We woke up yesterday morning to high wind gusts and sheets of rain, mostly sideways. Given the conditions we were not optimistic that Targa would be able to finish the last day of stages.
Sure, we were all tired. As stage crew we had been setting up, running our stations, collecting timing and scoring information, keeping logs, packing and unpacking equipment, dealing with everything from people who just had to drive down the road – when it was closed to only race cars — to stray dogs wandering across the road unleashed. At times the weather was picture perfect with plenty of sun. Other times the wind was tugging at our road signs and safety tape so hard that we weren’t sure that it wouldn’t just all blow away.
The competitors had to drive at speed on roads that they had little knowledge of and trust that our stage crews and safety marshals had kept clear of wandering pedestrians. They drove all day through the fast stages and then transitioned to another one that might be an hour away. It was tough on cars and tough on people.
Naturally attrition would affect the number of cars that would make it to the end, but it was remarkable to see the determination and pluck of everyone involved to ensure that every stage was the best it could be and that especially the citizens of Newfoundland had the greatest view of the greatest Targa in the western hemisphere.
Here is a small gallery of photos from the end at the docks in St. John’s harbour where we could all finally relax and mingle and celebrate together the Targa Newfoundland of 2011.