Tour de Force
25-27th April 1997
I wrote to you following the Southport trip asking you to “beat that,” not really believing that it would be possible, but you did it. The Tour de Force trip was a brilliant weekend with so many highlights it is impossible to list them all. A big thank you to everyone involved in making it such a wonderful trip.
Despite all the worries (IRA motorway blockages, French fisherman blockades), all 51 intrepid souls set off for France, with the journey passing quickly. After dumping our belongings at the hotel, right before the first coastering of the weekend at the Foire du Trone.
Prior to the arranged meal, rides were taken on the following:
Banzai: what a ride, similar at the start to a Boomerang, being pulled up and up, waiting for the release of the train but then to be dropped only to rock backwards and forwards before doing it again from a greater height with smoke effects, very different but great fun.
King: a great coaster and really wild in the back seats, and this monster travels the fairs, amazing.
Crazy Mouse: a steel Wild Mouse with spinning cars, brilliant wild fun particularly with two people riding on one side of the car, going into turns backwards, sideways and very occasionally forwards, it was unbelievable.
The meal that had been arranged for us allowed everybody to get together. The generosity of the showmen, providing bottle after bottle of Champagne, was unexpected and very welcome, thank you to them. The meal filled a vacuum and the supply of crepes by the showmen as dessert was once again very generous. Short speeches followed and then the offer of the day, free running on Jet all evening for the Club. What more can you say, wonderful.
Following the meal it was out into the fair with rides on Jet, the Ghost Train, Big Wheel, Chattanooga Choo Choo to name but a few. Final highlights were the brakes not quite working on Jet forcing a more exciting end to the ride than normal, and a very painful ride on Kamikaze, the twin looping powered ride that leaves you hanging upside down between the loops.
Feeling weary we returned to the hotel the easy way, ie via the coach, some though elected to stay and make their own way back.
The following day saw an early start at Parc Asterix and it wasn’t long before we began to walk down to Tonnerre de Zeus. The coaster looked superb standing next to Goudurix, and the final sprint to the queue line got the adrenalin going. The first ride in the next to back car was amazing, the airtime on the first drop and the drop off the helix was out of this world. Tonnerre de Zeus is certainly better than I remember Megafobia at the start of the ’96 season. More rides followed in the middle, front and back seats! WOW the back left seat must be, in Justin’s words, “the best coaster seat on the planet.” Wonderful.
After a couple more rides on ‘Zeus it was time to do the rest of the park including a head-banging on Goudurix, and a more sedate ride on Vol D’lcare before lunch in the Circus restaurant. A very nice meal followed with a raffle for Asterix goodies donated by the park before an afternoon of riding. The Log Flume must rank as one of the best I have ridden, the coaster section and the final drop were great, the remaining coasters were worth a ride before a return to ‘Zeus for “one more ride.”
After leaving the park, a tour of Paris was offered by Keith, our tolerant driver for the weekend, and I was expecting to see the Eiffel Tower and very little else. What followed was one of the best tours I have been on, showing us all the sights with an amazing commentary courtesy of Gary Williams. I have never heard “Franglais” spoken quite like that with a west country accent, but to see the flat owned by Sophie Lawrence (Sophia Loren) was just one of those unforgettable moments. A 360 degree trip around the Arc du Triomphe was interesting as was the strange congregation of parked coaches in an area dominated by red lights.
The following day saw a short trip to Disneyland Paris and despite the horror stories of huge queues, it turned out to be a very quiet day by Disney standards. Being a first time visitor to the park, I was interested to compare it to other parks and to see how it lived up to the marketing. I was pleasantly surprised at the layout and general facilities in the park. I suspect that had the park been busy my view may have been tainted. Queues were reasonably short for some of the rides, around 30-40 minutes for the majority but the thought of facing a two hour queue for even some of the minor rides would fill me with dread. Again, there is too much to relate but highlights included seeing the Big Thunder Mountain train leaving the station backwards! Phantom Manor, Space Mountain and It’s a Small World!! During the day we managed all the major rides and made our way back to the coach loaded down with souvenirs for the trip home.
My one complaint, and this is not only about Disney, is persistent queue jumping that seems prevalent in European parks. Why is it that the parks do not enforce a queue policy, as at Alton Towers, to make everyone’s day more pleasant?
There were far too many highlights and memories of the trip to be able to relate, suffice to say it was an amazing weekend and many thanks must go to the team for organising the event, especially for the welcome we received from the showmen at the Foire du Trone – which was totally unexpected.
