As we reported in April, 2021, Isle of Wight Road Race organisers were in preliminary planning stages to get the first-ever IWRR event off the ground in 2021. However, due in large part to all the uncertainties surrounding the global COVID-19 situation, it was cancelled. A separate event, the Isle of Wight Diamond Road Races, was already postponed until 2022 prior to that announcement.
For those unfamiliar, the Isle of Wight has not previously held road racing events the way that its motorcycle mecca neighbour, the Isle of Man, has done for over a century. While some people are keen to host motorcycle road racing on the island, others aren’t thrilled about it. However, what does appeal is the thought of all the sweet tourist pounds flowing into the local economy of this British isle—at least, when there isn’t a global pandemic raging.
Brighstone (no ‘t’), a parish (or village) located on the Isle of Wight, has a local administrative council to oversee its day-to-day affairs. Earlier in 2021, the Brighstone Parish Council reported that it sent 878 survey forms about the road races to all households located within the parish.
As the Parish explained, these forms asked for the number of people located within each household that were for or against the proposed Isle of Wight road races. Once you see the numbers involved, that’s a crucial detail to know—because otherwise, these numbers don’t make sense.
Of the surveys the Parish mailed, they received 499 forms back from the community. In total, the Parish reported that 333 Brighstone residents are in favour of the races, while 737 are against. Since these survey forms took into account entire households, that maths is apparently not a typo.
This survey isn’t any kind of binding resolution, and seems to just be an attempt by the Parish to take the temperature of the local community on the matter. By their extremely informal nature, surveys like these have a certain amount of unreliability baked into them, because they’re quite easy for interested parties to skew.
What’s next? Local paper the Isle of Wight County Press reports that the Parish Council plans to have a meeting with IOWRR organisers so that the body can ask some of the questions submitted by local residents regarding the event.
Will the Isle of Wight Road Race or Diamond Road Race events go through in 2022? At this point, like many things in the foreseeable future, it’s anyone’s guess. While things are looking more hopeful in September, 2021 than they did in September, 2020, it’s still difficult to predict anything with certainty.