FOR the second consecutive year, the TT Great Race will be live streamed by the TT Powerboat Association (TTPBA) to provide viewers with exclusive footage of the marine, inter-island event.
The 52nd edition speeds off on August 22 and TTPBA president Marcus Gomez has urged eager spectators to capitalise on this opportunity to experience the race in its entirety from the comfort of their homes.
TTPBA introduced live streaming of the event in 2019 but has since improved several elements of their broadcast for the 2020 version. Their enhanced online delivery is of added importance this time around as organisers seek to promote indoor viewership in light of the covid19 pandemic.
The race will be streamed via TTPBA’s Facebook page and along other social media platforms of supporting entities.
“We are encouraging people to stay home and watch the race online. They will have coverage at different points along the entire course and we have commentators geared with GPS tracking and other technology to keep people updated throughout the entire race.
“It’s a bit of a challenge but last year we did it for the first time and learnt a lot from it. This year, we’re going to be expanding and improving on the stream from last year,” said Gomez.
Thus far, 26 boats have confirmed participation. To limit gathering of competitors, the race briefing will be held on August 19 and 20 to facilitate all contenders while maintaining physical distancing stipulations.
Gomez admitted there are less participants in higher speed classes this year. He was, however, pleased with the welcome increase in smaller classes. The TTPBA president anticipates healthy competition among the new entrants.
“We didn’t have much of the bigger boats this year but what we do have is a lot of them in the smaller classes. The 60mph class has nine boats competing and 80mph has eight. We’re looking at very competitive racing in those classes. Generally, things are processing well so far. We’re just watching the covid19 situation very closely,” he added.
Gomez also acknowledged the timely intervention of sponsors NLCB, bmobile and LiquiMoly who have played a key role in ensuring the 2020 event speeds off. Sponsors have been hard to come by this time around as the novel coronavirus continues to force businesses to decrease their usual investments into sporting activity.
“Sponsorship has been a challenge. Luckily, NLCB and bmobile have come back on board from last year. (We) also have LiquiMoly. We’re lucky to have them on board at such a time and they have really helped us to have the race,” he continued.
Additionally, Gomez affirmed there would be no “party-styled” prize-giving as is customary after the annual event. Intent on limiting public gatherings and adhering to the mandated guidelines by the health ministry, the TTPBA remains committed to providing a safe and secure environment to ensure total success.
He said, “All protocols are being abided by and we are being very careful with how we operate. We’ve taken extra measures in place. Even though we’re going ahead as normal, it’s just a little extra precaution added in with the times we’re in right now.
“We’re a sporting event so as long as the Government is allowing sporting events, we can continue. We’re also pushing to the fans to stay at home and use the stream and stay safe. Additionally, uou never know what the water conditions are like until the day but a lot of racers are working 24 hours a day to get their boats in order and make sure they’re well prepared for the race.”