The 21st Gumball 3000

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Alan Bradbury, our car-loving Enthusiast Underwriter, tells us about his experience at this year’s Gumball Rally…

Sunday 9th June saw the launch of the 21st Gumball 3000 rally – ‘Battle of the Islands’, starting in the beautiful Greek island of Mykonos and ending in the ‘White Isle’ of Ibiza. Over 100 of the world’s finest supercars converged for this iconic annual motoring event which covers around 3000 miles, through 10 countries, in just 8 days. A week of pure hedonism - wild parties, beautiful scenery and of course the cars! Let’s also not forget the charitable aspect – the Gumball Foundation raised well over £300k for charity on this year’s event so far. 

A busy registration day for ERS & PK Partnership 

Tom Donachie, Head of Bespoke and I were lucky enough to be invited along to the launch of this year’s rally, with the appointed Gumball 3000 broker, PK Partnership. ERS has been the insurer for Gumball since 2017, so we had a good idea of what to expect but the backdrop of Mykonos was an added bonus. Registration day for the rally took place at the luxurious Royal Myconian hotel at Elia Beach – we rubbed shoulders with many celebs, mainly from the music industry – DJ’s, producers, artists as well as wealthy entrepreneurs. Despite the beautiful location, stunning cars in the car park, and of course the scorching heat, it was long day with many last-minute changes and cover to arrange. As many Gumballers are time-poor, some didn’t realise that their own policies excluded events such as Gumball, so it was important that we were in situ to ensure they were adequately covered for the rally. The various sponsors were also in attendance, including Kappa and Carrera, furnishing the many Gumball teams with branded merchandise and of course, PK and ERS ensuring the right insurance cover was in place.

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The real stars of Gumball

Of course, the cars on the rally are the real stars of Gumball - the highlights being the beautiful Pagani Huayra Roadster, the Aston Martin Vulcan (the only road-going version in existence) and the ultra-rare Koenigsegg Agera RS. These three alone are worth almost £9m, and that’s not even including the 3 Bugatti’s taking part! This year there were a lot more SUV’s compared to previous rallies, including the Lamborghini Urus and Mercedes G63 AMG. Many other Lamborghini’s, Ferrari’s and Porsche’s were present, and nice to see a Caterham 620R and a 2019 Toyota Supra make an appearance.

As the sun set behind the mountains, focus then turned to the party element, with ‘Mr Gumball3000’ himself - Maximillion Cooper, celebrating his birthday in style at the Void nightclub in Mykonos town later in the evening, and on into the early hours.

The following day was far more relaxed and despite some further changes to various teams, it was a day of rest for everyone. However, the party continued at Nammos beach with guest DJ’s and a private lunch for the teams. The setting, the music and the atmosphere was just electric.

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Gumball nerves…relaxation… and excitement

It was an early start on the Sunday with all the teams heading to Athens for the official start. Gumball had chartered a private ferry to take all the teams and support crews to Rafina port in southern Greece. It was a nerve-racking 3 hours watching these ultra-low supercars being loaded onto the ferry and seeing them tightly packed in but reassuring that the crew was very conscientious about the precious cargo. Following a relaxing 3-hour cruise past many Greek islands, we arrived at Rafina where we then headed to the ancient Zappiou Palace, which sits in the shadow of the ancient Acropolis. As the cars arrived in 35c heat, the atmosphere went stratospheric – the locals were clearly huge petrolheads and were mesmerised by the sights and sounds of the world’s finest supercars. An Instagram frenzy!

As each team was introduced over the PA, and sent on their epic journey in a cloud of coloured smoke, it was a good opportunity for me to take some photos on the grid, meet the legendary David Hasselhoff, Youtubers Shmee150 and Mr JWW, musicians/music producers including Eve, Jillionaire (Major Lazer), and Swizz Beatz. It was good to chat to the teams, many of which have been on several previous Gumball rallies. After the last car had left it was sadly a frantic dash to Athens airport for the journey home.

A simply amazing experience – sun, sea, sand and supercars – could think of worse place to underwrite a motor risk! Thank you to PK Partnership (Amit and Anjana) and Gumball 3000 for a truly memorable experience. 

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