Saturday the 8th of January was a day to remember, one of the most entertaining and fun days of my life. We scored a ticket to the CannonBall Run (thanks to Nathan) and joined 174 other cars for a jaunt around the Countryside.
The CannonBall event is run by Auckland Motorsport, headed by Vaughan Philip and his side kick PR extraordinaire Mike Geater. I have a sneaking suspicion that their wives are heavily involved too, as the execution of the event and attention to detail was pristine. A huge thank you to all the Auckland Motorsport team for making a most enjoyable, totally Fraser friendly event.
The day started early, we were at the start by 7:30am. The stickers on our Fraser looked pretty sharp, others had also made sterling efforts on the sticker front. The run had a Movie theme. Scott and I felt 'safe' in our chosen twist on a 007 theme (thanks Drew and other Facebook Friends who helped with suggestions) – although Scott had neglected to shave his face, so that his moustache really 'popped' and looked a little less Tom Selleck than he is capable of! I went as Katy Perry, because our five year old son tells me I look like her (I'm more than happy to run with that).
Truth be told, it didn't matter what we wore. People had gone to a serious amount of effort. I loved Shrek and Fiona, green from top to toe. The terrorist's were damn scary and had blaring speakers above their car filling the air with gun fire and music. The drag queens that loaded into their Priscilla bus, adorning a huge glittering shoe, were stunning. The team that started ahead of us themed as Anchorman - Channel 4 KVWN San Diego did not miss a beat, they were in role every time we saw them. I'm sure the crew from Sione's wedding were also there.
After a briefing we were off on our journey, armed with our super fancy CannonBall Run Top Secret Mission Pack. We had 17 Missions to complete. Here is a taste of what we had to do…
Here's a couple of pictures from that Mission…
We ventured along some stunning roads, with equally stunning scenery. We travelled down Kaiwaka Mangawhai Road, through Mangawhai, Waipu, Marsden Cove then travelled a 71.5km Mangakahia Road to Kaikohe. Unfortunately we didn't realise there wouldn't be any petrol stations during the 71.5km stretch of road and needed to take the later part easy, as we were running our petrol tank on 'E'.
After refuelling and chatting to the friendly locals in Kaikohe we made our way to the Rugby Club where we assumed we would be having lunch and a relax. WRONG! There was a lot to see and do. Kaikohe had put on a great welcome, there was food, drinks, music and some very talented freestyle motorcross riders who put on a fantastic show. The lunch break was another fine example of the excellent organisation of the Auckland Motorsport team.
Knowing that we had a lot more Missions to complete and more twisty, turny, 'Fraser built' roads to explore we were in the first group of cars to leave Kaikohe. We were able to push it along the road we lacked to gusto on due to lack of fuel on the way in, then headed out along Opouteke Road towards Dargaville. We also drove Woodcocks Road and eventually ended up at the finish, NorthRidge Country Lodge where we were greeted by the Auckland Motorsport team.
Manned computers were there to collect our Missions, one of our cameras was flat and the other nearly flat, so we missed out on handing in a lot of our Mission photos. We managed to hand over our potato (sweet potato) with a 7 cut into it, then relaxed with a chilled beverage and listened to the live band while the chefs cooked on the outside kitchen. Too knacked to party after over 12 hours and nearly 500km of intense fun, we departed and left the crowd for our drive back to Auckland.
If you have been thinking about entering the CannonBall or Snowball Run, my advice is don't think, do it. Well organised, well executed and well fun. Next year we're hoping to get a big group of Frasers to join in. We were the only 'Seven' there and the run was perfect for a Seven…