The 2003 Classic Safari Challenge
The Classic Safari Challenge leaves Cape Town’s old harbour and heads out of town under the shadows of Table Bay Mountain on February 16 – for the start of a three week marathon drive across the heart of Africa.
Six African countries later, the survivors will reach the palm trees of Hemingway’s Hotel, north of Mombasa in the Watamu national marine park…simply one of the finest “drop-out” hotels in the world, and one of the most tranquil, soul-healing spots on earth… the ultimate destination for the prizegiving celebrations after a very special drive.
The route includes several days in Namibia, even an early-morning spot of hot-air balooning over the giant sand-dunes of the Skeleton Coast, into the Etosha national park, home to the world’s largest elephants among many other bird and animal species; Victoria Falls, for a spot of white water rafting…. onwards to the Ngorongoro Crater and Mount Kilamjaro, before the last lap through Kenya to the Indian Ocean Coast.
Only a tiny handful of drivers, in very special cars, were sought for this highly exclusive drive, as the intention from the outset was to take time out in the “tiny, out of the way” places, the lodges and camps in national game parks. A great bunch of characters, from all round the world, already pioneers of such icons as the Peking to Paris and our Around the World in 80 Days, have come together for a re-union, taking on The Peking-Paris, Africa style.
|Day 1 – Sunday 16th February 2003 – Leg 1|
|CAPE TOWN to CLANWILLIAM|
|Clanwilliam||TC1/2B||231 km||15:53 – 17:36|
|Day 2 – Monday 17th February 2003 – Leg 2|
|CLANWILLIAM to FISH RIVER CANYON|
|Cedarberg*||TC2/2C||92 km||07:09 – 07:50|
|Canyon||TC2/3B||566 km||14:13 – 19:08|
|Day 3 – Tuesday 18th February 2003 – Leg 3|
|FISH RIVER CANYON to SESRIUM|
|Canyon Road House||TC3/1A||08:30|
|Helmeringhausen*||TC3/2C||248 km||11:36 – 13:27|
|Tsarisberge*||TC3/3C||153 km||13:30 – 16:31|
|Sossusvlei||TC3/4B||106 km||14:49 – 18:37|
|Day 4 – Wednesday 19th February 2003 – Leg 4|
|SESRIUM to SWAKOPMUND|
|Martial Eagle*||TC4/2D||202 km||15:01 – 16:33|
|Swakopmund||TC4/3B||144 km||16:48 – 19:25|
|Day 5 – Thursday 20th February 2003 – Leg 5|
|SWAKOPMUND to TWFELFONTIEN|
|White Lady*||TC5/2C||206 km||11:04 – 12:37|
|Twfelfontien*||TC5/3B||116 km||12:31 – 14:56|
|Day 6 – Friday 21st February 2003 – Leg 6|
|TWFELFONTIEN to OKAUKUEJO|
|Kamajab||TC6/2C||221 km||10:45 – 12:25|
|Otijikondo*||TC6/3C||73 km||11:39 – 13:53|
|Village*||TC6/4B||69 km||12:31 – 14:15|
|Day 7 – Saturday 22nd February 2003|
|ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK – Day Off|
|Day 8 – Sunday 23rd February 2003 – Leg 7|
|MOKUTI to RUNDU|
|Batleur*||TC7/3C||180 km||11:55 – 13:15|
|Ngandu||TC7/4B||151 km||13:47 – 16:16|
|Day 9 – Monday 24th February 2003 – Leg 8|
|RUNDU to KASANE|
|Mowana||TC8/2B||495 km||11:41 – 15:24|
|Day 10 – Tuesday 25th February 2003|
|KASANE to LIVINGSTONE – No Controls|
|Day 11 – Wednesday 26th February 2003|
|LIVINGSTONE – VICTORIA FALLS – Day Off|
|Day 12 – Thursday 27th February 2003 – Leg 9|
|LIVINGSTONE to LUSAKA|
|Izam*||TC9/2C||357 km||11:27 – 14:08|
|Red Earth*||TC9/3C||55 km||12:08 – 15:14|
|Lusaka||TC9/4B||77 km||13:06 – 16:46|
|Day 13 – Friday 28th February 2003 – Leg 10|
