Published : 28/10/2022 15:51:40
Categories : Business
It was just over a week ago we set off on the Shitbox Rally, and what a memorable week it was. The rally started in Mackay on Saturday 15th October and finished in Darwin on Friday 21st October. Words can’t describe this epic adventure. It was an incredible week of seeing Australia’s vast and beautiful countryside and making lifelong friends, many brought together after experiencing cancer themselves or seeing cancer impact family and friends. We also experienced cars breaking down, extremely hot temperatures and driving through the harsh Australian desert.
A very big thank you to everyone for your kind donations. We know who you are and the support you gave us. Our team FlameStop managed to raise $16,347 for the rally. With the donations received from other Shitbox Rally groups, the whole event raised over $1.9 million dollars for Cancer research. This is such an outstanding result and we are both extremely proud to have helped support such a worthy charity.
The rally was not a race. It was an unpredictable adventure with vehicles often breaking down. There were over 250 cars that took place in the rally and we were put into smaller buddy groups with a team mechanic and medical support. If one car in your buddy group broke down then all cars in your group would need to pull over, until they were up and running or their car was getting towed. No one was ever left behind and this was what built the comradery between your group.
Below is a summary of our week away with photos. Nothing will beat the magic that happened on Day 5 of our trip.
Visiting Lake Elphinstone and the Burdekin Dam
Camping on lush green grass at the campsite with a nice breeze throughout the night (we didn’t get this for the rest of the trip).
Our first dress-up theme day was “Tarzan and Jane”. We both went as Tarzan (but many other dudes couldn’t resist dressing up as Jane). Visiting the Valley of Lagoons
Heat, Heat and more heat. Some other rally cars had their engines overcooking and this was only 2 days in.
Our second dress-up theme day is “Something in red”. Ben went for comfort in what he was wearing while I went for something a bit more “Flash”. There was even someone else from the rally wearing a Flash T-Shirt who asked me for an autograph.
About 20 minutes after having our photo taken at the Northern Territory border, Ben hit a massive rock in the middle of the road which absolutely destroyed our Oil Sump and Diff (which sits at the bottom of the car for those not mechanically minded). Our car immediately had the engine light come on 200m up the road where we pulled over straight away. While our car was put on a trailer and towed to the campground in Borroloola, we both jumped in the back of another rally car and made our way there.
Both Ben and I thought our rally was over and we would remain as passengers. Little did we know on the same day another VT commodore (from another team) had their engine completely seized and their car was not repairable at the campground with the limited tools. The kind folk from this car were generous enough for us to take their sump and diff to repair our car! We could not believe our luck that the exact same model car (out of 250 cars taking place in the rally) on the same day had failed. Lady luck was on our side that night.
It was a massive job to repair our car. There were many people involved in helping us who we can’t thank enough. It was a late night working until 4.30 am repairing our car. It was a massive sigh of relief when the engine started up and our air con was working again.
There was a route change due to the carnage from the day before. So many cars (including our own) took a beating. The route change still saw cars breaking down from the build of the previous days gone by.
Our car purred like a kitten and we managed to find our way to the iconic Daly Waters Pub where we enjoyed a cold couple of beers.
When arriving at our destination in Mataranka we took a relaxing dip in the hot springs thermal pool.
At this stage, we were on the home stretch. Our car was still going strong and we hit legal speeds of 130km along the highway. We enjoyed a nice lunch at the Adelaide River Pub about halfway on our way to Darwin. It was great crossing the finish line with our fellow comrades in our group, and with our air conditioning still working.
The presentation day was a great afternoon to catch up with the new friends we had made and reflect on our adventurous week. For the entire rally, there are only 5 trophies handed out for various categories such as Best Spirit, Best Themed Car, Best Breakdown, Best Repair and Biggest Fundraiser. With Ben’s great driving effort we were fortunate enough to win the trophy for the Best Breakdown which we happily accepted with pride.
This adventure has changed our life. We spent 7 days in the car we purchased for $1,000 in remote Australia to raise much-needed money for Cancer research. We will never forget this wonderful opportunity and would like to give a big shout-out to FlameStop, our colleagues, family and friends for supporting us during our travels.