What can I say after such a great trip, but “follow that!” I can’t wait for “Tour de Force: the return.”
Thanks for a most excellent trip.
The weekend’s entertainments; ‘Zeus and Goudurix were as good as I had hoped; the Asterix log flume was excellent; Disney was a lot more fun than I ever would have expected (all steelies should have headrests like Space Mountain’s or give up and have lap clamps only); and a big thank you to Gary (and Keith if he ever gets to read this) for an instructive guided tour of Paris.
However, the best for me was definitely the Foire Du Trône. Having grown up with fairgrounds, rather than theme parks, I may be a little biased – but you can’t beat the atmosphere at a good fairground. This was by far and away the best I have ever experienced (I haven’t had experience of any of the big German fairs though).
Extreme was extremely good and now ranks as a favourite. Jet and King were a pleasure. The ghost trains were impressive (OK, they are never going to be up to Disney standards, but I like them). And it was interesting to see a Top Spin operating as it should be.
The only naff bit was Evolution, but once the bruises fade I guess my memory of it will as well.
Just a quick note to say “thanks” for the incredible first Euro Trip for the ECC. I’ve received First Drop for many years, and have been to many meetings and trips – this one renewed my faith in the Club’s ability to bring coaster fans together.
It was nice to see a blend of old and new faces, and to meet some European coasters “nuts.” (I didn’t appreciate how coaster “starved” Belgium was!).
Well done to everyone involved with the trip for making it an unequalable(sic) weekend. (Even the whiplash I received from Tonnerre de Zeus and Extreme paled into insignificance).
Joy & Marcus Sheen
The competition was strong (Hamburger boxes and plastic ponchos) but in the end we came out victorious in the tacky souvenir competition by coming in 1st, 2nd, 3rd and probably 4th place with our collection of useless junk. For some reason I got it into my head that the prize was a Nemesis video, so I spent £15 on stuff that even the clinically insane would smirk, from a strange wooden mushroom thing to a plastic winged hat so as to win. I did – and got a cap!
Now the rides: Foire du Trone was amazing, as was Xavier Lapere, he’s a very special member and we should all worship him. King, Jet, Crazy Mouse and Infernal Toboggan were all brilliant and the Mack Runaway Train was going about 30 times faster than Chessington’s. If Extreme had to be seen to be believed you should really have tried the loos. Put it this way, I’d choose a lamp post over the 2F fee of going on the floor in a portacabin.
Tonnerre de Zeus was incredible – even a bit better than Megafobia, and the tunnel was a nice touch. Keith (aka “The Driver”) surprised us all by sitting in the back seat, on his first go, with his arms in the air like a real enthusiast.
Goudurix – Well my reprofiled head and back bone is still amazed at the intolerable roughness of this infernal contraption and we both loath the very existence of it. It’s a brilliant ride – just far too rough. The Log Flume was a surprise bonus and was probably the best I’ve been on.
In the evening, Gary’s tour was excellent and the circumnavigation of the Arc du Triomphe was probably the trip’s best ride!
Space Mountain is a no-dead-spots ride, which packs quite a punch – much better than Justin’s rather negative review. Temple du Peril was the Temple du Peril and was OK. I feel we should at least accept its existence as a medium thrill ride and not a complete zit on the face of the earth.
All the people we met were brilliant and thanks must go to Justin, Jean Marc, and everyone for putting up with us. We shall be back – with a single room please. (Ed: There’s a story here that needs to be told. Joy and Marcus are mother and son, not husband and wife as I first suspected. When this was discovered, I had to check all the other people’s family “relationships” to make sure no embarrassing sleeping arrangements were made. Suffice to say, the next trip form will have this as a question!).
It was a chain of coincidences that we, my wife Carina, our nearly 3-year-old son Lukas, and I, could take part in the Tour de Force. We’d booked a trip, going to the same parks and the fair weeks before we heard about the ECC-Trip. In fact, because of problems with the baby sitter for our daughter, who was staying at home, we had to change the dates for our trip four times. We finally contacted Justin just five days before the trip confirming that we could go.
We reached the Foire du Trone one hour before we should meet the British members. This was a good thing as we used the time to walk around the fair, and I must say I have never seen eight roller coasters (or similar) at one fair before. The meeting point, the Jet Star was an appropriate meeting point. But we also wondered why, when it was 6pm, that most of the rides were closed.
At 5pm we bumped into two Swiss members, Patrick Flumet and his girlfriend Stefanie. Shortly after that Jean-Marc arrived, and a little later the crowd from Britain. They were slightly late, but nevertheless found us – and the event began.
