All content © Bob MuIIins
Maxxis FIM International 6 Day Enduro - November 12th-17th
Hot stuff in Chile
The Team GB riders will be returning with an excellent collection of medals from this very tough International Six Day Enduro. Battered and bruised they may be, but with 8 finishers medals from the ten riders who started is an excellent achievement, the only retirements being through machine failure.
The six senior riders, competing for the World Trophy, return with 3 Gold and 2 Silver medals. 1. Tom Sagar, proving his World Class ability finishing 4th in the E1 Class - Gold 2. Paul Edmondson, as fast and consistent as ever, 7th in E2 - Gold 3. Euan McConnell, 13th in E3 despite suffering an injury on Day 3 which needed constant attention - Gold 4. Dylan Jones, 24th in E1 - Silver 5. Chris Hockey, 35th in E2, successfully riding through the pain barrier - Silver 6. Edward Jones, lying in 28th until Day 5, when he tried in vain to cure machine problems.
These strong performances gave them 5th place in the World Trophy Overall standings.
The four Junior Team GB riders returned with 1 Gold and 2 Silver medals. 1. Greg Evans put in a superb performance despite machine problems, over several days, finishing 19th in E1 - Gold 2. Oliver Moyce, consistent performances throughout the week, 34th in E2 - Silver 3. Lee Edmondson, once again consistent, 45th in E1 - Silver 4. Ashley Wood, unfortunately his machine seized on the first test, of the first Day
Despite being one rider down from Day 1, they were still able to make up places on the Final Day, finishing 10th.
The Club competition saw both British Armed Forces Motorcycle Association (BAFMA) and the West of England MCC return with another five Silver medals.
BAFMA secured an excellent 8th place in the competition. 1. Kevin Murray, 12th in C1 - Silver 2. Darren Hughes, 14th in C1 - Silver 3. Darren Wilcock, 17th in C1 - Silver
West of England MCC, 35th despite having a retirement from Day 2's competition. 1. Justin Wilson, 16th in C2 - Silver 2. Mark Houson, 40th in C1 - Silver 3. Julian Crimp, retired from Day 2
John Collins, Chairman, Trials and Enduro Committee said, "The daily reports from Mick Seward have shown what a tough event this years ISDE has been and the performances from all the riders has been superb. The injuries received by some of the Team members could easily have forced further retirements from the competition, but not wishing to let anybody down, they have continued and relied on pure adrenaline to get them through. To return with 13 medals, from a possible 16 is an excellent achievement and the best way of saying 'Thank You' to the Teams' supporters - Optoma Loans, Kriega, D-zign, Bagnall's and Bob Mullins."
Dusty Martin Team manager said "I would like to take this opportunity to also thank all the people that txt, emailed, and phoned me before the event to wish the team well, the ACU, for continued support of the ISDE, Andrew Seymour, Mirjam and all the staff at optoma loans (www.optomaloans.co.uk) not only for sponsorship of the team but the helpful, friendly, and accommodating responses to my requests, the team wear provided really did give a real boost to team spirit. Kriega (www.kriega.com) for the supply of high quality hydration systems. Lee at dzign (www.dzign-uk.com) for the design and spraying of the team helmets at discounted rates. Phil Bagnall of Bagnalls printing (www.bagnallmotox.com) for the design and supply of riding shirts a discounted rate. Bob Mullins from enduronews.com for his fund raising efforts throughout the year.
It must be remembered that there is more to the team than just the riders and I make no excuse for listing people, all of them have put in a tremendous effort and at personal expense to help with the overall ISDE effort and contributing to the result we achieved. In no particular order, Ted and Avril Bartlett, Phil Hodges, Gail Lucas, Marnie Kendall, Mick Seward, Mark Scott, Mary Kerr, John Nelson and Ruth, Nessy Johns, Joey (Christopher Carl Bumford), Geraint Jones, Gareth Jones, Rich Hay, Sam Davidson, Eddie the Mullet, Kylie, Phil and Kay Evans, Trev and Elsa Wood.
All the regular support crews, Malc and Shelia, Ted and Daf, Jack and Vera, Oakie, Nev and Jude, Sue Hockey and the support crew newbie’s Mike Tizard, Mike Bailey, Gav Houson, P-diddie, little Nev, and Stu. Dave Wiloughby our ACU delegate. I thank you all.
And a massive thank you to Dave May-Miller without whom there would be no British ISDE effort, he works tirelessly before, during, and after the event".
