As he stood atop the Isle of Man's tallest peak overlooking the world's most dangerous race, it gradually dawned on Kiwi motorcycle team boss Phil Price that one of his riders was dead.
It wasn't because he didn't understand the risks.
What made it hard for Price to comprehend that the "incident" that stalled the Senior Classic TT race on August 24 might relate to his team Velo rider was that Wellingtonian Chris Swallow was "the best in the world" at racing his category of pre-1973 bikes in the famed street race.
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"He had an unbelievable skill-level. There just isn't anybody like that. Somebody who had been groomed. He groomed himself really," Price says.
"We thought, how can the Swallows be involved in this? So we didn't think about it at all. It might have been two hours before they got to the restart."
So it wasn't until the race began without Chris Swallow and his father Bill - also competing in the category - in the lineup, that reality started to slowly seep in.
A call eventually came through to Price's mobile to return to race office.
"They won't tell you what it is, but you just know," Price said. "I just said to the boys: this is not good."
By the time the team were told the news at race headquarters Price says they were "just numb".
Swallow had suffered a "unsurvivable head fracture" according to the coroner, during his opening lap. He left behind wife Jen and children Eibhlin, and Aoife.
Price's numbness around 37-year-old Swallow's death morphed into a more painful clarity the next day.
"The next morning we went up to the crash site and laid some flowers.
"You don't want to see it," Price says."Because in a way we were a little bit divorced, we hadn't seen anything. We just saw the evidence and you know there's been some serious impact.
"That's the cruel part of death. It's the life that's left, it's not that moment that should define it."
A month on, Price is keen to convey what the Isle of Man race means to those who compete in it, and how its ethos is often misunderstood by media coverage of tragic crashes.
"This was not just a weekend activity. This was a major focus for several people's lives, and they were all specialising in different areas, strategising, training. It's very hard to even comprehend the determination of someone like Chris," Price says.
Price says Swallow was among the purest examples of this dedication to the classic bikes he raced on.
"Every guy that was in front of Chris was actually on a bike 20 years more modern with probably 20 per cent more horsepower.
"One of the big dangers in the Isle of Man is if you start using all the road you start to challenge in your own mind how close you're prepared to get to that brick wall.
"Chris was sweeping around using all the road to keep up with these guys on bikes who were staying safely in the middle of the road just using their power.
"He would never ride one of those [more powerful] bikes because he thought they were illegal. He was very rarely on the best machine and I think he liked it like that."
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Characterising the riders as ignorant of the risks, or adrenaline seekers, is also unfair, he says.
"Oh hell no, it's [risk-awareness] very much there. You just have to drive around the circuit and you can see 110 years worth memorials for people who have lost their lives and it's hundreds over the years." Price says.
"There's been some incredibly cruel losses of life there and yet the pursuit continues."
Price says those who compete view the risk through a different lens, and to call it "unnecessary" misses the point.
"We seem to have wrapped up all risk in cotton wool now and I believe if a man chooses to take a risk he's aware of what he's doing, and that's all there is to it.
"It is inconceivable to be going 130 miles an hour round there and there's just a certain bracket of people who just think 'yeah, I think I'll have a go at that'.
"There's a certain part of us that requires drive, and it requires quest. I just think man would be a bit lost if he wasn't questing for something."