started in 2003 (December 2002 actually),
when it was called the Plymouth-Dakar
Challenge. The 2007 Challenge
took place over the end of 2006 - beginning of 2007. As
before, it involved driving cars across Europe and North Africa to
Banjul in The Gambia, on a very limited budget, with absolutely no
official support. Winning is not important - just getting there is
the challenge. After finishing, the cars are all auctioned off and
the proceeds donated to Gambian charities
(Association of Small Scale Enterprises in Tourism) and
(The Gambia National Olympic Committee). In addition the teams raise
sponsorship for a variety of charities and good causes. The numbers
applying to take part in the 2007 Challenge exceeded what could be
accommodated in the usual four groups, so the organisers launched
Bamako Run to the capital of Mali for those unable to get into the Plymouth-Banjul Challenge.
Quite a bit of the route was the same, but the section through
Mauritania into Mali needed investigation. The
T4 Challenge was a preliminary
expedition to check the route. It consisted of 9 teams, and one of
these was Shap Ahoy, who had previously raised over £4500 for Pageant
during the 2006 Plymouth-Banjul Challenge. (see
There were about 190 teams in
Challenge, divided into four groups, with official starting dates of 19,
26 and 29
December 2006, and 2
February 2007. The official starting point, Plymouth, was totally
ignored by most teams, who started from points all over the UK and
several other European countries. The 30 teams on the Bamako run
started on 13 January
2007, with the preliminary T4 Challenge starting on 26 December 2006. These are the teams
helped Pageant in some way:
These summaries have been
created to give a succinct overview of the stories of the 'Pageant'
teams. At the time of writing, all teams have completed the
challenges, but further information and pictures are still coming in
for publication on the team pages. This page will be updated
collective dedicated to the outdoors, the destruction of apathy and
the consumption of cake. Their activities include motor-sport,
hiking, rock-climbing, surfing and extreme cycling.
Two members of
this collective, Chris Lawler and Dave Branfield acquired an 18 year
old Isuzu Trooper, a popular and successful vehicle in the
Challenge. They decided to help Pageant's activities in The Gambia,
Team Ibrakeforcake left Hyde
Park (London) on 17 December 2006, and despite constant worries
about the gearbox stripping its fifth gear, they arrived in Banjul
on 7 January 2007, with everything still more-or-less
functioning. A full description of their preparations and reports
about their journey can be found on the Ibrakeforcake team page.
See also the main
Ibrakeforcake website, and their
Blog dedicated to the
Their fundraising target was
£4000. BOC-Edwards kindly agreed to match other donations pound for
pound, to double whatever was raised. We do not have any final
Schools kindly donated £800
towards team costs and £1200 to Pageant for the purchase of school
supplies which they took to The Gambia. Ibrakeforcake's Isuzu
Trooper sold for 39,000 Dalassis (about £700) in the third charity
auction held on 28 January 2007 at the Safari Garden Hotel.
Desert Mice & First to the Bar!
Clare Jones de Rocco &
Guillermo Rocco from the Netherlands, and Katie Ball & Adam Richards
from Cardiff have entered the Challenge as the Desert Mice and First
to the Bar. Clare is from Wales and Guillermo is from Argentina.
They are currently living and working in The Hague, Holland. Katie
and Adam are both in the legal profession in Cardiff - Katie is
Clare's sister. The two teams worked together for their fundraising
and preparations. Despite their separate starting points, they
travelled in convoy to Banjul, arriving on 7 January 2007.
Read more about them on
their team page.
Together they raised around £3000, which is all going
King's Kid Academy.
Both cars were sold in the
first charity auction held at the Safari Gardens Hotel in Banjul on
14th January 2007. The Desert Mice Jetta sold for 57,000 Dalasis (about £1,022) and First to the Bar's
Escort raised 66,000 Dalasis (about £1,184). These were about five times the prices paid for
Adam, Katie, Clare & Guillermo with
Kings Kid headmaster Jacob Amadi
Both cars almost
the children of Kings Kid
Iron Mighty were not
officially supporting Pageant, but they had collected a large
quantity of football shirts, shorts and socks, and other sports kit.
They requested Pageant's help in distributing these items to schools
in The Gambia, and Kemo organised this. They also took a special
Pageant consignment of cricket equipment and clothing for the
Gambian national cricket team, donated by
The Iron Mighty Land
Team Iron Mighty
consisted of Dave Wells and Linda Drury, driving a 1986 Land
Rover 110. Not content with driving all the way to The Gambia,
they got married there on 10 January.
Read more on the
The wedding picture
Ice Cold 2007 Teams
Ice Cold in Bakalarr consisted of Joanne Hill and Alex
Thomas. Their vehicle was a Ford Transit ambulance, with a 2.8
litre petrol engine, acquired in Caerphilly. Though it
should correctly be called an ambiwlans, it came to be known as
in Banjul consisted of
Chris Fisher, and Russell Grinham, driving a 1989 A Suzuki
SJ413 4x4 vehicle. This started off in camouflage, deemed
inappropriate for passing through military zone, so was
repainted pink, and then acquired floral decoration. It came to
be known as the 'Jap Jeep'.
Ice Cold team members
with the jeep
in its original colours
young sponsors add floral decorations
to the jeep in its new pink colour scheme
the ambulance being
two teams travelled together, leaving the UK on 29 December 2006.
The ambulance had a difficlut journey. There were mechanical
problems such as the exhaust, a universal joint, the fuel pump and
the brakes. It was also impounded by Moroccan customs at Tangier. It
got through the desert surprisingly well, and gained additional
human cargo as other cars in the convoy died by the wayside. The
jeep performed almost faultlessly.
all the Ice Cold teams raised around £9000, of which £4803.19 was
donated to Pageant for Bakalarr School, and the remainder went to
Read more on our
Ice Cold page, and also on the
Ice Cold website and
ambulance was donated to Fagikunda clinic to become the only
ambulance serving about 67,000 people. The Jeep sold for 76,000
Dalassis (about £1,363) in the third charity auction held at the
Safari Garden Hotel, Banjul on 28 January, bringing the total raised
above the target of £10k.
Shap Ahoy T4 Challenge
In addition to these teams in
the Plymouth-Banjul Challenge, Team Shap Ahoy are involved in a
preliminary expedition, known as the
T4 Challenge, with the
objective of reconnoitring
the route for the Bamako Run. Tim Lovatt
and Nick Capron, took part in the 2006 Plymouth-Banjul Challenge,
driving a 1996 Toyota Starlet, and raised nearly £4600 for Pageant.
For the T4 Challenge,
Shap Ahoy's car was a
1994 Ford Escort estate, with 290,000 km on the clock. The T4
route followed the Plymouth-Banjul route as far as Nuoakchott in
Mauritania, but then headed inland to Mali. This part needed
checking out before the first Bamako Run. Shap Ahoy and the others
left the UK on 26 December, and arrived in Bamako on 11 January,
with just trivial mechanical problems. Nick had to come home because
of pressure of work, but Tim continued with other teams to Timbuktu,
where he sold the car, and returned to Bamako as passenger in Team
9's Land Rover.
Tim with the new owners
of the car in Timbuktu >>
Although Shap Ahoy were not fundraising, and
covered all their own expenses for this trip, they have made a
donation of £250 to Pageant. Read more about their journey on the
Shap Ahoy T4 page.
Plymouth-Banjul Challenge Videos
There are quite a few videos
from previous Challenges, plus preparations for the 2007 Challenge.
These will give you a good idea of the driving conditions during the