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2015 Gapers Tour - 26th April


With the Gapers Tour in Belgium on the horizon there were things to do in Devon. Dippy had to have a good check over interesting but a new learning curve for me. I had instructions on how to check the tyre pressures oil via the dipstick and water levels. All set and ready to go it was planned for the team to set off on 24th April to give a free day to appreciate the sites of World War 1 also to find the start venue of the event so there would be no time wasted on the morning of the 26th April. 

The team consisted of Jill and Nick Jones their son Stuart and I poised to navigate acting as co-pilot.

Four people on board poor Dippy we left Devon laden to the gunnels. Common sense prevailing the Minilite wheels were swapped for the older wheels and tyres that fit nicely under the wheel arches. A very good trip was had to the channel tunnel followed by a meal in Poperinge which set us up for the next day. A visit to the Tyne Cot Cemetery, followed by a look at the cars that were going to compete on the Monteberg Rallysprint.
The Gapers tour started with documentation from 08.00 hours so an early start was made from the B&B along with Terry and Helen Schraider in their Triumph TR4. We were issued with the road book to check over and had a good breakfast before starting off on the first leg of the event. The first part took us to the first drink stop at Le Bizet just over 40k from the start. The navigation is quite testing but good fun many tulips not having 1k between them, for example 1.37 followed by .20 .72 .27 then a little relaxation 1.25k. In the box of almost every tulip there is the road name of the road you should be on so no excuses for mistakes unless the driver is not concentrating and has forgotten you said turn right (slippy Dippy).

Another 44k after the first drink stop brought us to a lunch break at the Ice Mountain just like our Snow Dome. A wonderful lunch was served of aperitif a main course of chicken in a mushroom sauce with salad and chips!!! Another drink, apple tart with caramel sauce then coffee. Wow now we have four heavy weights in the car.

Re start at 13.30 road book No 2 was handed out 45k to the next drink stop. Dippy was behaving very well, I continued as co-pilot and Jill took over the helm from Nick. The route was delightful with lots of sneaky turnings that keep the navigator concentrating, no falling to sleep on this event. There was a set of pictures given out at the start of the event and if you saw them a record had to be kept in the order they were seen. This is much harder than you might think; an award was given by Dippy for the person who recorded the most pictures.

The first three letters of some of the road names also had to be recorded. All check sheets were handed in at the following drink stop so the final leg was very relaxed no more pictures to look for, no road names, just pure navigational enjoyment. On the last leg the distance in the road book was 39.64k and Dippys Brantz read 39.7. Distances certainly are spot on with this event the attention to detail is fantastic.

Charming, friendly people, even the weather was not as bad as forecast and a fantastic route, such fun when the competitors are doing a figure of eight and a crossover is made with the cars further down the field. Very well done to all at the Kemmel Historic Comite.

On a personal note, I would like to thank Jill and Nick for coming with me, the event is very special to me.

I would also like to thank KHC for their wonderful presentation to me. A beautiful oil painting of Dippy in full swing with Mike and Hilary, the Menin Gate in the background that bears the name of Mike's grandfather.


Hilary and Dippy