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Oct 1st 2019, 03:37 PM   #46
 MV Man's Avatar
 
  Sep 2019
  Portlandia

  MV Agusta F3 800
The next viewing location was the bottom of Bray Hill, another absolutely iconic viewing location- if you've ever seen video or pictures of the Isle of Man TT races, you've seen them shot from where we sat.

The bottom of Bray Hill is only about a mile down from the starting line, so racers come through on the first lap with cold tires and full fuel tanks. It is a 185mph kink to the right, with a significant G-out at the apex- the bikes bang the pavement pretty hard at the apex, gouging the asphalt, throwing sparks, and leaving colored stripes. The riders have to pick their knee up at the apex to clear the raised concrete curbing. The G-out upsets the motorcycles to varying degrees, and some riders are barely able to gather it up by the time they drift out to the tall shrubs on the left side of the course at the apex. It is no little thing.

In our opinion, the best place to watch from, is the terraced concrete on the left side of the course right before the 5-way intersection at Stoney Road. DJ's Takeaway puts up a food trailer there every year, and the food is good. There are portable toilets located behind you, across Stoney Road. There is no shade or booze, so plan to be self-supporting.

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Edited by MV Man on Oct 1st 2019 at 03:48 PM
Oct 1st 2019, 04:14 PM   #47
 MV Man's Avatar
 
  Sep 2019
  Portlandia

  MV Agusta F3 800
The next viewing location is the Nobles Park "Fanzone" bleachers. The main grandstands are at the start/finish line, then the VIP compound is next, then the Monster Energy show area, and then the Nobles Park bleachers are located in Nobles Park, at the top of Bray Hill, about half way between the starting line and the bottom of Bray Hill.

The big bikes wheelie off the crest at about 170 mph, as they start their run down to the bottom of Bray Hill. This was actually a pretty cool place to watch from. It was reserved seating, with it's own portable toilets, and it just didn't feel as crowded as the main grandstands and the areas immediately around it. There was also a security guy there checking credentials, which was nice. It was still within walking distance to the food trucks and Okell's beer tent in the main compound, and we could see the Monster Energy show from where we were sitting.

I think the thing that I liked most about the Nobles Park bleachers, is that they were perpendicular to the course, so we weren't craning our necks all day long as each bike came by.

It's also nice that the exit lane from the course, is right in front of the bleachers, and the racers slow to almost a stop as they negotiate the hairpin turn right at the foot of the bleachers to head back to the pits. Michael Dunlop ran the first-ever 16-minute lap while we were sitting there, and after he came off track, the other racers were fist-bumping him right in front of us.

I would rank this location lower than the town of Kirk Michael, the Ballaugh Bridge jump, the Sulby Straight, the bottom of Bray Hill, the Creg-ny-Baa, the Bungalow Curves, and other similar iconic viewing locations, but it wasn't very expensive.

I shot more video than photos from here, so I don't have a lot to upload.

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Edited by MV Man on Oct 1st 2019 at 04:39 PM
Oct 2nd 2019, 06:32 PM   #48
 MV Man's Avatar
 
  Sep 2019
  Portlandia

  MV Agusta F3 800
The next viewing location is the Ballacrye Fanzone reserved-seating bleachers. They are located on the outside of a left-hand 175mph bend, and they are elevated, which makes them a little bit safer than if they were at ground level, and it also gives a better view. At the apex of the corner, the racers lift their knee to go over the raised concrete curbing. After the corner, you can see and hear them jumping as they head downhill.

There is virtually unlimited parking. There are clean portable toilets. There is a tent selling hot tea, coffee, and soup, as well as cold sandwiches. There is no shade or booze, so make sure to bring your own.

The Ballacrye Fanzone reserved bleachers were not bad, but the only reason we paid for them, was because as we got closer and closer to Senior day, the island was filling up fast, and we had no idea how that would affect our access to toilets- this was a way for us to be guaranteed access to toilets.

If I had it to do over again, I think I'd substitute the Bungalow Bends up on the mountain, instead of doing Ballacrye. Another alternate would be to take up a free position a little bit further down, just on the other side of the jump, sitting at the edge of the roadway.

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Edited by MV Man on Oct 2nd 2019 at 06:53 PM
Oct 2nd 2019, 07:02 PM   #49
 MV Man's Avatar
 
  Sep 2019
  Portlandia

  MV Agusta F3 800
Double-tap...

Edited by MV Man on Oct 2nd 2019 at 08:38 PM
Oct 2nd 2019, 07:02 PM   #50
 MV Man's Avatar
 
  Sep 2019
  Portlandia

  MV Agusta F3 800
The next viewing location is the VIP compound, located between the main grandstands and the Nobles Park grandstands.

It was advertised as offering reserved VIP grandstands, free all you can eat food and an open bar all day long, air-conditioning, shade, air-conditioned toilet trailers, and a goodie bag with vouchers for TT swag (we used ours to buy our TT T-shirts), a little radio tuned to the race announcer's frequency, and stuff like that.

It was very nice, and we enjoyed it, but it was pretty expensive, and we just don't feel it was worth the money. The buffet was only open around meal times, not all day, and the bar opened late and closed early. Even after taking a couple of bottles of wine from our table and taking them with us in our goodie bags, we don't feel like it was worth it.

If we had it to do over again, I would substitute another iconic free viewing location instead of doing the VIP package again.

It was actually quite a bit more upscale than this video shows:

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Edited by MV Man on Oct 2nd 2019 at 07:22 PM
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