The Isle of Wight Diamond Races: Circuit Guide

Simon Hargreaves
By Simon Hargreaves
SimonHbikes Simon rides motorbikes, and then writes about them. He also co-presents the Front End Chatter podcast and plays bass guitar rather well.

 

It’s the first new road race planned on public roads in modern times. BikeSocial rides the Diamond Races circuit on the Isle of Wight to bring you the world’s first circuit guide...

 

Chale Circuit – Stats

Length: 12.2 miles

Corners: 42 (approx.)

Longest ‘straight’: 1.7 miles

Junctions: 6

Roundabouts: 1

Pubs: 2 (poor effort)

Garages: 1

Phone boxes: 2

Badgers: for 1 mile

Velociraptors: 1

 

Course map on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/11iSr86jGfdWpQpU6

 

Road racing set for Isle of Wight debut inc. exclusive video interview
BENNETTS BIKESOCIAL’S ON BOARD LAP
Join Simon Hargreaves on a Suzuki VStrom 1050 on a narrated lap of the Isle of Wight Diamond Races Chale Course
BikeSocial rides the 12.mile Chale course on the Isle of Wight to bring you the world’s first circuit guide...

 

Start/Finish line

https://goo.gl/maps/kj4HgegYBXtNEi3Y9

The start line has yet to be determined because it depends on the final location of the paddock and pit facilities. But the Chale Parish recreation ground must be favourite; it has plenty of space, is grassed but mown flat, and feeds directly onto the circuit. It’s situated at the far end of the Military Road, just before the 40mph speed limit signs at the entrance to the Wright Mouse Inn, just outside the village of Chale (the proposed circuit is called the Chale course).

 

 

Raptor Bend

https://goo.gl/maps/ZTGtEHWkaPSPtdSe9

At Chale Bay Farm, as the road swings left, a Velociraptor looms over the hedge. So we’ll call this first corner Raptor Bend.

 

BikeSocial rides the 12.mile Chale course on the Isle of Wight to bring you the world’s first circuit guide...

 

Chale Corner

https://goo.gl/maps/MG1EKwcGKLhbTobY9

The circuit continues to roll left, into the village of Chale. Past a red phone box and with St Andrew’s church on the inside of the corner (so we’ll call it St Andrew’s), we take a left at the junction onto the B3399.  The road feeds gently past the back entrance to the Wright Mouse Inn, and past a Gulf garage on the left.

 

BikeSocial rides the 12.mile Chale course on the Isle of Wight to bring you the world’s first circuit guide...

 

Scout Hall

https://goo.gl/maps/L33cdDQNAif3jSgVA

The road drops away to the left, with the Scout Hall on inside and an island on the right at the junction with Upper House Lane, but it’s steeply cambered.

 

BikeSocial rides the 12.mile Chale course on the Isle of Wight to bring you the world’s first circuit guide...

 

Chalets

https://goo.gl/maps/ZTSn2J5C5QPoFoZr5

After a short, narrow straight through a tunnel of high hedges the road sweeps gently uphill to the right, past a line of chalet-style houses. It rises over a crest, runs straight, then drops into a long, open left hander before rising gently again to the left, then dropping to the right.  So far so good – this will a fast, curving run but nothing too challenging. The road is pretty much lined either with hedges or the driveways of houses.

 

 

Gotten Lane

https://goo.gl/maps/gMYHVt7df872U5fC7

At the 30mph zone at Gotten Lane, the road narrows even more and funnels between stone walls – on the left is and old church (now a house). The course winds past houses on the left, which are set back from the road and have driveways cut into steep banking. It’s a formidable sight, with them lined up like saw-teeth, as you enter the right/left combination and drift out towards them. Not a place you want to put a wheel wrong.

 

 

Chale Green

https://goo.gl/maps/rYtebu2gen3zfWi5A

The road suddenly opens out with a straight into Chale Green, with lawns on either side of the road (and a few trees). At the red phone box on the right, just before Chale Green Stores and opposite a bus shelter, the course peels left onto...

 

BikeSocial rides the 12.mile Chale course on the Isle of Wight to bring you the world’s first circuit guide...

 

Town Lane

https://goo.gl/maps/UFEsPx1Pu7RDX2yK9

A crazy little back lane that climbs between stone walls with a blind apex on the left just as the kerb stops – it won’t quite be shoulders-rubbing-on-the-stone-wall type stuff, but it’ll look dramatic.

 

BikeSocial rides the 12.mile Chale course on the Isle of Wight to bring you the world’s first circuit guide...

 

Star Corner

https://goo.gl/maps/SPxJpRRVX6ReytH5A

After a few hundred yards of dashing between a tall hedgerow on the right and more domestic driveways on the left, the course suddenly hauls up with a 90° right hander, called Star Corner. The camber drops on the exit as it climbs uphill – but on a racing line, the exit runs out to the lefthand bank just as it narrows. Might catch a few people out.

 

BikeSocial rides the 12.mile Chale course on the Isle of Wight to bring you the world’s first circuit guide...

 

Emmett Hill

https://goo.gl/maps/q8hFGGqG3MXVGBjv6

The road is marked as a national speed limit, and on a closed lap it’ll be threading a fast straight line as the road winds back and forth. After the closed-in feel of the previous sections, this feels much more open, with a field on the left.

