Let me tell you how cold it was at the Festival of Power. It was so cold that Simon almost swore. I had it relatively easy because, although our office was unheated, I was at least out of the relentless biting wind. Kirstie and Julian, photographing at trackside, and Simon, out in the pits, really copped it. Every so often the office door would open, there would be a blast of freezing air, and in would edge a babushka doll clutching a coffee.
I eventually worked out that
this was actually Kirstie in about eighteen layers of clothing. All you
could see of Kirstie was a pair of eyes peering widely through a
balaclava which made her look as if she was hiding in a mailbox. Julian
wimped out of wearing his usual jaunty shorts but he was sporting a hat
which he was wearing either to win a bet or because he had lost one.
Simon had a number of layers on but his use of gloves, on one hand at
least, was severely curtailed by the need to write in his notebook.
Kirstie, Simon and Julian never deserted their posts and never let the
conditions affect their photography and pit notes, so a big Thank You
My very minor contribution to the collective bravery of
the team was to spend the Saturday evening in a caravan which had no
power and which had ice on the insides of the windows. My good buddy
Darren Prentice of Santa Pod Raceway owns the caravan but he generously
gives me its use at race events. As usual Darren had kindly ensured
that the caravan was wired up at the start of the event, but by the
time I got there the power had gone south. I texted one of my chums
further down the pits “I have no power here” and received the reply “I
have power, goodnight”. Darren’s caravan it had to be, then. With no
light and no heat it was an unforgettable night spent in a sleeping bag
underneath another sleeping bag with a duvet on top of that. This was,
I must admit, quite snug until the sleeping bag and duvet slid off at
about four in the morning. The power cable was sorted during the next
day so on Sunday evening I could see what I was doing and I was nice
and toasty doing it.
However bad we had it, you had to feel for the gentlemen of Duncan
Micallef’s Top Fuel Dragster team who had flown in from sunny Malta.
Malta Drag Racing Association Secretary Jason Camilleri, whom I finally
had the pleasure of meeting at Easter after years of swapping E-Mails,
told me that a lot of Duncan's guys had never seen snow in their lives
and that none of them had ever been so cold.