Day 6 - Saturday 17th November - La Serena
The sun has set in La Serena & the dust has settled on the 82nd International Six Days Enduro. Aching muscles will be soothed tonight by the liberal application of alcohol only to be replaced by aching heads in the morning but a change is as good as rest.
Johnny Aubert was the overall winner from Kurt Casselli. The Italian team won the Trophy & Spain were the runners up. The Great Britain team did a fantastic job on unfamiliar going to finish 5th. Paul Edmondson led the team home as he did all week. Paul, as fast and consistent as ever, finished 7th in E2 on Gold. Tom Sagar finished 4th in the E1 class on Gold riding a bike he hadn't seen a fortnight ago. Euan McConnell rode for 3 days with 8 stitches in his arm. He finished 13th in E3 on Gold. Ollie Moyce 34th in E2 on Silver. Dylan Jones 24th in E1 - Silver. Chris Hockey 5th in E2, successfully riding through the pain barrier - Silver. Greg Evans - pictured below on the final day - made his mark with a top twenty finish in the overall class on the first day & after loosing his rad he nursed his Mounter KTM home to finish 19th in the E1 class on Gold. Lee Edmondson's hole tank took him out of the top 100 but he overcame the set back & he finished 45th in E1 on Silver. Only 2 British riders retired in what was a very tough ISDE & they were both forced out with unrepairable mechanical failures. The Army Team of Darren Hughes, Darren Wlcock & Kev Murray did themselves proud & finished 8th out of 92 clubs with Silvers. Despite big crashes early in the week Justin Wilson & Julian Crimp carried on & with veteran Mark Houson riding in his first ISDE, the West of England team came home with a credit worthy 35th.
It has been great week for the riders, the team manager Dusty Martin, the sponsor Optoma Loans & the support crew. Well done to you all.
Day 5 - Friday 16th November - La Serena Report by Mick Seward & Marnie Kendal
The finish is now in sight with only the final MX race tomorrow. Johnny Aubert leads from Kurt Casselli. All but Edd Jones, came home tonight. Having ridden strongly all week with no problems he failed to complete the first test this morning when his ET James KTM expired half way round the test, Edd ran back to the start through the deep sand to retrieve his tool bag and repair his bike, but to no avail so had to push it back to the paddock then spent the rest of the day assisting his team mates on the remaining tests.
Paul continues to lead the Brits in 12th place closely followed by Tom at 15th..
Ollie Moyce suffered a big crash in the first motor cross test, but bike and rider suffered no injuries. He maintained his position at 82nd. Dylan Jones suspected a partial seizure when his CORE Yamaha slowed on the first test, but the little 125 recovered with no further problems to finish 80th.
Day 5, which is normally a relatively easy day, was quite the opposite, with seven tough special tests, and long rocky time checks; one of which was the tightest of the week, but all British team members stayed clean on time, and continued posting creditable test times. At the end of the day they were all extremely relieved to be finished. Euan McConnell is fighting an heroic personal battle again the pain of 8 stitches in his arm. He crossed the finish line in 52nd place & went straight back to the hospital for the third night running to have the wound drained and redressed. Chris Hockey finished 88th with a hand the colour of the rainbow. Despite the broken rad which cost him 11 minutes, Greg is inside the top 100. Lee's holed tank dropped him down to 244th. On his tests he would be up with Chris.
The Army and West of England teams are home safe and sound. For the Army Kev Murray finished 134th despite a 3 minute penalty. Darren Hughes was 155th,& Darren Wilcock 164th. For the Westies Justin with the sun on his back is up to 152nd, Mark is 238th & Julian 372nd
This event has been a real man and bike destroyer, with even the factory teams suffering major problems, as you will see from the retirements. This gives even more credit to the physical, mental and mechanical preparation of the British Team.
Everybody has taken to their beds early tonight to ready themselves for the motor cross tomorrow and the partying and celebrations after.
No sand storms or earthquake tremors today, only the report of a wild Puma being chased by one of the event security guards, it was last seen heading towards "Gail's Field Kitchen" in the paddock for some go faster pasta!
Tomorrow will be our last report, hopefully we will have some good news, until then adios amigos.
PS Congratulations to Alec and Sue Brocklehirst of CORE Racing on the safe arrival of their new baby boy.
Voicemail 9.30am: "Edward out but OK. Bike problem on first test of the day".
Day 4 - Thursday 15th November - La Serena
Tom sets fastest test time
They say when the going gets tough the tough get going, well our lads did today. Everybody home again some in style and some in pain, but all finished on a high.