 

 

Beckfield Cross and Kingston Road

https://goo.gl/maps/rDLujhmSkMcRYfHq7

The course peels off to the left onto Kingston Road – blink and you’ll miss it. This is where the circuit starts to get seriously nadgery. It becomes single track, high banking funnelling you into a tunnel of trees, arching over the road in a green canopy. It’s incredibly narrow, the sensation of speed though here will be intoxicating. It’s not straight, either – the road jinks to the right and then left, bursting out into blinding sunlight to run through open fields and rolling farmland.

 

BikeSocial rides the 12.mile Chale course on the Isle of Wight to bring you the world’s first circuit guide...

 

Buck’s Farm

https://goo.gl/maps/kjscsCvTHCZiUyiy6

The road rises and crests, dropping to the right opposite the entrance to Buck’s Farm. The road then drops downhill, racing towards a couple of giant cedar trees on the left, and gentle lefthander. With the rolling hills off to the right, it doesn’t even look like England, let alone the Isle of Wight. This is California.

 

 

Presford Crest

https://goo.gl/maps/DNNZWyxoSZdXbYmZ8

Fairly hair-raising part of the circuit – it’ll definitely raise the front wheel. A long rise in the road followed by a crest will become a wheelie at race pace – but as the road drops downhill it’s followed by a sharpish left hander, with a farm opposite and a white fence on the inside. Getting the bike stopped for the bend will be interesting.

 

BikeSocial rides the 12.mile Chale course on the Isle of Wight to bring you the world’s first circuit guide...

 

Shorewell 1

https://goo.gl/maps/ADAwTC5SJXv3QZF88

The entry to Shorewell village is downhill, through 30mph signs, funnelling down a narrow path past houses and driveways – then a sweeping right hander with a garden wall to greet the unwary, as the camber (again) drops off on the exit.

 

 

Shorewell 2

https://goo.gl/maps/g2HuGHMxXvH1PQiE8

Into the centre of the village, turning left at the mini-roundabout and immediately cutting back right to sweep past the Crown Inn, the corner of its white walls jutting out into the road on the right, and picking the bike up to avoid clattering into the bus stop on the left.

 

 

Badgers

https://goo.gl/maps/vSMaAXhT6hKWptSz9

Leaving Shorewell, the road sweeps past yet more houses, gardens and front drives – there’ll be no shortage of places to watch the racing from – then a lovely long left hander sweeps uphill past the ‘Badgers’ road sign. The next few bends – long climbing right over the hill, then another section of gently straight-lining a series of lefts and rights.

 

 

Limerstone 1 & 2

https://goo.gl/maps/7ZEzGv9DgeFd84Ae8

Tricky little S-bend with a 90° left (facing an inviting stone cottage), then a greasy little 90° right, with horrible camber, a stone wall on the inside – but at least there a field on the outside of the exit.

 

BikeSocial rides the 12.mile Chale course on the Isle of Wight to bring you the world’s first circuit guide...

 

Brighstone Bends

https://goo.gl/maps/Hh4dUtfdrYC9BwFcA

Home of the Isle of Wight MP, Bob Seely, the circuit enters the village of Brighstone with a nice series of lefts and rights, turning into a sharper left at the 30mph signs. The exit is populated with small trees.

 

 

St Mary’s and Galley’s Lane

https://goo.gl/maps/ZF7tZXxcrSUW55Pr9

The road narrows between hedges and walls into a sharp right, and runs down alongside St Mary’s church, turning sharp left at the junction with a war memorial on the inside. An open sprint runs down towards a right jink with a dip in the road at Galley’s Lane, then up and over to the left climbing a rise again. An open kink feeds into a small complex of bends before arriving at the junction with the Military Road.

 

BikeSocial rides the 12.mile Chale course on the Isle of Wight to bring you the world’s first circuit guide...

 

Brighstone Viaduct

https://goo.gl/maps/zgXdKfwQAKipuEN17

The Military Road (A3055) will be a fabulous place to race and spectate. Right at the start, Brighstone viaduct is 360ft of narrow, low walls with a fast right hander at the end. Considering riders will be outbraking each other into the corner onto the Military Road, there could be some serious side-by-side action here as they out-drag each other. A good drive from the corner will be important.

 

 

Dinosaur Farm

https://goo.gl/maps/hgvrupqSoscUr4ZD9

Flat stick for 1.4 miles, just before the farm entrance on the left is a crest, followed by a gentle right curve. Taken at race pace, the riders will have to come over the crest, keep the front wheel on the ground and steady the bike, then tip into the right hander. At road pace – 60mph – it’s barely noticeable; flat out on a Superbike it’ll be epic.

 

BikeSocial rides the 12.mile Chale course on the Isle of Wight to bring you the world’s first circuit guide...

 

Atherfield Kink

https://goo.gl/maps/JcVog2caqSz8oFzS9

Another 1.5 miles of flat out – with a couple of changes of direction – through the crossroads at the campsite at Chine Lane, then up to the last set of sharp corners on the lap. It’s a gentle set of S-bends on an open road – on closed roads it’ll straightened out as much as possible, but still a challenge to work out entry speed after such a long time flat out.

 

BikeSocial rides the 12.mile Chale course on the Isle of Wight to bring you the world’s first circuit guide...

 

Chine Bends

https://goo.gl/maps/B5Jz4ZyLAQUBJ8yy6

More high speeds with a 1.7-mile run to the finish line, with a couple of gentle corners – at race pace they’ll be scary fast.

 

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