We’re delighted to announce that CPA Global have come on board as an official sponsor of the 2018 Galleryrally, enabling us to make it an extra special year for participants and attract more people, raising more for our chosen charities.
Our long suffering cluemaster is taking an extended sabbatical, focusing on his work as a drug and alcohol rehabilitation counselor. In his place we’ve managed to recruit a familiar face in the form of an ultra competitive rally veteran who combines the dastardly mind of an English teacher, the competitive spirit of an entrepreneur and the petrol-head prowess that many a rural Frenchman has come to fear. We’ve had a quick heads up over the route and concept and look forward to seeing what he has in store this year!
We’ve been supporting Jersey Hospice Care with each Gallery rally since 2008 and last year we decided to spread the love and add a second, the British Heart Foundation Jersey Branch. This year we’ve done the same again but as we already with with BHF on our Gallery Dodgeball Championships, we’ve selected another companion charity.
As our regular cluemaster and longtime personality of the rally, Chip Somers, is a Therapist and addiction specialist, we have selected a charity close to his cause, Silkworth Lodge. Silkworth Lodge was opened 2002 by The Families in Recovery Trust which is a Jersey registered charity and part of The Silkworth Charity Group. They offer residential rehabilitation for men and women who are affected by drug and alcohol addiction. Chemical dependency is particularly prevalent in Jersey. Alcohol consumption is twice that of the UK and one of the highest in Europe. Excessive use of alcohol and drugs places families and relationships under great stress.
After a bit of research (ahem….a stag do rally) last year we’ve decided that Paris made the ideal destination city for a rally. We have days of the usual amazing countryside and roads along with the usual clues and challenges but ended up on a Saturday evening experiencing all that France’s capital city has to offer…we even spent an hour in a Paris taxi looking for our scavenger hunt items so get to see about everything!
We’ve also moved the date following the most fantastic weather we experienced. A late September date in northern France was sunny and beautiful so the 23-26th this year will hopefully be the same. Sign up here!
It’s hard for Jersey to shake off the Hungerford effect; the perception for outsiders that every Jersey inhabitant still lives the 80s highlife when millionaires wore double breasted jackets, spent all day holding a champagne flute and could afford to live in more than a semi detached house.
When I first moved to Jersey a client told me about a car rally. It was to San Sebastian in Spain and he was heading there in his Porsche. A performance car rally across Europe, stopping in on a Guggenheim museum seemed like the thing of dreams. It was a charity event and sounded like the sort of activity reserved for old Chuckles Hungerford and his Royal Barge dwelling contemporaries (that’s The Old Courthouse to those living a life outside of Bergerac, the TV series rather than the French town).
But this wasn’t ITV, this was real, for real people. It was called the ‘Tour de Liberation’ and was organised as a fund raiser for the Bush Hospital Foundation. I didn’t find this out until 2008 when we were approached to help reshape the event after it had stalled in 2007. We proposed to use our little magazine as an outlet to promote and means to rebuild the event and raise money for a new benefactor; Jersey Hospice Care.
With a few years in Jersey under my belt and a better understanding of the Island and how it works, we saw it as a great project we could throw Gallery’s weight behind and the galleryrally was launched.
Over the last five years we’ve travelled thousands of miles and raised thousands of pounds for worthy charitable causes. We’re hoping this year will see our total for the five years reach £150,000 for Jersey Hopsice Care. That’s a lot more than we’d have acheived with some boot fairs. It’s all down to passionate raillers that see the benefit in using their valuable summer holiday days to do some good.
We’ve been to the South coast of France three times, to Barcelona and through the Alps to Geneva. Each route covering spectacular countryside and breathtaking views. We’ve battled through Chip’s clues and challenges and learnt a few things along the way. We’ve also grown a small but connected Alumni of ralliers who all have fantastic shared memories.
A massive thanks to our previous years’ sponsors; Sure Mobile and Jacksons in 2008, Moore Stephens in 2009 and Peritus in 2010/11. Thanks also to the Royal Yacht and The Grand Jersey for helping us with breakfasts and rooms.
Next Year Chip has a new route planned, one that will fill in that big area of the above map with no Gallery Rally lines. Watch out Western France, we’re coming.
If you’d like to take part in this great event, join our new facebook group or email firstname.lastname@example.org to be kept in the loop about developments and the launch party for GalleryRally 6.
If you’d like to get involved with the rally next year as an official sponsor email email@example.com
The galleryrally 2012 saw our gallery van beat the supercars into first place. It’s our fifth year, so it’s about time. With so many hare like supercars on the field we went out there and got a win for the TORTOISES…
The rally really snuck up on us this year. In previous years we’ve taken a Jeep. Unfortunately a local car retailer that deals in such brands had our Jeep in their posession for 4 months this year and then gave it back broken. They want £1000 more to re-fix damage caused by their neglect so, with the rally approaching, we had to look for another option. Without a stable of cars to choose from we opted for our trusty steed, the Gallery Distro delivery van. She’s been circling the Island for us for years and we must owe her a trip to the French riviera by now.