Tom Sager won one test outright! As you will see from the results on the ISDE website the lads have been posting some excellent test times.
Paul continues to lead the British team by example in 14th place overall.
Euan's times have been a lot faster than they should have been considering he has had 8 stitches in his forearm, which he cut to the bone yesterday when crashing on the special test, and has been in a great deal of pain, to say the least. He is 62nd
Chris Hockey's thumb has now turned blue, and after the first test the pain he was in it was debatable if he was going to continue, however the adrenalin must have kicked on and he finished the day 88th overall.
Greg Evans changed a rear brake calliper this morning on his Mounter KTM, he had a couple of falls in both the motor cross tests at the start and finish of the day, but still set some very fast times.
Tom Sagar was the fastest Brit today even though he was suffering with a sore wrist and foot. He finished 17th overall.
Everybody else has had a trouble free day, both from injuries and mechanical failures. Ollie is 75th & Edward is 76th. Dylan's result is pending but he's doing well.
One Italian trophy rider dropped out today, and Salminen's clutch failed 100 meters from the finish of the final test, and he was given assistance to finish both the test and to get to the pre-finish, so he is expected to be excluded. Which is all good news for our trophy team.
The Army Team all came home safely. Out of 92 teams they are 10th.
The West of England/North of England Team again finished in good spirit, however Mark Houson did get lost, but found his way back and still stayed clean on time. Justin Wilson still walking like an old man had a trouble free day and finished on time.
Julian Crimp however didn't have a trouble free day due to loosing his front brake early on and then boiling his rear! He lost time but still returned back to the finish within the hour.
On the team bus on the way home Dusty asked if there was anything he could get for anyone, DJ said "Two new arms" and Chris asked "If he had had his tonsils removed".
Sorry if our reports are getting a little boring, as everyone is taking things very serious now as there is only one and half days left to go. Only half the field have made it this far.
However, whilst Tom Sagar was being interviewed by Chilean TV, a female member of the team (who will remain nameless) tried and succeeded to make him laugh by bearing her bum!
Stop press news - Nev and Judith have just arrived back from an out check looking like extras from Lawrence of Arabia after been caught in a sand storm, after the last rider came through, loosing both awnings in the process!
Day 3 - Wednesday 14th November - La Serena
Another tough day today with everybody battling on, Greg Evan's radiator problems continued this morning, when he struggled to remove a hose clip in the 10 minutes work time. Therefore he had to push his bike through the start and past the 20 meter mark to take a ten second penalty, where he eventually managed to complete the repairs. He then had a test to ride and a long check, unfortunately not being able to make up the time lost, dropping a further 6 minutes; which is very disappointing because again he set some very fast test times.
Paul Eddy came to the end of the first test of the day, he'd had a crash and lost the front end of his Maximum Solutions Suzuki, and was speaking in a very high pitched voice, we hope he isn't thinking of increasing the size of his family in the near future! There was a temporary problem with the live timing which allocated Paul a 41 minute penalty but it was rectified.
Lee Edmondson, was the next to suffer problems, when a frame bolt rubbed a hole in his GMX tank draining nearly all the fuel, just after the service check. He coolly removed the tank and repaired the damage with instant metal, managed to acquire some fuel, but unfortunately it leaked again, and he stopped somewhere out on the course. He managed to repair it and finish the day loosing 43 minutes and is still in the event.
Chris Hockey on his HuskySport 250cc, on the second timed test of the day, in a dry rocky river bed, had a heavy fall damaging his thumb, after pain killers and strapping it up, he finished and stayed clean. Chris is now topping up his tan by the pool, with an ice pack on it! Trying and failing to get some sympathy.
As all our sympathy goes to Euan McConnell today, who also crashed his Electraction TM 300cc, on the same test cutting a nasty hole in his elbow, he was clearly shaken up and in a lot of pain, luckily he could n't see the hole in his elbow, Kylie patched it up and we told him it was just a scratch. He made it to the next check on time, where it was redressed and he was on his way again. He dropped a minute with a time keeping error at the next check.
The remainder of the GB team, Ed Jones and Tom Sagar on their KTM's, Ollie Moyce and Dylan Jones on their Yamaha's quietly got on with their jobs all putting in good test times and staying clean on going.
The Army Team had another good day, all finishing if not battered and bruised.
Julian Crimp restarted today and finished the day loosing only 4 minutes, and is looking forward to day 4.
Justin Wilson is obviously in a great deal of pain and still walking like an old man, but is battling on, and moving up the leader board in true Accrington spirit.