It was great, which ever ride we went on, there were ECC members also doing it. After dinner and presentations, we were going to ride, ride and ride. I’ll never forget the crazy Kamikaze “The Loop” – Ride, it was great to ride Reverchon’s novelty Crazy Mouse and the le King, which I had heard so much about. We were very tired from the trip to Paris, and with an early start the next morning, we decided at 10pm to finish up and went back to our hotel.
The next day we met the crowd at Parc Asterix, I’ve heard a lot of good things about woodies (Ed: It is worth pointing out that Germany has no wooden coasters), so I expected a lot from Tonnerre de Zeus. The ERS was really funny, and was worth the whole trip alone. Also, where ever we went, there were any members riding with us and no ride was safe before us. I was also glad to see Goudurix, the inversion record breaker in ‘89 from Vekoma, again. I rode it 1993 and I really enjoyed the ride, even if it was “bashing” a lot. I must say though that Tonnerre de Zeus is my new number one roller coaster.
The Menhir Express, was the fastest Log Flume we’ve ever ridden, and Lukas was kept busy in the half hour queue by its brilliant design – and he really enjoyed the ride. After it he cried: “Once again.” In fact, he said it after every ride we had on it.
But Lukas’ number one ride was the children coaster, le Vol d’ Icare. A Zierer Tivoli-Family-Coaster with a Schwarzkopf design. In fact, we stayed on that ride until the park closed.
I had planned to go to the Fair again that night, but we were all so tired, that we decided to go back to the hotel – a good move as the next day was to be spent at Disneyland Paris.
While Carina and Lukas went and rode some kiddie rides – unhappily Lukas was not allowed on any Disneyland coasters. I went on Space Mountain with Andrew, Mark and Rob. In contrast to the Parc Asterix woodie, I expected too much from Space Mountain, and later from the Indiana Jones coaster. My wife and I came to Disneyland in 1993, so we decided to skip the larger rides for the rest of the day so that Lukas could enjoy the rides and walk-throughs.
It was a very good trip, a good chance to use the last, not-lost, English language scraps I still had. It was also possible to talk with coaster enthusiasts from Belgium, France, Switzerland, Germany and off course, the UK. We will certainly take part on future trips, and look forward to meeting more coaster enthusiasts from all over Europe.
Thanks for a great trip, with more coasters and “spin ‘n’ spews” than you can imagine.
The highlight of the weekend was going to be Disneyland Paris because I just love Space Mountain, and Disney really is the best – but I was wrong about the highlight.
The Foire du Trone was a great surprise, the size and variety of rides was unbelievable. Six coasters, two Giant Wheels, and many more rides including the Insider, which was like a Big Shake – and boy did it shake. Another top ride was The King, the fair’s main coaster. It was next to impossible to keep your hands up the whole way round. Finally though, the best “spin ‘n’ spew” ride ever – Extreme – which says it all really. The best seat is on the outside, and you’ll need to hold onto your pants! Early on it feels like you’re going to fly and crash out of control, but then the ride just gets faster.
Fairs in England, and amusement parks for that matter, should check out these Euro fairs, they beat our fairs any day.
I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who worked so hard to put the Tour de Force trip together, both home and away. It was the first foreign coaster trip for my friend John and me, and we enjoyed it immensely. In fact, it’s hard to condense so much into one small letter, without ending up with something which reads like a telegram, and doesn’t do it justice at all. Instead, here’s a couple of big surprises John and I got, even if no one else agrees with us.
First, though, some things just have to be said, however inadequately.
‘Zeus is astonishing. I was one of the lucky ones who got on the inaugural train of the ERS, which meant that the first time I saw what the ride could do, I was on it! It’s incredible – breathtakingly fast and furious, hanging on by your toes nearly all the way, things flying out of pockets left, right and centre, arms in the air, it just doesn’t want to stop. It’s total fun. And this is a brand new coaster! What will it be like by the end of the season!? Hopefully, better still. And, to anyone who hasn’t been yet: as you walk beneath the statue… look up.
A massive thank you, too, to the warm-hearted people of the Foire du Trône, who gave us such a fantastic reception on Friday night – Champagne, lovely food, discount ride tickets for so many exciting rides, I just wish we’d had more time to spend there. Special thanks to Xavier Lapère, for his generous gift of our many free rides on the excellent Jet. It was an unforgettable evening, all round, but that was one thing which made it extra special. And, no, I didn’t go on Extreme. To cut a long explanation short – I thought it looked nice enough the colour it was, without tomato skins.
