to fit the Bungalow bends, but were not able to fit it into our schedule. I don't know which side is better, but there is an elevated pedestrian bridge to get from one side to the other. Joey's statue is up there. The statue is a duplicate of the one located in the Dunlop Memorial Garden in his hometown of Ballymoney in Northern Ireland, and it is quite moving. There is ample parking. I'm sure there are portable toilets up there, and there is a building with a mural of Joey on it- it may be a restaurant, café, or convenience store. I didn't see anything in the way of shade. If you're staying in Douglas, you can take the horse-drawn Tram to the train station at the north end of the Promenade, and then take the Manx Electric Railway to the train stop in Laxey to catch the Snaefel Mountain Railway. The Snaefel Mountain railway runs back and forth from Laxey to the pub at the top of Snaefel mountain- I don't know when it stops running, but obviously it stops running before they close the course. The pub at the top is worth visiting, and the Laxey wheel is a must-do. We visited the Laxey Wheel and then continued to Ramsey, the final stop for the Manx Electric Railway.

By the way, that's the late William Dunlop and then Gary Johnson on the stunningly gorgeous MV Agusta F3 675 Supersport bike:

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Old 01-28-2019, 03:29 AM   #36
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IOM TT Legend John Mc Guinness tours the Norton factory
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