|LUSAKA to SHIWA NGANDU|
|Shiwa||TC10/2B||713 km||14:54 – 20:15|
|Day 14 – Saturday 1st March 2003 – Leg 11|
|SHIWA NGANDU to MBEYA|
|Ministry||TC11/2D||263 km||13:46 – 15:45|
|Day 15 – Sunday 2nd March 2003 – Leg 12|
|MBEYA to MOROGORO|
|Morogoro||TC12/2B||616 km||13:42 – 18:19|
|Day 16 – Monday 3rd March 2003 – Leg 13|
|MOROGORO to ARUSHA|
|Arusha||TC13/2B||614 km||13:40 – 18:16|
|Day 17 – Tuesday 4th March 2003|
|ARUSHA – NGORONGORO CRATER – Day Off|
|Day 18 – Wednesday 5th March 2003|
|ARUSHA – NGORONGORO CRATER – Day Off|
|Day 19 – Thursday 6th March 2003 – Leg 14|
|ARUSHA to HEMINGWAY’S MALINDI|
|Elephant Bull*||TC14/2C||123 km||10:07|
|Tsavo*||TC14/3C||96 km||11:18 – 12:01|
|White Shark||TC14/4B||262 km||15:39 – 19:29|
|Crew||Year – Car model||Cap cc|
|1||Bill Borchert Larson(USA) / Michael Eustice(USA)||1925 – Rolls Royce Silver Ghost||7428|
|2||Bill Ainscough(GB) / Liz Kennedy(GB)||1925 – Vauxhall 30/98||4250|
|3||Mark de Ferranti(GB) / Sandra de Ferranti(GB)||1936 – Rolls Royce Phantom III||7340|
|4||Richard Dangerfield(GB) / Jill Dangerfield(GB)||1929 – Bentley 4.5 Le Mans||4398|
|5||Paul Markland(GB) / Ayesha Markland(GB)||1936 – Bentley 4.25 Saloon||4300|
|6||Chris Dunkley(GB) / Jan Dunkley(GB)||1935 – Bentley 3.5 Tourer||3587|
|7||Anthony Cazalet(GB) / Paul Weldon(GB)||1936 – Ford V8||3261|
|8||Nigel Broderick(GB) / Paula Broderick(GB)||1930 – Invicta NLC||4500|
|9||Raymond Carr(USA) / Michael Greenwood(GB)||1939 – Chrysler Sedan||4000|
|10||Richard Newman(USA) / Robert O’Hara(USA)||1929 – Chrysler 75 Roadster||4500|
|11||Richard Ingham(GB) / Judy Ingham(GB)||1939 – Bentley MX Park Ward||4257|
|12||Jens Pilo(DK) / Anne Pilo(DK)||1953 – Bentley R Saloon||4566|
|14||Phillippa McLachlan(AUS) / Colin McLachlan(AUS)||1960 – Rover P4 80||2286|
|16||Heather Milne-Taylor(GB) / Richard Fenhalls(GB)||1964 – Mercedes Benz 230SL||2778|
|17||Christopher Claridge-Ware(GB) / Anita Claridge-Ware(D)||1965 – Mercedes Benz 230SL||2306|
|18||Roberto Chiodi(I) / Rita Chiodi(I)||1966 – Mercedes 250SE||2496|
|19||David Inns(GB) / Pamela Wallis(GB)||1966 – Volvo 144S Saloon||1800|
|20||Tom Hayes(IRL) / Kieron Hayes(GB)||1967 – Mercedes 250SE||2496|
|21||Roger Lucas(GB) / Sarah Lucas(GB)||1970 – Mercedes Benz 280SL||2800|
|22||Dominicus Meeus(NL) / Johanna Meeus-Jonkers(NL)||1955 – Jaguar XK140||3442|
|23||Paul Merryweather(GB) / Sandra Deacon(GB)||1967 – Mercedes Benz 250SL||2778|
|24||Peter Brennan(GB) / Mick Briggs(GB)||1972 – MGB V8 Sports||3900|
|25||Michael Darcey(GB) / Steve Hutchinson(GB)||1978 – MGB V8||3500|
|26||Anders Wulf(SE) / Inger Wulf(SE)||1964 – Volvo PV544||1780|
|27||Hugh Brogan(GB) / Julie Brogan(GB)||1957 – Mercedes Benz 220SE||2195|
From Cape Town
The hassles of Heathrow seem a long time ago...
The hassles of Heathrow seem a long time ago now as all the crews spent a busy Saturday in the glorious Cape Town sunshine. A few were making last minute checks to their cars but the majority were busy visiting the many ‘must do’ trips around Cape Town or just soaking up the sunshine and holiday atmosphere along the waterfront near our luxury Table Bay Hotel.
Favourites among the attractions were a drive to The Cape of Good Hope; a boat ride to Robben Island or the cable car ride up to Table Mountain.
