Wacky racers; School friends' 2,000-mile drive across Africa in this old banger.
TWO adventurous school pals were last to cross the finish line after driving across Africa for charity in a battered old car.
Gareth Rogers and Sin Davies may have brought up the rear on the 3,500 mile Adventurists Club African Rally, but by taking part they raised over pounds 2,500 for charity.
Together with their four-wheeled companion Rene - a 23-year-old Renault 5 - both Gareth, 33, and Sin, 32, completed the journey from Dakar in Senegal to Limbe in Cameroon, having set off on New Year's Eve.
The self-styled "Cymru Loons" were reunited last year having not seen each other since they were pupils at Ysgol Glan Clwyd in St Asaph.
Web developer Gareth, from Rhyl, said: "It was the adventure of a lifetime, we really enjoyed it. The race was tough but we'd love to do it again one day. We finished last, on January 17, but we were just happy to have taken part, it was an amazing experience."
Sin, a Crown Prosecution Service manager from Denbigh, added: "We were just so glad to finish. Most sensible people accepted when they were beaten, ditched their cars and found more reliable ways of making it to Limbe for the closing party.
"Of course we weren't that sensible. We were determined that we were going to make it over the finishing line under our own steam, despite all the breakdowns, detours and hold-ups."
Around 100 vehicles took part in the challenge, with participants tackling some of the world's most adverse terrain across 13 countries.
Contestants met in Guildford in December, with some driving the full 3,500 and others - including Gareth and Sin - choosing to ship their cars over to Dakar before continuing with the challenge by road.
All cars had to be left-hand drive and under 1,000cc.
Gareth and Sin's team came 17th overall, but the pair were just happy to have finished at all as the road into Cameroon from Nigeria was described by Lonely Planet as "the worst road in the world".
Sin said: "There was no set route, the winners were simply the first team to arrive in Limbe, by any means available. It was more about the experience and the charities than it was about winning."
At the end of the rally, the couple auctioned the car for pounds 778, around pounds 200 more than they'd paid for it back in Britain. That money, combined with sponsor money, should give them a total of more than pounds 2,500 for Send a Cow, which provides the materials and training to help African people farm sustainably.
. Find out more about Gareth and Sin's gruelling journey at cymruloons.org.uk.
Gareth Rogers and Sin Davies in Limbe, Cameroon after finishing last in the Adventurists Club African Rally The clapped out Renault 5 makes its way across Africa (left). The route they took (right)
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|Publication:||Daily Post (Liverpool, England)|
|Date:||Feb 10, 2010|
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