As a press officer on the Kenya Airways Safari Classic Rally, most of the time is spent recording the misfortunes of others but just occasionally the boot is on the other foot – and that is how it was today. Our on-event press officer, Shalini Gidoomal travelled for the first part of today with the medical helicopter following the rally. But when the driver of car 44, Arron Banks, was found to be suffering from a suspected compression fracture of his spine, the helicopter had to land, pick him up and fly him to hospital in Nairobi. All that would still have been all right as they were able to fly back to Kilimanjaro International Airport where she was due to take a flight up to the Taita Hills landing strip back in Kenya.
But that plane did not arrive thanks to some air traffic problems caused by a visitor to Nairobi, an Argentinian chap currently domiciled in Rome. Thus the Safari Classic aviators had to resort to four-wheel transport and the long pull from Kilimanjaro through Taveta to Taita. They made it, arriving just after midnight, but this only gave them a few hours sleep before they were due to leave for the finish in Mombasa on Friday.
Hence no detailed report from Day 8.
A few bits of information have filtered through to our UK office including the fact that Grégoire de Mevius hit a non-competing car and lost ten minutes exchanging details. Stig Blomqvist clipped a boda-boda (two-wheel motorcycle used as a taxi) but lost no time while David von Schinkel in another Porsche 911 continued his Good Samaritan work by towing a stricken rally car out of the first section.
You will be able to catch up on today’s news and the exciting happenings of Friday tomorrow evening – so watch this space.