One of the most difficult high-speed motorcycle races on earth—and one of the most deadly—is underway and has already claimed one life, reports the Washington Post. Each spring, the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy draws about 40,000 spectators to a tiny island perched between Ireland and Great Britain, in the Irish sea. They come to watch racers careen around a 37.7-mile circuit with more than 400 turns, at speeds of up to 200 mph, in an event sometimes called the “Isle of Manslaughter." More than 140 racers have been killed in the 111-year history of the event, according to Fox. The latest casualty is Dan Kneen, 30, who lost control of his BMW on the first lap of the event’s Superbike practice session, reports the Guardian.
During the trials, Kneen had posted a speed of 132.258, which was the third highest qualifying time. The course runs through a kaleidoscope of scenery: tiny villages, greenbelts, and the highest mountain on the island. For racers, the danger is part of the appeal. “We all know that we accept the risks,” past TT champion John McGuinness told the Guardian in 2007. “Maybe we’re a bunch of hard-nosed bastards.” Kneen’s father paid tribute to his son on Facebook: “Dan lived for his racing and wild horses wouldn’t have torn him away from it. I was happy for him; he was in his element and loving it,” he wrote. “Best wishes for all the other TT competitors. The TT show will go on." The event, which is actually a series of races, will run through June 8. (Read more motorcycle stories.)