The Isle Of Man TT has gained notoriety worldwide as the most incredible display of motorcycle speed anywhere. With a massive course, breakneck speeds, jumps, and a requirement for millimetric precision, the Tourist Trophy has proven its worth on the motorsport calendar, and attracts the best riders from around the world. For 2020, however, the Isle Of Man TT has fallen victim to the COVID-19 pandemic and has been wiped from the calendar.
It does seem slightly ironic for this event to err on the side of safety as 260 lives have been claimed in the course of running the race from 1906 through today. But, it is a decision that must be commended regardless. Large social gatherings like this are not a great idea in the current climate, and there is no need to put everyone at risk when really the riders are the only ones to have signed up for near-certain death.
The event was originally scheduled to take place between May 30 and June 13, 2020.
“The decision to cancel has not been taken lightly, and all options including postponement and delaying the decision have been considered in detail. Representatives from the Isle of Man Government will now discuss the implications with all relevant businesses, stakeholders and individuals affected by this cancellation, which it recognizes will be significant,” said Laurence Skelly MHK, the Isle Of Man Minister for Enterprise.
“With the visitor restriction in place for the foreseeable future, we wanted to make the decision now to give businesses, visitors and all involved stakeholders time to manage the impact going forward. The Isle of Man, and the Isle of Man TT, are faced with unique challenges regarding COVID-19 and making this decision will provide certainty to teams, competitors, sponsors and stakeholders of the event and to visitors across the globe.”
“The decision also aims to provide reassurance for our residents and healthcare professionals that the health and well-being of the Isle of Man’s residents is the single biggest priority and focus of this Government.”
In the entirety of the running of the TT, it has only been cancelled one other time (outside of the two world wars); in 2001, over an outbreak of foot and mouth disease.