There was some concern over conditions as a force 7 had ferries running for a harbour the night before we were due to depart. Fortunately, following our send off coffee and bacon rolls courtesy of the Royal Yacht Hotel, Poseidon and Mother Nature calmed things just enough to allow Condor Rapide to power over the undulating ocean and safely to St Malo. As usual, in addition to a first hidden clue in our competitor pack, we had a challenge for a ferry. To avoid Google’s ability to answer just about every quiz question in previous years this year our organiser had a new plan; a massive word search. I’m sure it’s been a while since you had the time or inclination for a wordsearch….you’re missing out.
Our 24 Jersey ralliers rolled off the ferry to meet the organisers, marshalls and a couple from the UK who, on learning the ferry from the UK to Jersey was cancelled, had driven to Folkstone and down through France early doors to meet us in time for the start.
With the First day’s clues in hand we set off. There’s something fantastic about setting off on a mission with only a vague plan of your route. Having solved our four clues to find the day’s stop points we were pretty sure we were on the right path, but still managed to do a figure of eight just outside St Malo. Our first ‘Location’ clue was French bridge or a close relative – just East of St Malo we located the answer; a small town called Pontorson. Fortunatley we arrived there before all the others had left and joined a few teams for a croque monsieur. The day went well and we crossed beautiful countryside and passed through quaint towns. The loving smile of rural French pensioners when they see a ground of Rosbifs fly through in convoy is truly a site to behold.
Evenings on the rally are everything you’d expect of a French holiday with good food in a rural French hotel; tasty morcels, flowing wine and good times as everyone waits to see how they’ve faired with clues during the day. Fortunately for us we seemed to be holding our own, sharing the top spot with a few die hard ralliers, some of whom already had their name engraved as winners on the GalleryRally trophy.
The first night saw us staying at a familiar location; a beautiful country hotel with a windmill and cracking food we stayed at on the rally in 2009. Ralliers socialised into the night and morning. That’s the beauty of the Rally, no-one is going to berate you for burning your candle at both ends provided you’re capable of being up and at ‘em. Even a dip in the pool at 3am didn’t hamper our classic camper driving team…
Day two took us to Fontevraud-l’Abbaye (clue: holy place but confused Advent four) – an amazing Abbey that had an incredible and chequered past. The abbey became a prison from 1804 to 1963, in which year it was given to the French Ministry of Culture. Having been restored it now fuses incredible architecture with a modern art exhibition and a stylish cafe. We had a coffee. Great Florentines. Other clues took us to pretty little towns and hunting for doorbells. On arriving at our destination for the evening, Bonnat, there were no cars in the carpark. Chip had arranged for a private racetrack nearby to be opened for our ralliers to get the most out of their cars for a few laps.
One of our R8s got a little more than that, spinning off in great style. Fortunately the car and driver were both unscathed. We wiled away the hours after dinner with some games of pool and I was fresh enough the next morning to make use of the pool. You know how swimming pools at hotels sit there, taunting you, calling you lazy. I wasn’t going to be defeated. Ahead of our day Chip had devised another non daytime quiz; a time trial to name as many of the 44 presidents of the USA as you could. Fortuntely with some well remembered song lyrics and a bit of Bill&Ted we managed to come out at the right end of the field.
Our rainy day three (the only rainy day in 5 years of rallies) took us to Privas, stopping for lunch at Le Chaise Dieu in the sort of restaurant where you wonder if they’ve EVER had a customer before. Privas, in the Ardeche was the location for this year’s paper aeroplane challenge. Ben’s brute force won us the prize for distance but the engineering of Adam and Chris was easily enough to grasp first place in the design category (below) – it even had a proper fuselage. Sadly for our UK entrants the mountains and mist had proved too much for their 911 speedster and they arrived for a late dinner courtesy of a long taxi ride. The pool at Privas also proved too tempting for a few ralliers (us included) and we got a few early hours swimming races in to work off the Vin de Table and bottles that followed.
We awoke to learn that the Speedsters had a new means of transport. As it seemed a bit tricky to get back to their car and a hire car was to be troublesome, they hopped into the back of Karl and Neil’s classic VW Combi for a ‘Summer Holiday’ style final day. After breakfast we had an extra challenge for the day; to find a pineapple, a melon, two red hats and some lavender in order to fill a clue later that day. It was to get a photo at the summit of Mt Ventoux, a famous Tour de France stage. The cyclists at the summit looked a little bemused when a slew of J plated supercars came over the brow and parked up amongst their steeds.
Safely off the mountain and after a quick motorway section we arrived on the beautiful coast of St Tropez just before sunset to the usual amazing finale hotel where you feel you’re suddenly a high roler. Thankfully the 900 euro a night rate was for the other guests. Part of your entry fee ensures a great deal on the hotel!
A gala dinner, a firework display over the superyachts mored offshore and a win (the first in five years) for team Gallery couldn’t have finished the rally off in any better form. Some ralliers snuck off early and others came to our room to do the best to drink their prize wine, kindly sourced and distributed by our cluemaster. Four days of stories and we’re still counting up the fundraising total and following up next month. Here’s looking forward to next year!
