Firstly a quick apology for the delay between part 1 and 2, I went on holiday. I know a lack of dedication that I can only look to improve on.
So we left it at Dover...
So we climbed aboard 'The Pride of Scumrun' and headed up the stairwells en mass to the bar. There is a circle of inevitability with this event. A marking if you will. The start and the end celebrated in a cramped bar with several hundred oddly dressed drunken participants, several 'continental' ferrystafffolk overlooking with an air of 'oh no not again' and a smattering of completely under-prepared 'normal' people making their holiday driven or truck driveresque crossing all very clearly sharing one behavioural feature I describe as 'please don't let our paths cross' syndrome.
The party was in full swing, Chris (one of the event team) after making his solemn vow to me at the launch that he would only partake in a light supping of ale...was mullered.
I should insert a disclaimer here that the event in no way condones drink driving, breathes are tested, warnings are issues and drivers are nominated...drink passengering is fair game though. In fact it's kind of essential.
(he says inserting a photo of both team drivers with a beer, this was pre-sleep of course!)
After a little filming of the fun we decided that there was one way to survive the day we had in store ahead of us. Sleep... Some teams took to this idea and those with the cabins arranged mostly headed off in reasonable time to get, oh at least 3 or 4 hours sleep.
What struck me as odd were those who I shall proclaim as WTF enthusiasts who has honoured their bodies with the luxury of a bed and then proceeded to not even try retiring to it until about 2 hours before docking!
These people aren't right in the head if you ask me...hang on what am I saying? this is the Scumrun.
I occupied some of my time by getting creative with our Sparks Bear. He went through a change, you could say 'the change' and became Barry the Transvestbear Badger...
and was promptly gaffer taped to the camera.
Andy my co-conspirator above was able to do that thing I have never been able to do...(no not that you dirty B$%&£$£) sleep sitting up. He must have drifted off with at least 5 hours to spare the lucky git.
I struggled, gave up, struggled again, convinced myself I was asleep only to realise I couldn't be if I was having that conversation with myself anyway. In the end due to complete exhaustion of being only partially sane I managed to get close to an hour of sleep.
Then I was rudely awoken by some pirates shouting...well you can guess.
It was a good job, It was briefing time. We all rammed into the restaurant, and just at the moment we were all poised to receive the good tidings of the day, A foreign small lady of what I presume to be French in nature decided to try and get all 280 of us to move...
A swift 'no 2 mins sil vous F£$%$£$ plait" was delivered.
Ed arisen above the crowd like a scumrunian messiah announced with baited breath...
"go to the car park just off the ferry"
So we did. Leaving the ferry was positively sedate in comparative terms, only minor hornage (no you dirty dirty boy, go wash your mouth out) as people were slightly nervous of the French authorities.
As stories of Stuttgart bombardment do the rounds on the ferry I sometimes think that some of the newer folk think the Gendarmerie (or however it's spelt) will be lined up in tanks with machine gun turrets when we get off the boat! We may be British but we're not all that bad (Snozzwangers aside, they should be locked up soon as look at them)
We congregated in a holding area which gave me a good chance to get round some of the cars with the big camera in the daylight. We also did some testing of the on car camera system which was so doomed to failure as I will cover.
So all the participants grouped together closely for a photo...you could smell it for miles.
The route cards (which I always refer to as route cards but are now A4 sheets of paper such is the detail of the latest Edrouteplannermastermindschenanigans) were given out and the route was as follows...
Race track 1 - Le Mans
Race track 2 - Cherade
Campsite in Clarmont Ferrand
Now it's not a race, it's a charity rally drive but the cars disappeared quicker than free beer at a...well just free beer. We played around with cameras for about 5 minutes and all of a sudden there was only ourselves and 2 other cars. So we left and headed for Le Mans.
Andy took the wheel for the first time, as I had had very little sleep. So I had the ultimate wake up, roof down motorway...age.
On route we saw various teams as we did our camera guy duties and were obliged to 'blat' past teams in the aid of footage.
Weather at this point was decidedly cloudy. Like a grey day in wolverhampton mixed with a foggy spot of west bromwich and a sprinkle of cold damp crapiness.
We stopped somwhere along here at a service station for some fuel. I won't mention every time we did this, as it would be fairly repetitive and laborious, It's a car rally, we did 2400 miles, yes we used a fair bit of petrol. If you are thinking about the environment right now, be gone with you, you're on the wrong blog.
At this service station there was a lot of other teams, The Capri boys were issuing Scumrun Parking tickets, The YMCA scooby had gone completely pete tong with it's coolant, they recited their glorious tale of how their car erupted during a French police 'pull' scaring them half to death. Only on Scumrun can a car get hailed by the local constabulary only to then blow up on stopping. Brilliant!
The Batmobile turned up, 100ft in that thing is worth a medal in my book.
We ate some ham and cheese roll thing (the only food available in France) and then headed off again.
After some (time for a new word) Bugsplatfilmblatting (the art of driving quickly whilst filming things in a manor representative of team bugsplat) we reached Le Mans.
We, like many other teams, misheard or misunderstood the checkpoint photo briefing which apparently was to head to the public part of the circuit and get a photo. We went to the front entrance instead.
This was actually a blessing in disguise... The reasoning is three-fold...
1.I really needed a wee, they had some suitable pots available.
2.They had the Le Mans Museum and Shop which made interesting viewage.
3.We bought some entrance tickets and went for a mooch inside the circuit, doing a bugsplat video diary entry by the dunlop bridge (which will follow in due course)
In retrospect I wish we'd have gone and found the open part of the circuit but the small 'Professionalism' in me wanted to make sure we got footage of as many different teams as possible so we spent no further duration at Le Mans and headed south, I felt ok now after drinking my own weight in Red Bull...
Seriously if anyone connected to Red Bull is reading this...get involved in the event in some way, We probably get through the same annual revenue as Maldova in one weekend!
I took the wheel, the bug was singing in her 103db full chat vocal range as we headed south towards Clarmont Ferrand, The rain was getting somewhat pesky however so we needed to unfortunately fail in one of my long endeavoured missions, to complete an entire rally with the roof down. I've not done it yet, I hope you will forgive this slight as the heavens were pouring more liquid on us than the campsite urinals get in an evening...and seeing as we were in France the quality was probably comparable.
So this is where I will leave it for the moment...More coming very soon.