The Beaujolais Run 2010 - Reims to Macon
Reims awoke to the lively start of the navigational shoot out, synonymous with this ‘Mad Dogs and Englishmen’ event. Jean-Pierre of Taittinger readied the starting flag as teams anxiously awaited receipt of their cryptic checkpoint clues. The scene outside Pierre-Emmanuel’s offices in Reims was transformed into a mix of childhood dreams with teams attired to the theme; ‘What I Want To Be When I Grow Up’. Unleashed from Reims, teams ceased the challenge and went about solving five cryptic checkpoints in their attempt to cover the course in the shortest possible distance. Each task included an obligatory future aspiration impersonation; guaranteed to bring smiles (and raised eyebrows!) to highly populated villages throughout France. But the air of comedy couldn’t disguise their dedication to finding the shortest route – which didn’t always mean taking the most obvious route.
The rolling D-roads of rural France were once again sensational. After three checkpoints including the splendour of Chablis, teams were stunned to find their marshall team waiting for them at checkpoint three. Faces were incredulous as it dawned upon the teams that they were being instructed to multiply lap Dijon’s famous Formula One circuit as part of their navigational trial! Turbos whined, superchargers howled and rubber squeeled as some of Europe’s finest metal was let loose on the finest operational track in France. For many competitors it was their first time at Dijon, following in the footsteps of motorsport legends; Villeneuve and Arnoux who fought a memorable battle at the 1979 French Grand Prix.
Teams’ antics were viewed in real time all over the world, thanks to iTrack Protect. For the teams themselves it was like being part of a video game, as they tracked their competition en route.
A superb meal at Château de Chasselas ensured teams were suitably fuelled before heading out into the night for the midnight release of the Beaujolais Nouveau. Inimitable in its spectacle; teams joined a torch lit walk into the heart of the village, mixing with local vignerons who were only to proud to proclaim the near perfect conditions in Beaujolais, producing a fabulous 2010 vintage! Sante! A few glasses of the 2010 crop amidst an awesome party atmosphere, music and fireworks lit the sky until the early hours. For those who didn’t fall asleep on the return coach, Anthony Reid’s stories of his career, past, present and future, on the microphone kept them thoroughly entertained! Tomorrow brings the return to Reims – where we’ll find out who is victorious!