And, of course, thanks to Keith (our one-in-a-million driver) and Gary (our compere for the evening) for giving us all the chance to just flop and relax on Saturday night, and enjoy a coach tour of Paris. Memorable highlights included: two complete circuits of the Arc du Triomphe, arms upraised, a pair of er…. rabbits in Pigalle, and the awesome height of the Eiffel Tower as measured against The Big One.
Right – surprises. I have to say now, that the best one by miles was the welcome we received at the Foire du Trône. I hope lots of other people will write in about that, because I know everyone was feeling the same. It was magic.
Individually, though, for me and John if for no one else, one big surprise was Goudurix. We’ve only really been coasting for two years, and been stuck in Britain, so we’d never ridden anything like Goudurix before, and were determined to try it. From everything we’d heard about it, though, it wasn’t good news to a short-arse like me, whose ears seem to have grown at the worst height, that until I got the hang of it, even Nemesis used to bash me half insensible.
We ignored the headrests and the handles, wrapped our arms firmly round the clamps at waist level, and just hoped for the best. And what a surprise! Seven Vekoma inversions, and not one blow landed all the way round!
So we went round again. And, later on, three more times. And while it was no B&M (I don’t recommend the back seats in the old cars; there’s still one slam it’d be hard to fend off even with neck muscles like Arnie’s), we honestly did enjoy it. In fact, I think John would’ve gone round a couple more times, while the queue was so short, but with ‘Zeus just over the way…
The third surprise, and possibly the most unexpected – Disneyland Paris. OK, we’ve never been to the American parks, and maybe that’s why we had a good day: because it had nothing to live up to, and we asked nothing of it, bar a couple of rides on Big Thunder Mountain before the queues built up. Which, once the staff had got things running properly, we had. Big Thunder Mountain is the best runaway mine train we’ve ever been on. It makes the powered ones feel restrained, and its scenery is tremendous.
The theming, the architecture, everything, is on such a thoroughly lavish scale, it can’t help but show up its imitators. Even the ride operators’ costumes are beautifully tailored to suit their settings – it’s all so intensely perfect it’s almost unreal. I get the feeling that if Disney chose to build a world-class coaster, there really would be nothing else like it anywhere. “Falling with style,” and then some!
In the meantime, we followed the advice we’d been given, took in a couple of entertaining extras, then headed back to Space Mountain, again expecting very little of it. All you world-weary purists may groan, but we thought it wasn’t such a dud at all, even nobbled, as it is, by its three-stage brakes. The launch was great, the theming is brilliant, the track was well balanced enough so we still can’t decide exactly how many inversions were in there, and the train’s leather padding genuinely does stop your head from rattling around. They’re the only headrests, so far, we’ve found to be worth using. Add to this a queue time of 20-25 minutes, and we were happy enough.
Actually, when 3 o’clock came, we were sorry to have to leave. Disneyland may not be white knuckle territory, but it’s an experience, and it was fun, and even if we never return there, we’re glad we’ve seen it. Thanks ECC, for getting us there.
Now, all that remains is to get a copy of that ‘Zeus footage the French TV people were shooting, and to ask, “Please, print that picture of Spot!” (Ed: We’ll save spot for a little “spot” of his own – that’ll confuse everyone not on the trip!)#
I was not sure what to expect at the Foire du Trone, there were plenty of rides I had not seen before, including five steel coasters (King, Jet, Banzai, Infernal Toboggan and the Wild Mouse). All were thrilling with King being the best.
One of the highlights that evening was Extreme. When you see this ride in action it looks like the windmill from hell. When I rode, words that I normally don’t say come screaming out. The G forces were great, it was smooth and at times – very fast. Leaving the ride it was difficult to walk straight. For a fairground ride it is superb – it is a shame there isn’t one at a British park.
The food arranged for us at the fair was magnificent value, fries, sausages, a crepe and washed down with Champagne. Superb. Thanks to all the owners, it made us feel really welcome and contributed towards this great evening.
Then on Saturday is was Asterix. What can one say about the new woodie, Tonnerre de Zeus. It’s very fast, has no dead spots, there’s airtime, it’s great fun and it smells of new wood. This ride is going to be a classic. But I fear if it gets any faster, they will slow it down – but I sincerely hope not.
So, is it better than Megafobia? Well for me I would say “no,” but it’s close, very close. Well done CCI, another great job.
