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Event Coverage

Tough To The finish - Report: Nile Trial 2009

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The final day proved entertaining and challenging...

Day fifteen: Luxor’s Winter Palace Hotel proved a fitting resting point for the break before the final day’s run to the end of the event – and over dinner, the conversation turned to the final challenge, an 85km version of the previous day’s odyssey. Rumour had it that the stage could be dropped for fear of further attrition, but when the starting notes were posted, the run was definitely included…

As the teams headed out of Luxor and into the desert for the final day, the only remaining places to be decided were for second and third – a close fought battle between the Morris 1800 and Holden HK – with the clever money backing the designed-for-the-outback Australian car.

The Octane team followed the stage and run into a three more stoppages along the way: Michael and Sarah O'Shea’s Jaguar 3.5 Litre Saloon, which had suffered an unfortunate double puncture (and which was rescued admirably by the sweep mechanics who made one good tyre out of two slashed ones); Philip Lunnon and Michael Heads’ Humber Snipe got stuck in the sand and needed a jump start, while Hyde and Lyne’s Jaguar Mk2’s engine cried enough 7km from the end of the stage…

As the cars rolled into the finish at the Red Sea resort of El Gouma, they were met with an ecstatic response from the crowds that lined the streets. It was ‘The Nile Trial was excellent from start to finish, and we’ve seen some wonderful stuff on the way,’ Volkswagen Beetle driver Matthew Keeler smiled. ‘It was an ambitious project, but they definitely pulled it off.’ Roll on the next one.

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