Beryl Swain was the first woman to compete in the Isle of Man TT (singles class) and yet receives no recognition. She was a housewife from North London, and took part in the 50cc class at the TT and other races, yet the FIM rescinded her licence over concerns that if she was killed at the TT they could not cope with the publicity. They brought in a spurious “weight restriction” to try add strength to the cause. She didn’t finish last, was that the real problem?
It took 16 years for another woman to be allowed to race, Hillary Musson, in 1978, the same year as the legendary Mike Hailwood comeback victory.
This year in the Moto 3. Category, we have the incredibly talented Maria Herrera of Spain as the SOLE female racer in any Moto category. She lost factory backing a couple of races in yet FIM who have “women in racing” commission did absolutely sod all to keep the only female in Grands Prix racing in a seat. It took Marc Marquez and Alvaro Bautista to put their hands in their pockets and personally sort out Maria to keep a ride in Moto 3.
So please would someone like to explain to me exactly what FIM are doing in a practical sense to move women from holding umbrellas to racing bikes, because right now I can’t see it.
Perhaps a starting point would be to to name a trophy after Beryl Swain.
Here’s Beryl going about her business