Mark Houson on the other hand is looking fresher everyday, staying clean and is up holding the Yorkshire honour, in the Yorkshire, Lancashire and Southern Club team.
There were earthquake tremors today here in Chile, or was it Crimpy crashing on the motor cross test?
Until tomorrow, adios amigos.
Text from Dusty: Eddy's penalty was a mistake which will be corrected. It's been a hard day today. I am just finishing as I text. It looks as if Lee maybe out with a hole in his fuel tank. Greg dropped 6 minutes on the first check replacing his rad. More details later
Update after 3rd test of 3rd Day: Eddy's result has been corrected & he is currently 15th overall. Tom is 29th. Euan 38th. Edward 61st. Ollie 69th. Dylan 79th. Lee 87th. Chris 90th. Greg 109th.
Day 2 - Tuesday 13th November - La Serena
Another hot and difficult day for the lads today, but everyone home from the British team not without incidents though. Greg Evans again made a good start but then crashed on the going badly damaging his radiator, luckily he was carrying some instant metal which temporarily sealed the hole, he then emptied the water from his Kriega pack back into the rad, which got him to the next stamp check where he acquired a bottle of water from the marshals. This getting him to Mike Tizzard's service check, which he fuelled at and rode straight out but loosing him 5 minutes. As you will see from his times, he rode the next three texts very conservatively to save his engine. Unfortunately KTM gave him the wrong radiator at the end of the day we now have the right one, which will be changed in the morning, and he'll be back to full speed.
Tom Sagar (left) managed to finish in the top 30 despite disliking sandy going. The Day 3/4 course through the mountains will suit him better.
Euan McConnell's test times improved today, but on the last test he had a crash, right in front of Kylie! I didn't see it, but heard the gasps from the crowds, so it must have been a big one, but still managed to finish with a creditable time.
Paul Edmondson on his Maximum Solutions Suzuki kept the pressure on with consistent fast times on all his tests.
Everyone else told me that they had an uneventful and smooth running day, but the banter in the team bus returning to the hotel, told a different story; with tales of near misses, close crashes and lucky escapes. Everyone is still on good form and in excellent humour.
The only retirement of the day was to be Julian Crimp, starting the day still troubled with a cactus thorn in his finger, was finally ruled out after a big crash in the second test when he was thrown over the bars when the chain jammed due to a stone in his front sprocket, but will be restarting tomorrow to gain team points. Justin (The Daddy) Wilson, after having acupuncture and cupping on his back stayed clean on time, but is now looking like "Grandaddy" Wilson. The star of the team Mark Houson again, put in a good performance, on the little 125cc Husky.
The Army Team are all still going strong, Daz Hughes, Daz Wilcock, and Kev Murray looking after his new Yamaha better than his first one. Daz Hughes is battling on with a badly swollen forearm, the result of a heavy fall into a cactus bush. The team finished 13th out of 98 club teams.
Tomorrow is a completely new course, with rocky technical tests, which should favour some of our riders, rather than the deep sand of the last two days.
Thanks again for all your best wishes, I was going to post them, but half of them would have to be censored, and other half far too embarrassing for the riders, but all are appreciated.
Off to the pub now, adios amigos, wish you were here to enjoy the racing with us.
Day 1 - Monday 12th November - La Serena
A good start to the six day for most riders today, but unfortunately not so for one, as you will have seen from the results Ash Woods, PAR Honda, cold seized a main bearing not more than 100 mtrs from the start having to push his bike back to the park ferme, Dad Trevor and mechanic Joey quickly removed the barrel hoping it was a piston seizure and be able to repair it to get Ash back on track before his hour allowance lapsed, but we are sorry to report the problem was more serious and he is out of the competition.
Conditions on the going were very tough today, with a mixture of deep sand, a lot of dust and a very rocky trail section, which the riders said went on for ever and ever. The tests were very dry and sandy and extremely physical. As you will see from the results the riders preformed very well. The old campaigner Paul Eddy led the team home with a win in the final test. The 2nd best performance of the day was from young Greg "Special" Evans on his Wayne Mounter KTM, putting in some stunningly quick times to finish 4th in the E1 class. Tom Sagar spent today getting accustomed to his factory 250cc KTM, which was quite a lot different to ride to his usual 450cc. Today was only the first day and we are sure as the week progresses Tom will get stronger and stronger.
Ollie Moyce also consistently put in some fast times, only slowing to pose for the cameras!
