The Isle of Man makes a lot of money from its three big races every year, when public roads are closed and top racers go at it. The people who live on the island consider their road races as an important part of their culture as well.
As a result, when somebody screws up, they take it very, very seriously. Martin Lee Morris, who tossed a beer can onto the course during racing action last year, has been sentenced by Deemster (Judge) Alastair Aitken Montgomerie to nine and a half months in jail, saying, “You knew the road was closed and racing was in progress. You threw the can which, as a result, put the lives of racers and others at risk and you were clearly intoxicated. Be under no illusion Mr Morris, it was more good luck than judgement that no-one was injured or indeed killed.” Another spectator bravely ran onto the course to retrieve the can.
Morris said that he hadn’t meant to throw the can onto the road and pleaded to avoid a jail term because of the effect on his family, but Montgomerie said Morris should have thought of the consequences to his family before the incident.
Lesson learned: you go to watch races at the Isle of Man, you behave yourself.
I camp out and drink beer while doing so. I would never put someone else’s life at risk by throwing a can onto the course. Those guys are at the limits of physics already and don’t need a surprise!