Wednesday 1 August 2012

Rally - Rally Hebrides

Rally Hebrides is little more than two weeks away now, Saturday 18th August. By all accounts, it’s more than an event, it’s an experience. A bit like Mull perhaps where the rallying is only half the reason for going, the other half of the reason comprises atmosphere, unique location, infinite variety of weather, packed pubs, CalMac’s cooked breakfasts, majestic scenery and the folk. Not just the locals, but the hordes of multi-cultural visitors who more than double the island’s population for a week in sunny mid-October.

As far as rallying goes, Rally Hebrides on the Isle of Lewis isn’t on the same scale, but as far as after rally partying goes, it would appear to be more than a match.

The event itself is limited to thirty invited rally crews for this ‘rally-demonstration’ event. In other words it’s not a competitive rally – as such! Gathering thirty rallying yeee-haaas in one place and setting them off at 1 minute intervals on ‘special stages’ and telling them it’s not competitive and they have to behave themselves is a bit like asking an under-nourished Coltness Bear to leave the free caramel wafers alone.

Last year’s Rally Hebrides 2011 raised £10,674 for Macmillan Cancer Research (Western Isles) and this year’s event is dedicated to the same cause.

I almost managed to get over there last year, but work (proper work!) intervened, but I have a severe hankering to get over there this year.

Apparently there are flights from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness and there are two ferry crossings, from Ullapool to Stornoway (2 hrs 45 mins) and from Uig (at the top tip of Skye) to Tarbert (1hr 40 mins). Naturally, this being Scotland, neither options are cheap, but it would appear that the experience will be well worth the expense. And if you blow all the money on travel, you can always sleep on the beach. August in the Hebrides will be – different, so take a tarpaulin, wellingtons, scarf, mittens, midge repellant and sun cream.

The other big news is that David Bogie has accepted an invitation from Lewis Car Club ‘to participate’. And there’s more. The reigning Scottish and British Rally Champion will be driving Malcolm Buchanan’s MkII. And there’s more. David has never driven a MkII or a rear wheel drive car before. And there’s even more, Lori will be co-driving for him!

Now remember what I was saying about this being a non-competitive, demonstration event? Maybe I can hitch a lift with Porcine Airways who will undoubtedly be appearing in formation overhead during the running of this genteel motoring tour of the island.

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