Parc Asterix is adding big new attractions every year and have something for all ages. Well done Asterix, and thank you for the excellent lunch you provided.
Then on Sunday we had our trip to Disneyland Paris. I rode the excellent Big Thunder Mountain, which I think was better than the Florida version. I also tried Space Mountain, with its launch up into darkness – it was a fun ride. The park looks good, with no litter in sight anywhere.
I hope we can have another European trip real soon.
Just a few quick comments about the trip; After riding Goudurix – Inversion coasters from B&M are the best. So forget it Vekoma, Arrow, Togo and the rest – please!
‘Zeus – After hands up all the way, your arms feel 10ft long after leaning out of the train so much on the “Megafobia” corners.
King – The best and fastest non inversion coaster (that travels) I have ridden.
Extreme – The best non coaster ride I’ve ridden since my first Top Spin in 1993.
‘Zeus and Megafobia, two of a kind. I can’t wait to ride Stampida.
I thought I’d drop you all a line to thank everyone for organising such a brilliant trip.
I think the highlight was the Foire du Trone – the rides were amazing, it’s just a shame British showmen continue to trot out the same old crap rides. They could all learn a thing or two from their French counterparts.
The Crazy Mouse was a real good laugh. It’s just a shame it wasn’t any longer. A clever idea – let’s hope someone buys one in the UK very soon.
I thought King was made unusual by the “kick cave” towards the end of the ride. I don’t think I managed to sit in my seat during the final part of the ride.
What can I say about Extreme? I still don’t really know what happened on it. The best way I can describe it was that it was like a huge crane had gone out of control and was throwing you around in the air. Definitely one of the most intense rides I’ve ever been on. (Not one to go on straight after Champagne and chips!)
I was just amazed at the scale of some of the rides, the decoration and lighting was incredible. I’d have loved to have been at the fair when all the rides were working and the crowds were out in force. The atmosphere must have been fantastic. I can’t see how Hull October Fair brags about being the biggest in Europe. Who wants to got one with six Waltzers, twists, Dodgems and boring Miamis?
Parc Asterix was great too. Although I enjoyed Tonnerre de Zeus – it must be the fastest woodie I’ve ridden – I do feel Megafobia has the edge. There was a couple of times when I thought this isn’t as interesting as it could be. Megafobia never lets up from the top of the lift hill to arriving back at the station. Still, Parc Asterix is to be applauded for installing the woodie – let’s hope it leads to even more being built.
As for Goudurix – all I can say is one ride was enough. Talk about rough – and I rode in the new train. It reminded me of the Ninja at Six Flags over Georgia. I don’t know why manufacturers can’t build rides which are thrilling and enjoyable. Perhaps they should all take lessons from B&M. I thought the rest of the place was pretty standard theme park fare.
As for Disneyland Paris -what can I say? I’ve visited the two Disney parks in the States and must say the Paris one does seem to lack something. Mainly the Disney “charm” – the staff must have been one of the most miserable anywhere – or is it their own brand of Disney “charm” they are developing?
I thought that Space Mountain was the best of the three I have ridden. But the lift hill does lead you to think you are about to undergo a very different ride to the one you get. I don’t think loops in the dark add anything to the ride (In fact I was much more impressed by the re-vamped Black Hole at Alton Towers.
Anyway, thanks to everyone again for organising a fantastic trip which was excellent value.
Chris & Claire McFarlane
Well, what can we say about the recent Tour De Force trip to Paris? Brilliant, fantastic, etc… For us, the travelling fair must have been the highlight, with a good selection of coasters and spin rides, some of which have never been seen in the UK. The fair also had a good selection of Ghost Trains, Log Flumes, arcades, side stalls and even bungee jumping. Why oh why can’t we see fairs like this in the UK?
Among our favourites at the fair were King (large non-looping coaster), Jet (compact Schwarzkopf coaster), Crazy Mouse (spinning coaster by Dodgem makers Reverchon), Extreme (a wild spin ride that lived up to its name) and Mega Dancer (another wild spin ride). Some of the French showmen also showed us some tremendous hospitality, with discount rides, free rides at Xavier’s Jet coaster and the free champagne.
The following day at Parc Asterix was very enjoyable and their new CCI wood coaster Tonnerre De Zeus is excellent, and full of airtime and a well-paced non-stop ride from start to finish. The park is well themed and has a number of rides and shows. After ‘Zeus our favourite ride was the excellently themed Menhir Express log flume, which is WET. It has two dark sections; one of which features a coaster-style drop and speed bump and the other a revolving tunnel (which works very well). After Asterix we had a coach tour around Paris, which was very enjoyable, with the highlight being two trips around the Arc Du Triomphe, which must be one of the most notorious roads, in our opinion more like Dodgems.
