Manx race secretary leaves after 29 years Caroline to leave post after 29 years
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Manx race secretary leaves after 29 years Caroline to leave post after 29 years
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The Manx Motor Cycle Club’s race secretary, Caroline Etherington, has decided to move on after 29 years in the job.

Well known to racers, sponsors and just about anyone involved in the Manx Grand Prix, Caroline, said she felt the time had come to try something new.

’I still enjoyed the job,’ she said.

’But I just decided I fancied doing something different so it was time to move on.

’I’m a qualified swimming teacher and a complementary therapist, so it will give me more time to pursue those interests for a change.’

She took up the job with the club in 1988, when the format of the event was changing from two to three races in the week. The following year, however, saw an even more momentous change with women allowed to race at the Manx for the first time.

’That was a great decision. A real step forward and as I recall, there were six women riding that year,’ she said.

The Manx has always been a proving ground for some riders who move to the TT and a number of illustrious names have started out with the club over the years.

’One I remember in particular was Ian Hutchinson, but there have been others over the years as well. A lot of famous TT riders have cut their teeth on the Manx.’

There have been a few changes over the past 29 years, particularly with the advent of computer technology, electronic timing and so on.

’We actually used to type letters, and all 300 or so entries were dealt with by hand and posted out. I wonder how we managed without email now. All the race times had to be manually recorded. Everything took longer.’

Preparations continue year round. After the event there’s always a debrief. Discussions take place about possible changes to regulations and approval is sought from the sport’s governing body, the ACU - then early in the new year, entries open and the whole task of processing them and running newcomers’ familiarisation weekends starts all over again.

’But the thing that’s never changed is the riders and their passion for the event. There’s no prize money, most people are self-financed, and just doing it for the love of riding and getting a finishers’ medal or a replica and it never ceases to amaze me how dedicated everyone is. The riders and all the officials are passionate about the bikes and the Manx.’

The profile of the event has also grown in recent years, becoming an international race with entrants from Europe, the US, Australia, South Africa and other corners of the globe.

’It’s been a big part of my working life. Every year there is a buzz that first night of practice and I will certainly miss all the people involved - riders and officials.

’But I’ll certainly be up at the grandstand - and I’m looking forward to actually watching some of it this year too,’ she said.

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02-08-2017, 11:42 AM
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Splashdown Offline
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RE: Manx race secretary leaves after 29 years Caroline to leave post after 29 years
Caroline has given great service to the Manx Club, and will be much missed. I wish her well for the  future.
03-08-2017, 11:56 PM
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