There were quite a few BV forumers racing yesterday, so I'm surprised there isn't a thread about this up yet! This is a rather long race report from the other side of the fence - as I was on lap counting duty all day!
I was on gate duty first thing in the morning, so got to great many people as they arrived and told them which sections of the entry form they had to fill in (Name, Address, Phone Number, DOB & Signature). Thankfully, the Phillip Island GP staff had decided that only those racing - or driving on the circuit as support vehicles - had to fill in a form ... not *everyone* over the age of 18 like previous years. That certainly made things a big easier.
Then just after 10 am, it had got quiet at the gate (with only some late comers [suffer] and some women racing ~ 12 noon still arriving) so I was able to leave the gate and go to my next duty = lap counting. After the lap counting fiasco last year, where the 1st neutral lap wasn't counted and then they were somehow given a couple of extra laps as well ... Mal decided that he wanted us counting the laps UP this year. This made sense, because the sprint and KOM instructions were written for "end of lap 6, 11, etc" for sprint and "in lap 3, 8, 13, 18 & 23" for the KOM.
I wrote up a running sheet - with sprint, KOM and whistles for both - and crossed the laps off as we went. We also had to keep track of the juniors racing (split into M15/M17 and W15/W17) an hour kermesse. So we timed their lap times for a couple of laps to decide how many laps they'd end up doing - so we could give them 2 and 1 lap to go.
The finish of the junior men & women kermesse's happened to occur close to when the now infamous sprint at the end of lap 16 occurred. AK happened to be in the right spot at the right time - and armed with a super camera lens - so managed to get a fantastically timed photo sequence of Kane Walker suddenly falling mid sprint and going for a slide along the ground. Zipp wheel failing mid-sprint, anyone??
I was writing down the numbers of the sprint results ... and 76 and 78 (can't remember which order) were easy ... but we could only see "10" for 3rd place - as the number wasn't clearly placed . After much discussion between the two commissaires, two lap counters, and judge we established that there riders 100 and 104 were in the break - so who'd come third in the sprint?? Finally, we radioed the first aid (ambos) to ask ... what's the number of the guy you picked up from a sprint fall? 104 came the response. PHEW Problem solved, by a process of elimination
My running sheet (start of lap #, and also laps to go) also proved handy mid-way through the women's one hour kermesse + end of Teams race ... as the other lap counter correctly pointed out mid-race that we might have a "problem" - of the women and men finishing at the same time depending on lap speed. The women were doing 8 minute laps (baring the 3rd lap, cos they were under control as the big Teams group passed them ... as the women's bunch were all together) so we decided 7 laps in total. Problem was ... the women had 4 laps left, and the men 5! I'd already given the women 2 laps to go when the Teams break-away of 3 passed the women => oh crap ... when will the men pass them (if at all). Cos the women were about to get the bell, and the bunch about to get 2 ... so we didn't want women finish + men bell to happen at the same time.
Women's bell rung as planned (after commissaires gave me confirmation I could do so), Teams bunch given 2-to go ... then we saw the Teams bunch pass the women's bunch at the section of the course near the ocean that we could see from the finish line. PHEW - Teams break-away and bunch ahead of the women now ... so it'll be smooth at the finish line.
Ring the bell for the Teams break-away, then bunch, then judge the 1st three places of the women (rest was close - all on the camera), then judge the Teams break-away + bunch kick (again the rest on the camera). Morning racing jobs are D-O-N-E ... so time for lunch
I was on lap counter for the afternoon, with one of the other committee members. This time we had to keep track of 5 grades - A to D had a lead car, and E grade had marshalls.
A grade was originally going to do 18 laps, but we reduced that to 16 due to the small field after the teams racing in the morning; B grade were doing 17 laps, C grade 16 laps, D grade 13 laps and E grade 6 laps.
After all grades had been sent on their way, A, B and C grade had all come around at the end of their first lap ... so when I saw a 4WD lead car come around the final corner, I assumed that it'd be D grade ... so I gave the bunch 12 laps to go. Oops That was the silver Volvo 4WD, not the Gold 4WD - so I'd just given A grade 12 laps (instead of 14) to go! Luckily I realised straight away, so I called out to Mal and told him that although I *can* count backwards, I can't distinguish between cars so had stuffed it up - he said to correct it next time around ... so then A grade went back up to 13, then down to 12 the next two times they came around.
By the end of the race, there were massive breakaways in A, B and C grade - which made giving the bunches their laps difficult. I can definitely see why Southern Vets use the different coloured headbands on helmets during racing!!
All up, it was a very enjoyable day - albeit rather long! I left the house at 6:30 am to get to Phillip Island for "gate duty" at 8:30 am ... and I didn't leave Phillip Island until just after 5 pm, so was home at 7 pm.
I don't know what the next race on the Eastern combine calendar is ... but we've managed to get Phillip Island again on Saturday 24th July. After helping at 3 Phillip Island races in a row, I'm hoping to compete in the club racing @ Phillip Island next time!!