In contrast to today’s sunshine the skies were overcast yesterday morning as many crews began to arrive early flights from London. Heavy rain slowed the taxi ride from the airport and rumours were rife that the cars were 600kms up the road in Port Elizabeth. There was some truth in the rumour as the container ship had unloaded it’s special cargo in Port Elizabeth instead of Cape Town. However a busy couple of days by shipping organiser Jeremy Barker saw all the containers safely delivered to Cape Town in time for the relieved crews to collect them from the container port as planned. The whole business was completed in under an hour and apart from a couple of, easily sorted, flat batteries everyone was driving back to the hotel in time for a harbourside wine tasting session organised by a local wine trader.
Tomorrow the adventure really begins with an easy afternoon run from Cape Town to Clanwilliam.
Sunday Morning. Lord Montagu is due to arrive shortly at the Table Bay Hotel to flag off the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost of Bill Borchert Lar
Early reports have reached us...
Early reports have reached us that the crews are enjoying a special barbeque and music presentation in Clanwilliam after an easy first section from Cape Town to Clanwilliam.
Unfortunately it is also reported that the yellow Silver Ghost of Bill Borchert Larson has an engine problem and is being returned to Cape Town.
More news will follow when our regular reporter makes contact.
To the sound of cheering onlookers...
To the sound of cheering onlookers – the Cape Town Crankhandle Club had turned up with cars ranging from a mint MG TC to pre-war Fords – Lord Montagu dropped the flag.
We slipped away from the shadows of Table Bay Mountain and were soon pounding over the switchback roads heading north towards the Cedarburg Mountains, for our first overnight halt, in lodges around Clanwilliam. The food and entertainment laid on by the local primary school was first class… a benchmark for the rest of the route.
No dramas, or results, were anticipated. But Bill Borchert Larson lived up to past form and was found by the roadside, the yellow Rolls Royce having given up the Ghost, along with several big-ends, so was towed back to Cape Town by Peter and Betty in the mobile workshop.
The rest made a very early start, watched the sunrise over the Cedarburg Mountains, as vingtageants headed by Bill Ainscough and his lively Vauxhall Prince Henry tackled the first of a series of long gravel roads…. several hundred miles of this in the next few days.
A “champagne section” kept those who wanted to have a “bit of a go” on their toes, and Paul Merryweather and Sandra Deacon had the Mercedes that had finished second overall on our Around the World in 80 Days flying once more, setting best performance. Mick Darcey and Steve Hutchinson’s MG B V8 growled it’s discontent with having to swallow so much dust and settled for second place.The Vintageants are above such antics, but Richard Newman was putting in a drive that would not disgrace a more modern classic in his pre-war Chrysler sports special.
So ended Day Two, in time for high tea at the splendid Cannon Lodge out at Fish River Canyon, only room for a rally with less than 30 cars so it’s a comfortable fit. Little stone huts with all mod cons under a thatched roof dotted around the canyon, with a central barbecue (really excellent grub here) made this a most memorable place to stay. Forget the comforts of Table Bay Hotel back in Cape Town, all the five-star hotels merge together, memories are truly made of spots like this.
Day Three has seen us pound more ultra smooth gravel roads well off the normal beaten track, up through the stunning Namib Desert, tonight we arrived at Sesrium, another tiny lodge with individual service, no mobile phones, again, sorry, folks back home, we are all on another planet at the moment. Everyone bar Bill Larson has a Gold Medal, everyone is having the time of their lives, and during the dinner party tonight, Mick Darcey and Steve Hutchinson collected the Champagne for best performance on the blast in the gravel this afternoon, and not to leave out the vintageants another spirited drive by Richard Newman’s in his Chrysler 75 earned a second bottle of champagne. .
Several cars have blocked fuel filters and things, so Tony Fowkes, Andy Inskip, Peter and Betty, have been rather busy, but still made it on time to dine with the rest of us. A lantern lights up a nearby watering hole and many animals are expected to take refreshment tonight under a star-lit sky… and we are not talking just about dusty rally-drivers. Oh, and in case you are wondering, it was so hot several in-car thermometers were off their dials today, everyone is in shorts or hot-pants, and tomorrow is expected to be even hotter.
An early morning start to take time out to go and see the giant Namibian sand dunes, so, we do not resume our motoring escapade until a very civilised lunchtime. More chit-chat soonest, but dependant on Kate Aidie and the beam-it-up device…. why this should be so tricky, here in the middle of nowhere, is somewhat hard to fathom. The sky is so brilliant, you can see the satellites from our dinner table. (ed. if you’e reading this before Wednesday night it must have worked)
Our picture above shows the Bentley R Saloon of Jens and Anne Pilo in the beautiful Namibian landscape today.
Finally, the cars are great, so is the company, and the scenery has been truly breathtakingly stunning…. does it go on like this all the way to Kenya?
Follow all the stories here in regular reports from the Classic Safari Challenge as the crews tackle the adventure drive of a lifetime between Cape Town and Malindi.