Wednesday 15 June 2016

Sport - Final word

There has been much in the national and world news of late to exercise the headline writers and opinionated columnists in the wider Press. Otherwise we would have had more sensationalist coverage of events during the Isle of Man TT last week. Five riders lost their lives - the same number who have succumbed to the dangerous attractions of the Scottish hills and mountains so far this year.

But motorcyclists are a stoic bunch. They know the risks and they accept them. So do their families. One life lost is one too many, but it is an accepted risk in this most intoxicating and yet dangerous of sports.

At the time, lives, hopes and ambitions were remembered, individual respects paid, and the sport moved on. No doubt families and friends will continue their own personal and private mourning on their return home to a much changed future.

On that basis, you'd think that their four wheeled counterparts would have an equally philosophical outlook. Perhaps not. Following the tragic accident during the 2014 Japanese GP and the subsequent death of Jules Bianchi nine months later, the circumstances are still under investigation.

So too is the outcome of the Jim Clark Rally in the same year.

Of course you can't compare like with like. Different sets of statistics and different outcomes but there is one common aspect. It wasn't spectators who suffered those fatalities.

Admittedly there were complications with the rally case. Proceedings were further delayed when our political masters requested the Lord Advocate to prioritise his inquiry into the 'Glasgow Bin Lorry Crash' and we all know how that judgement was received.

And just when things were looking hopeful on the motor sports front, he decided to retire from his position - before he had finished the job! That means a new Lord Advocate, likely to be James Wolfe QC, will have to take over the current cases. It is to be hoped that he will be a bit more considerate and decisive than the somewhat controversial previous incumbent of this high office!

But back to the IoM TT. What a week. Fabulous racing and a new outright lap record. Michael Dunlop on the BMW S 1000 RR rounded off a record-breaking week riding a sub-17 minute lap time to establish a new record of 133.962 mph for the 37 mile course.

And didn't Hutchy and McGuinness do well too? The challenge is beyond comprehension. Kerbs, fences, walls and trees, not to mention the weather - and speeds of 200 mph. We glibly talk of heroes and legends in all types of sport and endeavour these days, but some guys are more deserving of those titles than others.

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