Easter weekend may have been my first weekend back in orange, but it was last weekend that I felt like I was finally back into the swing of things at the circuit. I wasn’t originally down to marshal last weekend, as rugby normally dictates my schedule until the rugby season has finished at the end of April.
Mix that with the added pressure of two wins from the final two games to be crowned champions of the league, and with the fact I’m missing the last game of the season, I stretched on the Amber and Black Hoops of Orrell Rugby Union and took part in the game. Thankfully my team we the victors and moved one step closer to their goal with an 80-8 win.
With victory secured, it meant I could finally turn my attention to Anglesey for the Sunday of the BARC meeting. This saw me take on a role that I hadn’t done for a while. Flagging was something that I was looking forward to and something I always wanted to keep myself up to speed with.
Normally, you have practice and Qualifying in the morning of most meetings, but on this two day event, those sessions had been held on Saturday. Instead of having the prior knowledge as to which cars are fast in the section of track I was covering, I had to wait until the racing had started and get my eye in.
The first race was the 42 car CNC Heads race; a multi-class race that has cars that vary in speeds. Thankfully this helped me get my blue flagging eye in early as the quicker cars were easier to spot; what I hadn’t accounted for was the layout of the track. Peel Corner was the only post that I hadn’t done at Anglesey, and the crest on this corner provided the challenge of only having a small window to get the flag out that any driver would notice it.
Upon arriving at the circuit on Saturday night, I’d heard stories of cars coming together here, them crashing over there and there generally being lots to do, so I was expecting a long day of waving a yellow flag whilst the race was neutralised under the safety car. Thankfully there were only a few times the safety car came out, so I never found out if long periods of flagging were still as tiring as they can sometimes be.
I thought my day went quite well, learning the lie of the track and when the moment has gone to blue flag had passed or not, but the real heroes of the day were those who had to man two posts and those in assembly and on start line.
Starting with those on the two posts. The CNC heads ran the International Circuit, which includes the Tom Pryce straight and Hairpin, whilst the rest of the races ran the Coastal track. The speed in which the marshals alternated between the two and reconfigured the circuit was so smooth you wouldn’t have guessed that two circuits were being used.
Assembly and Startline controlled the large number of cars so well that when the red flag came out at the start of one race they were able to collect the pieces and re-grid the colossus grids in next to know time. Assembly even dealt with the lack of space to make sure that every competitor wasn’t jostling for position which was phenomenal.
It was also a rare occurance at Anglesey that the rain stayed off during the day and if you are after another reason to visit the great Welsh Coastal circuit, the views that it throws up on a clear day cannot be matched by any circuit in the UK. Snowdonia National Park in the background with the sea in the foreground and racing right under your nose really is the perfect combination for the perfect day in orange.
The entire day was that good, it got me back into the mood of marshalling even more and just a little bit more prepared and a bit more excited for what is going to be a great season.
If you are interested in marshalling and want to give it a go then follow the link here, to find your nearest taster day. Either that or you can follow the same link to find out more.
Written By – Robert Lee (@RobLee559 – Twitter/Instagram)