ELLAN VANNI A SPORTSMA A ‘S PARADISE By ” ISLANDER
N Spring the young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of love, but assuming that he has managed to avoid this distressing complaint thus far, in June it will probably turn to the Isle of Man, where the T.T. races are taking place. This year the Manx Government has tried to provide additional interest by making grants and offering prizes to foreign riders, and representatives of eight countries outside the British Isles are taking in the races. It will be particularly interesting
to watch the progress of Franconi, who is one of the finest riders that Switzerland has produced.
Naturally the races are one of the principal things which draw the sportsman to the Island, but the .visitor will not get full benefit from his holiday if he neglects the other attractions which are to be found there. One often meets acquaintances who know the Island only as a place where motor cycle races are held, but, proud as we are of this distinction, we pride ourselves that there is no ingredient for an amusing holiday which cannot be found in our little territory.
June is the best month as regards weather and accommodation, a full service of steamers is then running, and the places of amusement are alert once more after their winter sleep. There are nine golf courses in different parts of the Island, and besides being sporting in their arrangement, are set in natural surroundings of great charm, and have the advantage of being laid out on springy turf such as no inland course can show. There are tennis courts on every side, while the convivial will find in close proximity bowling greens and cosy parlours where the wine of the country can be drunk at all hours ! We are fortunate, too, in our 400 miles of good roads, which compare favourably with any in England. Car and cycle races have undoubtedly encouraged the resurfacing and widening which has taken place, and so it happens that even on the more remote west side a first class highway exists. As long ago as 1904 the Eliminating Trials for the Gordon Bennett Races were held in the Isle of Man, but on a course which ran from Quarter Bridge to Castletown, then over the shoulder of South
Barrule down to Ballacraine. From here the route went to Ramsey and back over the Mountain Road, but deviated from the present track by turning off at Ballaugh and proceeding to Ramsey by Sandygate. A race over the old course in modern cars would be very exciting, and it is alarming to think of the speed down through Foxdale, and the subsequent scramble to get under the railway bridge at the bottom ! The lack of sheltered
water has prevented the general use of outboard craft in the Island, but last summer saw the introduction of speed boats in Port Erin and Douglas. The Harbour Board are very jealous of the reputation of Douglas as a safe holiday resort, and insisted that the boats they licensed should be capable of being brought to land if the engines should fail ; to meet their requirements a remarkable craft was designed. This was a speed boat 30ft. by 8ft, fitted with a half keel 6nd capable of sailing. Built by Osborne of 1,ittlehampton and fitted with a Scripps 210 h.p. engine, it proved capable of 35 m.p.h., showing that the modification had not affected its performance seriously. This type of craft is eminently suited to northern waters, and vessels of similar design are being made for Sweden and Finland.
An additional attraction this year is the Motor Boat Meeting being held in Douglas Bay in June. Judging by the entries, we should have an event worth watching, and the presentation of a trophy by MOTOR SPORT will be of material assistance in getting us good support.
As yet there are no light aeroplanes in the Island, since a stretch of land 30 miles by 10 is soon covered at 80 m.p.h., but with the development of such amphibians as the Saro Cutty Sark, we are looking forward to having aerial visitors from the mainland. It is interesting to learn that aeroplanes will be run between Southport and the Island during T.T. week.
Manxmen claim with justice that there is no part of the world which holds so many attractions in such a small compass, and anyone who visits the Island can hardly fail to agree. If you don’t believe it, come over and see.