Sitting in the middle of the Irish Sea between England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales is the Isle of Man. At just 50km long and 16km wide it’s pretty small, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in stature, especially if you like motorbikes! In June each year, it hosts the Tourist Trophy or ‘TT’, the most famous and, without doubt, the most dangerous road racing event in the world.

The circuit, which is 60km long, consists entirely of public roads which on any normal day are packed with locals going about their business, but when the TT is in town the same roads close and fall nervously silent about an hour before each race. The anticipation and excitement then build as the thousands of supporters, who come from all over the world, wait for the flag to drop.

For safety reasons, races are run in a time trial format with riders setting off at ten-second intervals to tackle the standard six laps, or three hundred kilometres, of hairpin bends, hump-backed bridges, and a mountain!  Live commentary from key points around the course keeps the fans up to date with who sits where on the leaderboard, as amateur timekeepers pour over their watches trying to work it all out.

At the TT “every second counts” and to make sure everything ticks as it should, luxury watch manufacturer Bremont is appointed as the official timing partner. The quintessentially British brand, based in Henley on Thames, is renowned for quality chronographs, but each year they also produce a new limited edition watch to celebrate the event.

IOM TT. The world's most dangerous race

As we’ve said, it’s dangerous, ridiculously dangerous. The fastest bikes reach speeds of 300kmh on the straight bits and the current lap record is set at an average speed 220kmh. Sadly, since 1907 when it started, the TT has claimed 255 lives and no matter what the organisers do to try and improve safety, it will undoubtedly claim more. Competitors are often asked why they do it and it seems they’re unanimous in their response…….” it’s so good, they just can’t stop ”.

Even if you’re not into bikes there’s no doubt the IOM TT should be on your bucket list. It’s simply too good to miss.

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