You’ll notice lots of sunflower stickers on the bikes and some of the merchandise. We wear these proudly to remember Sophie Grant, daughter of Den and Nickie Grant, the YPM super marshals. Den retired from racing YPM in 2009 and became one of the orange army of BEMSEE marshals along with wife Nickie so they could stay involved with the sport they loved and of course Sophie came to the meetings too. Son Scott (#81 very pink bike) worked the collecting area from a young age until he became old enough to ride himself and quicky became a front runner of YPM, setting a few lap records on the way.
The family created the YPM Marshal Award, one of only two awards you can’t win by racing alone, to remember Sophie who was a big part of the YPM paddock and to be eligaible for this you have to wear a sunflower sticker on your bike hence why you’ll see them on the fairings. The sunflower was Sophies favourite flower and represents her smile.
Sophie came to racing as part of the Grant family to support her dad racing YPM’s in 2005.
Sophie spent most of her teenage weekend’s being dragged to tracks across the country to watch her dad race. She did enjoy the paddock life, especially people watching, once she had managed to get up. As a teenager she could sleep through anything. At Snetterton, she nagged to take a friend racing so she could show them around and that weekend Sophie slept through the Saturday scrutteenering, practice, and only got up when Den revved up the bike so much she had little choice but to get up.
The Grant family decided to have team t-shirts made with their job title on the back and she got Brolly Dolly, this suited her as she was not too good at passing spanners.
Sophie was very happy when Den gave up racing and joined her Mum in orange, Marshaling. Her brother Scott has been involved in the Collecting Area since 2008.
When Sophie was 16 she was very proud to be the only one of her friends to have gained her motorbike licence on a proper bike, an Aprilla RS50. Her dad took her out for some pre test practice and she was not impressed when she fell off because of a frog on the road.
We wanted to do something fun for Sophie’s memory and thought of having an award for things that we talked about on the way home, just like we did on long journey’s back from circuits when Den was racing. The things that made us smile, during the weekend, silly things like riders waving at each other whilst over taking, a rider helping pick their bike up after a little spill, that sort of thing.
Sophie sadly passed away in 2010 in her sleep when she was 17, and we would like you to wear your Sunflower with a smile, to give us a smile just like she had.
Throughout the year the YPM Marshal’s note who has impressed them at each round and then a decision is made as to who deserve’s it the most. Every year the bar is raised as riders strive to find more fabulous ways to impress the YPM marshal’s.
Notable ways to get on the score board:
- Waving at them, this is like your bread and butter point scoring, do it a lot to get noticed, during the race applies a points multiplier but don’t go too mental like Big Barry Hobbs did (see below)
- Helping the marshal’s by doing something to make their lives easier like picking your bike up after a spill, leaning it against a tyre wall, finding a spare hay bail to cover it with and then getting over the tyre wall to safety rather than waiving your arms and shouting a lot at the sky.
- Cool down lap shenanigans. Wave a lot, with as many limbs as you can, all four if possible. Standy upy waving is encouraged.
- Race as hard as you can, there’s nothing like stuffing it up the inside of someone at their corner so they can see how awesome you are. Beware though, they are Marshal’s, they see everything so don’t do anything naughty or under yellow flags (see below)