‘I wanted to watch the racing and also give something back’
Steve Dent has been a track marshal for BEMSEE for over a decade, making racing safer for all
“My grandfather used to take me to Brands Hatch when I was young, then a friend got into racing and I helped him out. After he quit I missed the race scene, so in 2006 I became a marshal as I wanted to still watch the action and also give something back to the sport.
“You get two days of training with BEMSEE, which involves a day of classroom theory about the dos and don’ts of marshalling - flagging, picking bikes up, what to do with an injured rider, just about everything. The next day the trainees join experienced marshals while the rookie riders are on track.
“You don’t do marshalling for the money – mainly as you don’t get paid! You get free entrance to the circuit, breakfast and a packed lunch, £10 for fuel and that’s about it. You even have to buy your own orange suit! But the money doesn’t matter as it’s a great social scene. There is a free evening barbeque at most rounds and for race fans like myself, marshalling gives you the best seat in the house. But there are downsides.
“It is never nice to deal with an injured rider and the British weather can be cold, windy and wet! There is also a lot of sitting about, it’s not all bikes flying through the air like an action movie. That said, the sun does shine, you can do as many or as few days marshalling as you want and you work with a brilliant bunch of like-minded race fans. I actually first met my girlfriend over a broken bike in a gravel trap while marshalling – how romantic!”
‘You don’t do it for the money – you don’t get paid!’ STEVE DENT
but It’s the best seat in the house, comes with great responsibility