Having spent over two years getting ready for this incredible event, it’s hard to believe the 2011 Safari Rally is over. It’s been a roller coaster for all of us: emotional ups and downs amidst personal struggles to stay motivated during some incredibly difficult days, and mechanical struggles to stay operative while being pushed beyond the limits of endurance.
Had television cameras followed us for the last two years, they could not have captured the extent to which our team members have been stretched and stressed as we fought our way to the start line. Once that was done, there was the hugeness of the task to get one of our cars past the chequered flag first.
The Porsche factory tried many times to get one of their 911s to win this event, but it never happened. Our achievement in succeeding where so many others have failed, speaks volumes about our passion and determination. We have always known that this win was key to putting our organisation on the map – hence our delight in achieving this aim.
I’m just putting together a round up of Day 9 to close the rally blog. Once he’s had a few days to decompress, Funk will likely add thoughts on his experience, and thanks to the spokes in his Race4Change wheel of fortune. But I don’t doubt that he would want to immediately mention one person in particular. So let’s have a few words about Steve’s partner, Shannon, her unwavering devotion to his passion for rallying, and to their shared cause of women’s empowerment in Africa.
Steve and Shannon are a unique team: two energetic visionaries working on converging planes towards a common goal. This victory, the attention it will receive in Kenya and the global media exposure it will generate in the months ahead will serve as testament to their conviction that Race4Change can make a real difference to the poverty they encountered on their first visit to Kenya, many years ago.
Where so many people who have seen the poverty have blanked out the challenges it creates for a country described by Funk as “a beacon of hope on a troubled continent”, Steve and Shannon knew they had to get behind it and push for greater things. You can count the number of people you encounter in your life who undertake tasks of this magnitude on the fingers of one hand, so huge kudos to them for their efforts. I am awestruck by what they and the Race4Change team have achieved here today.