Euan McConnell on his Electration TM also achieved some excellent times, which should have been faster had he not missed a corner in the dust, selected a false neutral, trying but failing to literally OVER take a Hungarian rider (and failing) and crashing on the final corner of the final test. He has promised to try harder tomorrow, Nick.
The Dirt-trax supported West of England Team had a mixed day, with Justin Wilson damaging his back early in the day, he too is also walking like Pete Edmondson, but still managed to finish with out loosing time. Julian struggled today after getting a splinter in his little finger! Orrrrrr bless. Mark Houson had a storming day on his MPS Husky, even having time to rescue his starting partner out of a cactus bush. Which incidentally several other riders made contact with, having to have thorns delicately removed by tweezers!
As always the support crews have done sterling work today, some based in a barren wasteland, others on the beach, it's a hard life for those drawing the short straw!
At the end of the day Kurt Casselli finished 1st. Johnny Aubert had moved up to 2nd & Salminen was 3rd. Eddy was 17th & Greg was 18th. Tom 29th, Euan 42nd, Ed Jones 62nd, Ollie 81st, Dylan 84th, Lee 100th, Chris 101st. The Army team of : Kevin Murray 144th, Darren Hughes 174th, Darren Wilcock 186th. finished 14th. The West of England team of: Justin Wilson 201st, Mark Houson 265th, Julian Crimp 407th finished 48th. NB Chile is 3hrs behind BST
Thanks to all of you who have sent best wishes, we are all working our socks off here, but the good food, wine and company are pulling us through it.
Congratulations to Andrew and Rachel Edwards on the birth of your baby boy another Welsh enduro rider of the future
Buenos nachos from a very sun burnt roving reporter
Text from Dusty Martin (Team Manager): Ashley out on 1st test less than 10 minutes in. Main bearings. I am gutted for him. The good lad has fixed his bike & he will be outriding for the team for the rest of the week. The remainder of the team are all OK. No major problems. Towards the end of the day the riders are getting used to the tests & getting quicker. It will be the same course tomorrow as today. Today it was schedule B. Tomorrow it could be A. The jury are deciding now. A schedule would be better for us as all had plenty of time. Check crew are doing great & stand out well in their Optoma T-shirts as do the riders in their riding gear & helmets. The weather is chilly in the morning but very hot during the day. Kriega Hydration packs are coming in very useful. Wish us well, Dusty.
Sunday 11th November - La Serena.
Saturday evening saw the opening ceremony which if not a little late starting was a very well organised event. The whole British team were well turned out, the riders in white Optoma Loan shirts and support crew (left) in green T shirts (it was bloody freezing), we were serenaded by the purple helmets from a hotel balcony as we marched past. The biggest cheer of the night was for the Irish team, one rider and one support crew! A lot of time and effort had been carried out by the Chileans with opera singers, traditional dancers and finally a firework display.
Today has been a relaxing day for most with all taking time out for remembrance and reflection at 11.00 am.
As I write this the lights are going out in the riders rooms one by one as they get an early night to prepare themselves for what looks like being one of the toughest both physically, and mechanically 6 days event for many years.
My next reports will be more on the performances of the riders and teams on the day hopefully all good.
Wednesday The Army problem took another turn today, they decided due to their commitment to Yamaha they would hire a new 250 so Kev is now Yam mounted again and ready to go.
Our team leader Paul Edmondson arrived in his private jet, we picked him up from the airport and nearly killed him by driving the wrong way down the motorway, but we weren't the only one so did Phil Hodges. Some of the lads went for a trail ride and Chris Hockey's Husky broke down after changing the plug and lots of checks he put the fuel onto reserve and it started!
Thursday Signing on went without a hitch, unfortunately scrutineering was not as straight forward. Euan McConnel was first for a change, and also first to fail with no sprocket cover. Dusty made a visit to the local push bike shop and bought a selection of novelty horns, Ash Wood and Ed Jones had a crocodile and Tom Sagar an elephant, next problem came when the helmets were checked all the hard work carried out by Lee of D-Zign painting the helmets was nearly wasted when the scrutineer insisted they should be British racing green, but some swift intervention by our ACU man Dave Willoughby saved the day with a promise of them being green next year. Justin's Yamaha was just to bling, and failed because it had a LED front light (why it should fail because of this nobody knows ) hopefully this will be sorted tomorrow.
Dusty was given a request from the boy's, they were missing home cooking and wanted a roast dinner so Marnie and Mary cooked a roast chicken dinner with cake for afters for 18 of us. At this moment I have an audience to censor everything I write!
