Become a Bemsee Marshal!
If you’re interested in becoming a Marshal, or simply curious, you’ve come to the right place!! Here at Bemsee (The British Motorcycle Racing Club), we take the safety of our Racers very seriously. The Marshals play a huge role in limiting the dangers within the sport, they are not only there to clear the incidents as quickly and safely as possible, they are also there for prevention of incidents. They are also the eyes and ears for race control and are a primary means of communication for the racers.
The Marshals are a part of the bigger team that enables racing, and whilst all of the Marshals are volunteers, their role is vital and fully appreciated by the Club.
Some of the Marshals have been heard to state that they have ‘the best seat in the house’. I’ve been marshaling for 20 years and am still ‘blown away’ by some of the Marshal positions around the circuits. Marshaling connects you to racing in a way that being a spectator can never do, it places you at the edge and sometimes at the heart of the action!
The grander the circuits we go to, the more Marshals we need. With Donington, Oulton, Snetterton 300 and Brands GP all on the 2021 calendar, good Marshal cover will be important.
So, if you’ve ever thought about getting involved on the other side of the fence, then now’s the time to make yourself known!
How and Availability
The first thing to do is to contact me, to let me know you’re interested in marshaling. I can also answer any questions you may have. When I first started marshaling I made my fellow Marshals ears bleed with the amount of questions I asked... there really is no such thing as a stupid question, as the former Chief Marshal, Mike Hodgins, would say!!
The next step will be to provide your contact details and other information that might be relevant to you, and I will need to know your availability for the 2021 season. We can do this in the following way:
Register online at https://www.bemsee.net/registermarshalofficial, and create your Marshal profile. Once you have registered, you will receive an activation email and can then log in to the system at https://www.bemsee.net/login and select your availability.
It is possible for you to simply register online without contacting me first, but if you are a new Marshal with us, it is likely I will contact you so that I can be fully informed when selecting where to put you on corner at any of our meetings. It is important to me that you feel a part of the team and I believe that this starts at the very beginning.
When selecting which days/meetings you want to attend as a marshal, there is absolutely no obligation to Marshal more meetings or days than you would like to. Most of our meetings include a Friday test day and Saturday and Sunday are racing days, although there are a couple of exceptions. You can choose to just Marshal for 1 day, 2 days or the whole weekend.
Are you still considering becoming a part of this team of Marshals? If so, read on...
Approximately one and a half weeks before each meeting, you will receive an email with a link to your e-tickets. This email will also include a link to the Marshals Final Instructions, which will advise you where you need to ‘sign on’ and at what times, etc.
I will ensure you are kept uptodate with as much information as you are likely to need, including any impacts with regards to the Covid-19 situation. But you are more than welcome to contact me with any questions and to provide feedback, to ensure I get it as right as I can for everyone.
Please note that the online system closes for amendments to your availability on the Monday prior to each meeting. If you need to change your availability for that meeting after the system has closed, you will need to let me know as soon as possible as this impacts on sending tickets, planning allocation of corners and also ordering food and chocolates. The system is available again on the Monday after each meeting.
The Club provide a cooked breakfast on each day, a cooked lunch on Friday test day, and a packed lunch on each of our race days. In addition, at most of our meetings, we have a Marshal, Medics and Officials BBQ on the Saturday night in the Marshals campsite. This is fully paid for by the Club and we have a Marshals Support Vehicle (which I CRASH around in). This carries the equipment for, amongst other things, the BBQ, and includes a marquee and a generator.
On the Test Day (Friday at most of our meetings), you will receive expenses and an allowance is paid if you caravan or camp at the circuit. In order for us to provide you with these expenses, it is a requirement with HMRC that you become an Associate Member of the Club. All we ask is that you throw a £1 into the BEMSEE Benevolent Fund Jar, which enables the Club to help Racers and Members of the Club in difficult circumstances. This jar can be found on the signing on desk at our meetings and training day... you are then an Associate Member. The Club fully appreciates the contribution of the Marshals and looks after them where they can.
It’s not always possible to predict exactly which days and meetings you will be able to attend for the whole season, but if you can give an indication it helps enormously, from a planning point of view. So please feel free to select as few or as many meetings that suit you.
We recognise that Marshals have a life outside of their marshaling role and life happens. It may be that you have put down for a meeting that you can no longer attend. Conversely, it may even be that you find you can attend a meeting you have not put down for. Either way, if you could just let me know, by either changing your option online, emailing or calling me, then I can take this into consideration when planning allocation of corners and ordering packed lunches and burgers for the BBQ.
What You Will Need
You’ll have noticed that the Marshals all wear orange overalls...
I would suggest that you give marshaling a try before purchasing any overalls. I will help you out where I can and it may be that a Marshal may have a pair for sale or loan, and the experienced Marshals can advise you where to purchase them from. I can provide you with an orange bib for your first few meetings, so that you’re visible to the racers whilst trackside and you will also need a good strong sturdy pair of boots to support your ankles, some gloves, for picking up hot bikes and racers, and some waterproofs of some sort. Colours to avoid are red and yellow... you don’t want to inadvertently be mistaken for a flag!!
The Club provides Covid-19 specific safety equipment for each section/corner of the circuit, but we ask that you also bring your own face covering. You may want to consider the use of a neck warmer. These can work particularly well as face coverings on corner, especially in the colder weather.
Many bring everything but their kitchen sinks because they’ve been caught out and learned the hard way. Once you’ve attended a meeting or our training day, you’ll have a better idea of what will be useful for you as a Marshal. A touch of humour and a smidgeon of common sense may prove to be useful assets.
I’d like to thank you for taking the time to show an interest. On behalf of the Bemsee Marshals Team, I hope we will be welcoming you into our fold some time soon. I’m very proud of our Marshals, they really are a great bunch of people, from all different walks of life, and I love supporting them.
You can contact me via the details provided below, alternatively, if you’re at one of our meetings, drop in to the race office and ask them to contact me. Providing I’m not out on circuit, I can come and find you and introduce myself to you.
Karen Higgens – BMCRC Chief Marshal
Mobile: 07792 320442
BMCRC Marshals Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/groups/BemseeMarshals/
In the main, photos are courtesy of www.badboyzphotography.co.uk and www.jtwmotorsportphotography.zenfolio.com/