The Burlington Beaujolais Run 2009 - From Mâcon to Reims
After the spectacular torch lit release of the 2009 vintage all the teams declared it a winner! Competitors awoke to fog in Mâcon and emerged once again into bright sunshine above Beaune. All teams made good progress to Reims as they knew a treat was in store...
As the sun went down on Reims, two gleaming white coaches arrived sent by Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger himself, summoning the teams to la Marquetterie, his chateau amongst the vines. On arrival, the teams found that the Taittinger pressing room had been turned into a party venue complete with stage. After the popping of many corks and the firing of six litres of Aston Martin V12 DBS Volante guests and teams were startled when the car burst into the room, roof down, carrying no less than Eddie Jordan. Keen to debrief the teams in his role of 'M' on the 2009 'Run and to join Q, Justin Llewelyn, (son of Desmond Llewelyn who played 'Q' in the Bond films) Champagne Taittinger's Ambassador.
Justin led teams through five different wines accompanying a sumptuous dinner and a charity auction; the highlight of which being an original James Bond script from You Only Live Twice. During dinner Eddie Jordan thanked teams for their fundraising efforts and gave some insight into the 2009 AND 2010 Formula One seasons.
Expectations were running high as the time for prize giving arrived. Phil Derry and Graham Innes of TrackaPhone took P2 for the GT1 Maps Only navigation class. Winners of P2, Any Assistance, were Neilsen McConnell and Louise Orpin, Team Beaky. The highly coveted P1 went John Riley and Nick Kift. This year the trophy attached to P1 was re-named, in perpetuity, as the James Wall Trophy for the Highest Fundraiser. This was in memory of a competitors' son who lost his fight against cancer in April 2009.
Always a hotly contested award, L'Esprit du Cours went to Steve Williamson and Jo Holmes, The Nubees for their true Beaujolais spirit throughout.
Dean Pither and Anthony Heller proudly collected the Wooden Spoon Award having chalked up the most miles during day two's navigation trial.
Most teams thought that Eddie Jordan was finished for the night, but they were wrong! As they commenced their desserts Pete (on bass) and Luca (lead vocals/lead guitar) took to the stage. Teams were then stunned to find Eddie Jordan was to join the musicians on percussion! The three piece band was joined with a stunning rift from Mark Keen who had supported the 'Run with his musical and technical expertise. Their eclectic playlist ensured all partied hard. La Marquetterie was still ringing with the sound of Eddie and his band as carriages conveyed teams home.
On return to Reims, some of the teams found their second wind. After researching some of Reims' finest night spots, they returned to the hotel's underground garage for an impromptu, and awesome, performance from Mark Keen on his acoustic guitar!