Day Six: Sunday October 30


We had our final early start of the week, heading to the official Prizegiving Breakfast at 08:00. Neven and Margaret joined Sarah, Mark and Ken at the event, giving us all an opportunity to swap stories with our fellow Targa Tour crews as well as with many friends amongst the full Targa Rally group. In all there was something over 700 people together for breakfast, and it was a tribute to the slick organisation that we all enjoyed an excellent kiwi brekky, followed by a jovial prizegiving ceremony for the week's winners. Overall honours went to Jim Richards with his Porsche GT3, followed by Joe McAndrew's Skyline GTR.

The CureKids charity auction was held after the prizegiving, which was probably unfortunate timing as many crews were keen to head off, and so the missed the sale. Nonetheless our collection of F1 memorabilia raised a good sum for the charity, which gave our rather difficult week a very positive ending.

Our final task for the week was to return to Auckland: a nontrivial task requiring a six hour drive from Napier to Taupo and on to Auckland. We took several enjoyable breaks along the way, having lunch at the legendary Summit Tearooms on the Napier-Taupo road, then stopping in Taupo to have a look at Neven's Porsche 914/6. Mark and Neven took that our for a quick blast around the back-roads before the convoy continued to Cambridge. Sadly our favourite cafe was closed by the time we arrived, so we set up our own cafe on the lawn and enjoyed the late afternoon sun.



The final stage from Cambridge to Auckland was disrupted by a monster traffic jam near Huntly, so we diverted westward to follow the Waikato river on a series of deserted country roads. This was a very suitable end to our trip, as we zigged and zagged over twisty ridges while watching the sunset over the river. It's been a very very difficult week, but deserving of Targa's unofficial motto: tenacity is expected.


We must conclude with a huge thanks to the many friends, family and fellow competitors who gave us such great aid and support during the week, from Porridge's twin fires to Neven and Lawrence's rescue and Katrin's recovery. Thank you all.