The Marshalling Essentials (Vol. 2)
In last weeks blog I spoke about the essentials you need to pack before you get to the race track. This blog will look at the argument between bag and box, gloves and their serious importance, whether a scanner is good or bad and a few more things you may not have thought of!
Box Vs Bag
In last week’s blog I said rather whimsically to just get a bag to put all the stuff in, but then I got thinking, there is an argument for both a box and a bag! For many years I have been a fan of using a fishing box to store all my equipment, because it doubles up as a handy seat for in between races.
There is no right or wrong answer, only personal preference. [Photo: Paul Williams]
There is one downside to a box though, and that is the bulky size of it! The box may be waterproof, but transporting that around takes a lot of effort. Fitting it in your car may not be a problem either, you might have a larger car and it fits in the boot easily. However, you may have a smaller car and be spending the weekend marshalling, and the amount of packing means you end up putting your marshalling box on the back seat. Not ideal!
A bag has the benefits of not being as bulky and easier to carry, especially if you have a rucksack which you can wear on both shoulders. It also has the added benefit that it can be squashed into a boot of a car and not take up as much space, as you generally buy a bag that fits everything you need, and therefore space is not wasted.
The draw back is you don’t have a seat for between sessions unless you bring your own, or it hasn’t been raining recently and you can sit on the ground, but come on, this is Britain; it is very rarely not raining.
Hand in Glove!
You may be thinking that this should have been included in last weeks blog when I was talking about dressing appropriately for the weather. Well yes, gloves are good for keeping your hands warm, but that’s not why they are on the list.
We are told when we start that we need a pair of gloves so if the time comes and we need to pick something up or touch something, it may not be apparent, but it will be hot!
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Even if you know you won’t have to handle anything hot on a car, it is always good having that level of security over your hands to protect you from anything that could burn. You have spent all the time protecting yourself with probans and boots, neglecting your hands seems a cheap way of getting hurt.
Kevlar Gauntlet welders gloves are the shotgun approach to gloves; they are good enough to withstand the heat and if you pick something up which is too hot you can throw it down and flick the gloves off with ease avoiding any burns. I would always suggest having two pairs of gloves though in case the weather turns, or your partner for the weekend has forgotten theirs.
Listen to the Radio!
Not everyone is within ear shot of a radio. [Photo: Paul Williams]
Many of the Post Chiefs and at some circuits flag marshals either have a radio or are within ear shot of one, as they need to use one to complete their duties. The rest of us or those flag marshals that aren’t within ear shot of a radio, are kind of left in the dark!
The solution is a scanner that will allow you to listen into the radio traffic around the circuit which will help keep you in the loop. A scanner does also provide useful information in an endurance race as it proves you right or wrong as to whether you have the top cars in the race in the correct order.
A word of warning though,; a scanner is not something that should be reacted to. Your instinct and seeing what is around you on post is always the most important thing. Think of it as a running commentary.
Can you hear me now?
Ear defenders re great for when you are trying to concentrate in a noisy situation.
Marshalling in many cases is about being heard; you use the flags to communicate to the drivers to make yourself heard. Hand signals to the Post Chief also make yourself heard, but what about when you don’t want to hear? At some events it is important to block out some of the noise of the cars because they are too loud or you are trying to concentrate.
Either way you are going to need either ear plugs or ear defenders. I can hear some of you saying, well you don’t hear the cars to their full potential. This may be the case, but your hearing is far more important. A few times I have been caught out by a Formula 5000 at full chat and still had ringing in my ears a few days later.
If you think anything has been missed out be sure to comment below and it will appear in a Marshalling Essentials Volume 3.
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