HERE ARE SOME QUOTES FROM THE TEAM "HHHHHHUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUSSSSSQVARNAAAAAAAAAAAAAA…." Kiwi
"Where toooo but…" Greg
"Missing you Jem" Ash Wood
"Really pleased with how things are going at the moment the team are all here now and in good spirits, the bikes are all in, morale is high and we are well ahead with test walking so we should be able to go back to some and take another look. The whole contingent look great wearing their team shirts kindly supplied by optoma loans, really looking forward to a great six day". Dusty
The boys up bright and early again for a run on the beach. Lee Eddy is walking just like his dad now! I didn't get any photos again.
Marnie ,Mary (Kerr ) and I were busy making sandwiches but team spirit is higher than I've ever Known credit to Dusty and the lads. A quiet day today with some more fine tuning and test walking.
The Army team suffered the first disaster of the trip when Kev Murray's Yam dropped a valve destroying the engine whist running it in. Richard Hay came to the rescue by donating his 125 Dennis Irvine KTM.
The weather is not as good as it looks on the photos - very cold until about 3.00pm then very hot! The riders will be grateful for their Kreiga hydration back packs in the afternoon sun. Mark Houson has been interviewed by a TV crew. Justin Wilson went very shy before the cameras rolled so Mark had to take over.
Our peace and quite and ordered way of life is soon to be shattered as the infamous Sheep scull enduro team - the Purple helmets - arrive to stay at our hotel tomorrow so my reports may get a little more interesting . And as a final note to Sadie, Lee says I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU hopefully this might keep him off the phone for a few minutes!
We spent Sunday finding out where everything was ie the best bars, restaurants , massage parlours etc eventually we found the containers. For the first time in history, the British team were the first to arrive! Dave M-M and his helpers unloaded the bikes and contents and everything was in order. The MPS Husky of Mark Houson was the first bike to be started, Justin Wilson's rocket Yamaha looked the smartest closely followed by Chris Hockey's all blinged up with their union jack stickers. The next hour was spent with the rest of the team trying to compete with them.
Monday morning started at 7.30 sharp with the lads going for an early morning run, led by Daz, the army physical training instructor. Unfortunately due to the shock of seeing Lee, Tom and Euan jogging I did not get a photo. Even Dusty joined in (on a push bike) they disappeared for over half an hour, rumour has it that Lee hid behind a wall and missed half the run, joining in on the way back. The morning papers were delivered with a half front page photograph of the British Army prepping their bikes, plus another photo on the sports page.
Back to the Park Ferme where all the bikes were started and again the British team were first out on to the practice track all looking good in their Bagnall shirts and Lee Design helmets. After several laps the bikes were found to be running too lean with the Jones boys' having to drill out their main jets, at the end of the day most seemed happy with their set up. Whilst Dave M-M spent most of the day fine tuning his motorised ride on tool trolley to the amusement of the local TV crew.
As we are writing the lads are playing football against the Australian riders, while we sit at the bar sampling the Chilean beer.
So far everything is going to plan we seem to have everything under control and cant wait for the event to start.
Log in for the next installment for now adios.
The British ISDE teams got off to a good start at Heathrow airport everybody turned up except Paul Edmonson who will be joining us on Wednesday. Euan McConnell was last to check in but being an experienced enduro rider didn't want to check in early.
Everybody looked smart in their GB Optoma Loans shirts, and Dusty organised us all for a photo shoot. Hopefully these may make it to the national press. Everyone got through the security apart from Greg Evans, who had a rear shock in his hand luggage that had to be checked in separately so as to prevent him continuing with his terrorism plot. From this point everything went down hill, Jack and Vera upgraded to first class and found themselves sat at opposite sides of the plane, then Jack got a nose bleed on take off. After 14 hours on the plane we arrived in Santiago. Special Greg had more problems having left his helmet on the plane in the overhead locker. But all was sorted.
Ed Jones (left) crashed his luggage trolley on the zebra crossing loosing all his cases, hopefully his only crash.
We all set off in convoy from the airport and lost each other within half a mile. Our team manager Dusty ran out of petrol five miles from La Serena, Jacks bad luck continued as he was stopped by the speed police, but Vera sweet talked the officer in to letting him off, they were both fluent but unfortunately in different languages!
On arrival at the hotel 41 of the party were not booked in for another two days, not to worry we found somewhere else.
So its 7.30 in the evening now the sun is setting over the beach, and nearly everybody is happy. Till tomorrow's installment adios amigos.