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We are Team Bugsplat, We take part in the Scumrun rally and run the official Scumrunvideo youtube channel

2 Apr 2013

Scumrun 2012 - Part 12 - Heading home at a leisurely pace

So here we are, It's taken a while to reach this final installment, and as the sands of time ebb ever closer to the launch of the 2013 event it seems only fitting that I get off my satirical arse and close the book on 2012.

So we pick this up having just had one hell of a night, which started with 'LED porn' and ended in...ended in... ah even 10 months later its hazy... I woke up with one hell of a hangover, but luckily we had already established Andy was driving...especially as it was quite a long way to the ferry from where we were and we had a checkpoint on route, so we got up bright and early and headed off.

I have foggy memories of the sun burning through misty skies and chilly roof down cruising through close to zero temperatures with the realisation that we had a bloody long way to go in one day to make the ferry. The route this year was a real toughy and it was at this point that I took a poignant moment to reflect on the awesomeness of Japanese engineering.

The Bug...a Mazda MX5 built somewhere far away in 1992 with Japanese engineering at it's roots. I wonder if the engineers designing it or the robots building it ever considered for a second the obscene usage it would see in its lifetime.  But whether they had this unagi-esque foresight or not it's fair to say that they built a bulletproof warhorse of a car. It was somewhere heading through the French back roads that the little monster clocked over onto 150,000 miles. Ok so it's not the highest mileage you'll ever see, but given that the last 30,000 of so of those have been in my ownership and switching alternatively between 'flat out' and 'sideways' I can only bow down at the skill of the Mazda engine builders.

So as a tribute to the awesomeness of the engine I (post rally) of course decide to have it ripped out...but that's another story for another day...

So I'm not sure if it was the lack of breakfast, hangover or just my nostalgic self but I was feeling rather poetic about the ol' Scumrun...

Our first and only checkpoint of the day was the welcome sign in a little place known more for its output than anything else, and to continue the theme of the checkpoints on this years event we pulled up along with loads of other runners in Cognac.

This was a quick stop for a photo opportunity as it was still a mighty drive to the ferry.

After some roundabout drifting with our buddies in the white MR2 and some phone hunting with the (i was now realising) useless at remembering where he'd put things Andy. We got onto the main run to the ferry. About 600km of motorway blast.

As the 'blast' was just pushing the needle up the indices of mph and we were engaging FMWD (French Motorway Warp Drive) we spotted something.

It was blue, white, small and hazy on the distance, joining from a slip road at pretty slow speed.

The good old French constabulary looked at us like they'd just bitten into their ham and cheese baguette and found a turd. Not sure if it was the fact that we were mid stamp on the brakes or the fact that we went past them at exactly 1 mph under the speed limit that annoyed them more...

But just as we were reveling in our English smugness we watched them slow down, indicate onto the hard shoulder and stop behind us on the motorway...

S$%t! we thought, we'd just effectively set a trap.

You see, in our eagerness to leave early, travel moderately and catch teams on camera as they caught us up we had indeed been one of the front runners at this point. Which meant that 'Le Rozzers' were no doubt radioing all their buddies and lining the spine of France with as many cars, cameras and coppers as were available... Neurotic? maybe, Paranoid? perhaps, Damn right! indeed!

We tweeted, We Facebooked, We CB'd, we'd done all we could to warn the other runners of the possible impending doom...

It was noted by some 'fans' (well a parent actually) that our radar 'blips' on the gps trackers had decisively slowed in progress...this was as the word spread through the airways that we were being stalked by our friends in blue.

All in all, by the time we'd reached the end of that day I'd heard of around 10 'stops' by the local forces. Not many in fairness ending with fines...although one particular team who shall remain nameless were a little bit OTT and suffered the consequences I hear.

About half way to the ferry we pulled in to get some fuel along with the Orange Brigade...The event cars plus the Orange Audi, which I guess was seeking camouflage with the others to avoid further police presence (they had been one of the unlucky ones) were also stopping.

One gap in our footage so far was the event cars on the road. We had seemingly missed them on the other days and so we took full advantage on the run after this stop. The great thing about CB's is that they are great for coordinating 'Fly Bys' . After 4 or 5 backward and forward we had shot plenty of great footage of the cars and then headed off.

The ride to the ferry was fairly uneventful from there on in. We came across various scummers on route, and a couple of the beemers heading past us at least 130+ with ship fog horn blasting was quite amusing. But it wasnt until we were approaching the port that the concertina effect meant we bumped into loads of teams. Including the neanderthalic flintstoneesque snozzwangers who are always good for a laugh, and some footage. Mr Stillwell take a bow, one scumrun short of a funny farm if you ask me...

...so it was with this crazy rabble we rolled into the finish at the ferry port. there were about 10 or so cars there already and merriment was well under way.

The cars came rolling in one by one, but when Suped, the little moped carrying the now even more legendary 'Big Kev' rolled in it was somewhat emotional...all I can say is fair play... although seeing as he had agreed to take on my less than simple engine conversion and as I write this he's throwing a motorbike around the sahara desert...I'm starting to get a real insight into how he works... probably best summarised as 'bring it on'

On the Ferry the usual post event party was good, although looking round at the 300 or so band of brothers you could really see the fatigue as well as the joy...let's make no bones about it, it had been a challenging one this year.

The awards were given out, Best dressed to the Virgin girls, which nobody could argue with, enough beer and any one of us would have copped off with them...The coveted Spirit of the Scumrun went to the well deserved Pirates...who had been in costume and character for the entire event and were brilliant...other awards went to the guys who raised the most for charity, including the miles for matilda chaps who raised an eye watering 8k alone! others to the Gavin and Stacey (and don't forget Nessa) and the NYtaxi peeps who also raised awesome amounts. Kev and Suped got a special 'your so mental we didnt actually think you'd do it, let alone get round' award. and the best car awards (dressed and modified) went to the Jolly boys death race lexus and the just incredible Batmobile 3 series bmw with the chopped lack of roofage and real jet engine in rear (well space heater but looked the same!)

The exit from the ferry was the usual cacophonous auditory assault on the senses, only mildy tempered this year by the fact that they had split us onto 2 floors. and to top the whole thing off, I got a rollocking from the passport control people for revving my subtle exhaust notes too much...

So that's it... we'd seen Roads to never forget, People we'd always remember, another year of fantastic experiences with amazing fellow 'believers' in the way of the Scumrun.

And as I write this in a particularly cold spring start to 2013 I have the warming but mischievous sparkle in my eye of someone who gets to do it all over again in 4 weeks time...

2012 was an awesome event, Long live the Scumrun.

Joe 'Bugsplat' Richardson - Signing off...  

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