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Carolynn Sells

Epithet: First female Mountain Circuit winner

Record type: Motorsport Biographies

Biography: Carolynn Sells made Manx Grand Prix (MGP) history in 2009 when she became the first female to win on the Mountain Course in the Ultra Lightweight at the MGP. Born into a family of race fans and having watched her father Dave Sells race on the Island, it wasn’t long before Carolynn cherished her own ambitions. At 16 she bought a bike and started racing and her thoughts of competing in the MGP began to form.

A year after getting her national licence Carolynn competed in the 2003 MGP with a very impressive 4th place finish. Two years later she became the first woman to win at the Southern 100 in its 50th anniversary year.

In 2009, after making the switch to a Yamaha, Carolynn won at the MGP. Working hard on her fuel intake Carolynn was able to complete the race without a pit stop however, with an impressive winning margin of 62 seconds, a fuel stop would have been unlikely to change her winning outcome.

“The third lap was really exciting, people were waving and the board put up for me at the 13th said 1+ it is amazing what you take in although you are always looking ahead you notice everything. People were standing up and waving, on the fourth lap, I didn’t want to get cocky before I got to the finish line but I was able to give a wave back at some parts, and when I crossed the finish line, then I was shouting and screaming inside my helmet - I have been so near and so far a few times and you never know if it's just going to remain a dream.”

As to women in bike racing, Carolynn is clear,
“'I certainly don't consider myself a woman in a man's sport - other people make more of an issue about it than I do. It’s good to be the first woman to do this but it's not why I'm doing it. My goal is to achieve things as a racer not as a female.”

Carolynn retired in 2009 to start a family. She’s still involved in Manx Motorsport as a Rider Liaison officer at the MGP taking newcomers around the course. She is also on the Manx Motor Cycle Club’s board of directors.

Competed in

RacePositionTimeSpeedMachine
2009 Ultra Lightweight MGP11:25:24.00106.022Yamaha
2009 Junior MGP211:21:44.00110.776Honda
2008 Ultra Lightweight MGPRHonda
2008 Junior MGP281:03:23.00107.13Honda
2007 Ultra Lightweight MGPRHonda
2007 Junior MGP341:22:40.21109.534Honda
2006 Ultra Lightweight MGP91:28:29.00102.32Honda
2005 Ultra Lightweight MGPRHonda
2005 Junior MGP691:29:34.00101.094Honda
2004 Ultra Lightweight MGP81:28:19.00102.52Honda
2004 Junior MGP601:25:08.00106.35Bullock Honda
2003 Ultra Lightweight MGP231:31:05.0099.4Honda
2003 Class C Newcomers MGP41:31:33.0098.89Trikbitz Honda

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