What is a Flagmarshal?
It’s God knows what time on a Saturday / Sunday morning. Even the sparrows are still coughing in their beds. Most sane people would glance out of their window on a icy / foggy / rainy day or whatever and snuggle up back in their warm beds, muttering words to the effect like, wouldn’t put the dog / cat / budgie or mother inlaw out in that.
But guess what, down in the bowels of a Motor Race Circuit, are a bunch of cold miserable looking vagabonds, all dressed in white. Vainly trying to stop yawning, stay awake, look intelligent, interested and alive, things that are quite hard to do as they mostly resemble a collection of Egyptian Mummies recently disinterred from their sarcophagi.
After an indeterminate length of time, the CHIEF of this motley crew, who usually resembles a hat shaped object with a bewhiskered growth hanging underneath, appears and opens his mouth to allocate positions. At this precise instant, the Clerk of the Course comes gibbering along at Stage 2 panic, (you know its Stage 2, as his feet are occasionally in contact with the ground), and inanely asks, When are you going out to the points? It never fails, even when we have an hour or so to go to the start of the days proceedings.
So the said CHIEF spends the next 5 minutes calming him down, and after patting him on his ego, sends him on his way. Then when he’s out of range, mutters about the uncertainty of his parents ability to produce intelligent offspring, and the validity, if any, of the said parents wedding certificate.
Again he tries to allocate positions, and guess what, one or more of the following delightful little annoyances happen. The girl on the Pits P.A. has a 10 minute monologue at about 120 db, 3 helicopters take off and hover overhead, Kage and his crash crew start doing hot laps of pit lane and every Race Car within 500 Metres starts up and revs the holy hell out of the engines. It never fails.
Eventually, with a lot of shouting, pointing and a fair slice of luck, most of us finally realise just where we are going to enjoy ourselves for the rest of the day. (HAH!).
Now just who are these misbegotten bunch of human beings called? Its the VICTORIAN FLAGMARSHALLING TEAM Inc; a highly trained bunch of masochists, who take great pleasure in being sunburnt, frozen, soaked and windblown, usually on the same day, sometimes hourly.
We do this to provide safety to another bunch of refugees from the human race, more commonly known as Racing Drivers. They probably don’t realise that to most of us, a flick of a finger, a wave of the hand or a nod of the head is payment enough for a job well done.
Just why do we do it?
because we damn well enjoy it, that’s why.
So always show the right flag, and keep them hanging right.