The theming at Disneyland Paris was excellent and Space Mountain must be one of (if not) the best themed dark coaster rides around. Even though we only had a short time at the park, we were able to do the main rides that we wanted, that included the three coasters and the excellent Phantom Manor and Pirates of the Caribbean dark rides.
Finally we would like to thank everyone involved with organising the trip: Justin, Jean Marc, Andy Spence, Keith the coach driver, the French Showmen for their tremendous hospitality. Can we do it all again next year?
It’s 5 o’clock in the morning and I’m getting up – it’s a long way from Belgium to Parc Asterix. I had no problems getting up as I hadn’t managed to get any sleep at all! This was the first time I would have met other people with the same passion, so I was really looking forward to it.
I arrive at the park at 8:15 – I don’t need to be there until nine, but I also meet another early arrival – Volker Drexler from Germany. We had an interesting conversation about travelling coasters in Germany. A coach arrives as well, and it’s full of Brits, an American and some more Germans – after a delay we enter the park.
What a coaster ‘Zeus is. It was only my second woodie after the Anaconda at Walibi Smurf park in Metz, France. This is a huge ride, but it made me realise that height has little to do with the quality of a ride.
I won’t describe the ride, although I would like to emphasise a few points:
A) The “photo drop” has the best airtime I have ever experienced.
B) My seat of predilection is the back seat.
C) Like Wayne Davis (issue 28/29), I’m not sure anymore if I am a “steelie.”
Indeed, ‘Zeus may well be my top coaster, it’s only challenge coming from Dragon Khan at Port Aventura.
As ever, Goudurix was really rough in the butterfly element; however, it is still in my top five.
I’d like to thank Neil Bradbury and Paul Antcliffe (for allowing me to “tag along” with them – they were really nice guys. Also thanks to Chris Coe, who I rode ‘Zeus with in the morning, it seems that he was smiling all day. Finally, thanks to Justin and Jean-Marc for putting together the trip and giving me the opportunity to meet everyone.
I just wanted to say thank you for the recent Tour de Force trip. I had been looking forward to this and was certainly not disappointed.
Starting from London, the coach trip was good and Keith the driver certainly entered into the spirit of things.
The first evening at the Foire du Trone was certainly something never to be forgotten. All the rides were very good, including the Jet Star, but the best ride was Extreme. This is a fantastic ride and was certainly one I will never forget. I would like to try that ride again.
The visit to Asterix on the Saturday was highlighted by the rides on Tonnerre de Zeus. This ride was better than expected – the first drop was great. However, I must say that I did enjoy Goudurix – once you had got the technique of riding it.
The coach trip around Paris later on that evening was an added bonus. After a very tiring day, I was ready for bed, so I was surprised to hear some of the group had the energy to enjoy an evening out on the town in Paris.
The next day was Disney day. Big Thunder Mountain was very good, but my favourite was Space Mountain. I am always amazed at the technology of these rides and would rate this better than its counterparts in Florida and California.
On the Friday night I arrived home tired but very happy. Thanks for an excellent trip.
As ever, I’d like to finish this supplement with a few thank you’s. As ever, they’re in no particular order. Firstly, a huge thank you has to go to Jean-Marc, he was the main driving force behind the whole “escapade” and, in fact, he’s already started work on next years trip! He also, of course, designed the logo, liased with the parks, translated, sorted out the special offers, and a whole lot more. Thanks JMT. Xavier Lapere I didn’t know before the trip, but I’m glad I got the chance to meet him, he is an all round “diamond geezer.” A note here should also go to the other ride owners at the fair who showed us such amazing hospitality. I must admit that I was not at all surprised to learn that most people thought the highlight of the trip was the fair.
Thanks go to Liz and Paul Burton for handling all the trip letters, and to Andy Spence for lugging all those T-shirts and sweatshirts around for the whole weekend. Keith the driver deserves a special mention for totally getting into the spirit of the event – those who spotted him, hands in air, on the back seat of ‘Zeus, will know what I mean. Also, I would like to thank Robin Payne, who started the organisation of the trip. Unfortunately a little collapsed lung(!) meant that I had to take over. Shame on you Robin!
Finally, I would like to thank everyone for coming, and I hope to see you all again next year when we can do it all again, but this time, everyone has to ride Extreme.