We could only do a brief overview here. Garry and Mike, our most consistent champion ralliers, have an amazing blog of all past Galleryrally and Tour de Liberation at
Please check it out!
Someone on the rally obviously liked us! Our rally plate gained a place on a rally plate wall of fame.
After a few years off the top spot and even without their trademark Mitsubishi EVO, Garry Taylor and Mike Nolan triumphed in the Galleryrally 2011, regaining the trophy they got in our last trip to Monaco in 2008!
Check out their blog at http://www.itsanevoadventure.org.je/
Avignon to Monaco
Our final day of the rally was a scavenger hunt, all to play for as the top 5 teams were extremely close. We were required to pick up 12 items including a cricket ball (which may seems straightforward) bus ticket from Avignon, 3D Glasses, a picture of our team standing on a yacht, which had to be a printed copy, photo of a jukebox, a baby on board sign, a poster from a music concert, a peanut shell . Many items, little time, the game was on!….
Alan and I managed to find a baby on board sign, by default as we were driving down a beautiful road in Provence behind a car with the required sign, I found it quite difficult to capture the sign driving at speed around corners! Once we arrived in Monaco I set about finding some of the required items, I found a theatre opposite the Hotel and thought it would be quite straightforward to obtain 3D Glasses; little did I know that I would end up walking the length of Monaco and not get back with anything!
There was some amusement over the items returned, I was reliably informed that Suzie Ruffley and Emma Kennedy (Mona go-go) got slightly confused over the Peanut Shell and came back with a pistachio nut instead! There were some very interesting stories on how the teams managed to get their items but all the teams did really well using their initiative, which in turn changed the scoreboard quite significantly. Nigel Hall and David Hall – (Grey Matters) were the only team that came back with a cricket ball!
I was off on my own adventure at the same time. We all wanted to thank Chip and Heidi so much for all their efforts in organising such an amazing adventure, there is a huge amount of preparation to hold such an event, from organising the travel, hotels, the clues, taking a dry run of the whole route, games, and going ahead each day to ensure the clues were in place and the hotels were prepared. It is a mamouth task and they do with such ease and make it so enjoyable for us all. We did a ‘whip’ round to enable me to go out and buy some ‘gift’s I headed of f to buy goodies – Shopping in Monaco What fun!
A finale Dinner was held for us all on the final night at the Hotel Metropole, were there was a prize giving, fortunately everyone is a winner so even thought Alan and I came 2nd to last we got a prize! Congratulations to Garry Taylor and Mike Nolan who won the event, and very kindly gave their prize to Channel 103 to auction off to raise further funds for Jersey Hospice Care.
I would like to thank everyone for a fantastic event, Chip and Heidi Somers for their exceptional organisation, Richard and Joe the Marshalls who were always at hand to make sure we were heading in the right direction and to all the other teams for making it such an entertaining and enjoyable trip.
Most importantly we are raising money for Jersey Hospice Care, and the teams have raised a huge amount of money for this charity and we will continue to do so.
Clue Locations: Murol, Paulhaguet, Loudes, Ruoms, Pont St Esprit
Day 3 started off with a little ‘quiz’ to warm up the brain, we had to write as many Walt Disney Movies as possible in 5 minutes – suddenly the brain freezes over and all I can think of is Daffy Duck!
After our brain warm up, and a bit of map folding, we were given our set of clues to map out our days driving, Team Balderdash and ourselves were super confident and left the rest of the group still figuring out the clues and we set out on our way! unfortunately we went extra 80 miles because we got the first destination wrong, however, we had the most amazing drive to Riom es Montagnes! We had a very quick coffee and drove back up to Murol where we were meant to be!!
Today was all about ‘the loo’! When we finally got the opportunity to go to ‘the little girls room’ it was actually the clue we required (Not the best loo in France!) But we found the clue!
For many of our fellow rally competitors today was like an episode of ‘Wife Swap’/’Car Swap’! Nigel Elliot and Stephen Warnes in the Ferrari 355 very kindly invited Neil Ginnis and Jenson Nixon to drive their car for the day. I think that this was the most amazing gesture and the two boys were just so excited. They both said that this was an opportunity of a life time and one they will never forget.
David Hall and Nigel Hurst in the BMW M3 EVO also had a ‘wife swap ‘with Simon Webster and Graham in the Audi R8. Graham and David drove the Audi R8, David was highly excited about going in the R8 (Or maybe having an afternoon away from Nigel I am not sure!!) Whilst Simon and Nigel had an afternoon together in the BMW M3 EVO, I am sure Simon enjoyed this and appreciated his car even more by the end of the day!!
The driving today was fantastic, a day filled with Gorges and lovely windy roads, Alan and I also managed to master the clues today (with a little help from our friends!)
Today I got the opportunity to take some video footage, we had a most enjoyable drive behind a Citreon Bread van, that took corners sideways, possibly the most incrediable driving we have come across and I am looking forward to downloading this onto Youtube! I think Jeremy Clarkson would interested on how the car handled the roads!
Everyone had rather a long day – however once again a great supper to finish the day relaying the tales of the day and great banter between the teams.