My 15 year journey to Mykonos
After about nine months preparation, including the creation of The Peaked Lapel, on 6 June 2019 I flew with my father (and co-driver) to Mykonos a day in advance of registration for this year’s Gumball 3000 Rally. As anyone who has been following this site, or the Instagram and Facebook account, they will know the build-up of excitement to that moment was almost too much to bear. In fact, this wasn’t just nine months but instead around 15 years of anticipation. I had wanted to do the Gumball 3000 Rally for that long!
On the first flight out of Heathrow, it was obvious we were already in and amongst Gumball veterans – the plane was full of ‘Gumball 20′ drivers’ jackets and t shirts – from the previous year’s 20th anniversary rally from London to Tokyo. With no delays and our bags straight off the plane, our transfer from the airport upon landing was all arranged and, by 1pm local time (with a three hour time difference) we were already checking into the Royal Myconian on Elia Beach, Mykonos.
I have been to Mykonos many times before but, having normally stayed in private villas, I had never been to this resort; and it did not disappoint. Mykonos is an exceptionally hilly island so, with the hotel built into the side of a hill and right on the coast, it meant it was in a prime location for epic views from both the suite and the pool area. To add to that, the temperature was around 31 degrees without a cloud in the sky. This combination set the tone for the rest of the Rally – other than one short spell (around 2 minutes) which I talk about later(!), we had baking hot sunshine every day. I was so pleased I had brought a spider!
I had already received confirmation my car, a Ferrari F355 Spider had been delivered from the UK the day before so, after checking in, I walked down to the Elia Beach car park to check everything was ok and to see what other cars had arrived. I knew that some cars had already been wrapped with the Rally sponsors, having seen a number of the ‘Purple Team’s‘ cars and those from the ‘Fast Crew’, parked outside the hotel. This just upped the ante… I didn’t know was whether my car had been completed yet!
Getting to the car park after a 10 minute walk down a typically steep Myconian decline felt a little like Christmas; there were Bugatti Veyrons, Lamborghini Aventadors and Huracans, and McLaren 720s’s amongst a myriad of other wonderful machinery, littered all over the place. And there were already photographers roaming around taking pictures of all of them; especially, to my great surprise, two cars in particular.
The first was a beautiful Ferrari Daytona made out with Mexican livery (this was my favourite car on the rally).
The second, was the F355 Spider. This was, to my shock and great pride, something that would set the tone for the following 10 days. Everyone, without fail, loved the old school Ferrari from Team 76. Next to all of the much newer, more electronically complex and somewhat bloated supercars she looked tiny but, when amongst that company, to my eyes it made her look even prettier. She looked resplendent in the sunshine. She had not had the decals applied however, so I took some pictures of her and all the other cars and made my way back to the hotel.
Hard days, long nights
The afternoon was spent relaxing by the pool and trying to soak up as much sun and rest as possible because I knew the next week or so was going to be full of hard driving days and long nights… and the first long night happened a few hours later… I met up with two friends who live in Mykonos around 9pm, first at Scorpios for tequila before then moving to Bonbonniere, for tequila… and so it continued… the Gumball 3000 Rally had just got started!
For more great images, view our Gumball Gallery.