Ed Wilson, LancashireEd Wilson works for the Isle of Man TT Motorsports team as Digital Content Manager. Ed who is an avid motorcycling fan and occasional club racer, watched his first TT race at just nine months old!
Ed returned every year with his family, several of whom have raced at the TT and Manx Grand Prix. Ed relocated to the Island in 2018 after securing the role with the Motorsports team.
Motorcycling – it’s in the blood
I come from a family of motorcycling enthusiasts and was involved with the Isle of Man TT Races from an early age – from nine months old to be precise! My dad took part in the Manx Grand Prix in the late 90’s, and my brother has raced at the TT since 2017. As a family we’ve always had a passion for biking, not just racing, but also the engineering and mechanics side of things. My dad has a particular interest in rotary engines, and we’d work on classic bikes for the TT. I don’t think a year went by when I hadn’t taken part or watched the TT races in some shape or form!
It was through working on the classic bikes that I met one of the TT Motorsports team – and that’s where my journey in moving to the Isle of Man began. I was working in Lancashire at the time, but my heart wasn’t in my role. I reached out to the contact I’d made in the Motorsports team and asked if I could come and help for a month or so at the 2018 races. He initially declined, but I was persistent, and eventually they agreed to take me on for four weeks. I took a month off work, was paid nothing, but loved every minute of it. I did everything from putting up signage around the course to helping out with the parking at the RV Park. On the side I was also supporting my brother with his pit stops.
When a job in the team came up shortly afterwards, I jumped at the chance – fast forward several months and the role was mine and I was packing my bags to head to the Isle of Man.
The Isle of Man and the other 50 weeks of the year
I must admit I’d not really explored the Island outside of the TT Races. Initially I threw myself into the new role, but in the process really got to know the Isle of Man. For such a small Island, it has a lot to offer. Whether that’s sports, events, activities, food and drink – its outdoor offering. There’s a nice community feel here, and a real ‘get up and go’ – people are friendly, welcoming, and outgoing – and want to get out and get involved – it’s infectious!
My partner shortly followed me from London, and we both live on Douglas Promenade with a lovely sea view. She’s been able to retain her role, working remotely from the Island. Where her colleagues are commuting two hours a day, she commutes two minutes to her desk, and can watch the tides go in and out as she works.
Although my job can be very demanding at certain points in the year, I have a short commute, and ample time in an evening and weekend to get out and enjoy the Island – I live 30 seconds away from the sea, two minutes from the pub and five minutes from central town. There are so many things to do and see on your doorstep – including the Northern Lights which I saw in my first winter on Island. Albeit, the pace is slightly slower here, there is so much space to breath, both mentally and physically – which is pretty refreshing.
Perks of living on a motorsport Island
Of course, one of the major perks about living here is the ability to ride the Mountain Course whenever you like. Safe to say I’ll use any excuse to go over the Mountain Road, even if it adds an extra 15 minutes to my journey!
I love the build up to the TT, when you start see the signage go up, fresh tarmac being laid on the roads, and the Island transform into a race course. From my office window I can see the pit lane being prepared, signage being painted and the Grandstand coming to life – it’s something to behold, and it never gets old.
Since starting my role, I’ve been lucky enough to not just meet but to actually work with many of my TT heroes such as John McGuinness MBE, Michael Dunlop and Phillip McCallen – the guys I watched growing up and idolising.
Racing is certainly in the Island’s blood and extends past the TT. There are many motorcycling clubs and associations on the Island, and me and Dad will regularly take part in events and meetings across the year at the Jurburgring in Jurby! There’s also plenty of motocross, cycling and karting pursuits to enjoy here as well.
The dream job
I feel very lucky to be working in a role where I live and breathe one of my biggest passions. The role has evolved massively over the last three years; initially I was updating social media and the website, now I’ve helped launch the TT’s first ever online TV channel. Progression and continued learning were evident from the get-go, and I’ve developed massively both professionally and personally as result.
No two days are the same, and every day is a challenge – the team is a relatively small one, which has provided me with the opportunity to take on a diverse set of responsibilities and several large-scale projects in the run up to TT 2022. I’m sure if I was working in a UK equivalent motorsports team, my role would be far more diluted.
One of the real perks though is being surrounded by progressive and forward-thinking people with an equal passion for biking – without this team the TT simply wouldn’t happen, and it’s an absolute privilege to be a part of it day in and day out.