The morning after the night before
I won’t lie. After meeting with some friends who live in Mykonos, I got back to the hotel at 7am on the day of registration. I headed straight to my room, showered, changed and headed straight to breakfast before immediately making my way to the pool to lie down on a sun bed and sleep. It must have already been in the 20 degrees by this point, which made it perfect dozing and I conked out until about 10am when my father woke me asking me if I had eaten. It’s amazing how it doesn’t matter where you are or, perhaps more importantly, how old you are, but parents will always be parents… ‘yes, I’ve eaten dad… thank you for asking but I was really enjoying my sleep!’ I’m glad he woke me though because it gave me an opportunity to cool down by jumping in the pool!
It also meant I got to meet some fellow Gumballers who were staying at the Royal Myconian. In particular we met a true gentleman, Mike, who was part of the Purple Team and lived in Dubai. We sat chatting for some time before we ordered food and drinks to the pool side… ‘this was only going to go one way’ I thought… which is precisely what happened as we carried on drinking cocktails until our registration time. Throughout the day I had seen other teams come and go (all the Gumballers stay at the same hotel normally but, because no one hotel was large enough on the island to take us, we were spread amongst four) for their registration and emerge with huge holdalls of merchandise. It was just whetting my appetite for what was to come!
Registration, champagne and a goody bag
Finally at 4pm, and feeling normal again, my father and I made our way up to the roof terrace for registration. There we were greeted with a glass of champagne and shown into this beautiful open plan balcony where we had to collect our car insurance documents, driver and co-driver lanyards with the schedule for the start of the Rally (we received an additional card at the end of each day to tell us what the checkpoints and timings were for the next), sign two Gumball flags – one to go in the Gumball office and the other to be given to whoever started on pole position and, finally, to collect all the clothing provided by the sponsors Carrera and Kappa.
My highlight of all the items given to us was the limited-edition gold Carrera aviators. Limited to 1000 pairs (and with a quarter of those going to Gumballers), they quickly became my go to for the rest of the Rally. After getting a quick photo with my father, we then left registration and promptly made our way back to the pool. At this point I should say a huge thank you to Kat, Molly, Lee and the rest of the Gumball team. They did a phenomenal job of organising everyone when, at times, it must have been like herding cats. Great job guys!
Happy birthday Mr Gumball
So after another couple of hours snoozing by the pool, I made my way back to the room to get ready for two things. One, it was the closing of the grid – this meant that the highest donation to the Gumball 3000 Foundation meant a pole position start, with the top ten also ordered as a result of their donations. Two, it was Mr Gumball 3000’s birthday, which meant a massive party at Void, the biggest and best club in Mykonos.
The grid closed at midnight and over £300,000 was raised for charity, with pole position going to Team 115 and, in my opinion, quite rightly to the very beautiful Pagani Huayra; a car fit to grace any pole position in the world! Great effort all!
We then had VIP shuttles to take us to Void to really get the party started. The atmosphere was amazing and the club was jammed. It was a great opportunity to meet and mingle with my fellow Gumballers, including Mr Gumball 3000 and his wife Eve. I was also very pleased because Iman, who had been helping me with marketing The Peaked Lapel, was also able to come so she and a friend of hers joined for the celebration, as did Tim, aka Shmee 150.
It was an awesome party… and, suffice to say, I got back to the hotel, once again, just in time for breakfast…
For more great images, view our Gumball Gallery.