Last year I reported that Run to the Sun was sadly no more as Cranstar Holidays announced that Run to the Sun 2013 would be the last and that the company were to be heading in ‘a new direction’.
Well guess what? Whatever road this new direction took, it met a fork with a sign pointing to yes you guessed it, Run to the Sun 2014.
2013’s event was billed as ‘the Final Chapter’ producing many a tear across the VW scene as a result. If there’s one thing a scene needs to thrive, it’s a traditional long-standing event to gel everyone together.
Such events make all that hard work battling rust, and taking ‘a rest’ on the hard shoulder after your engine has overheated and scraping ice off the inside of your windscreen seem a little less depressing. So it’s with a smile I can write that Run to the Sun is back without even a year’s break…
Trevelgue Holiday Park is still involved, along with Smugglers Haven, the RTTS venue for 2014. This time the event is to be under the control of the events management team of Peter Bull Resorts Ltd.
The event took place this year from May 23-26 2014 and featured such regular stalwarts as the Show ‘n’ Shine at Newquay Airport as well as a plethora of musical talent for the evenings.
When my friends and I used to travel to Cornwall for RTTS during the early part of the noughties, part of the thrill was the long drive down and that first sighting of a group of VWs in procession, chrome gleaming in the early morning sun.
Though one of our group suggested something that we had all noticed happening dramatically over a period of just a few years – that the traditional classic VW scene was becoming less shall we say, specific and attracting customised cars of other styles and makes. He said he had seen a similar thing happen to the Chelsea car scene, where classic cars would gather on a Friday night – the UK’s answer to American Graffiti maybe.
I guess, while at the time we had our concerns for the stability of the original idea behind Run to the Sun, it was inevitable that as the event got bigger it would naturally attract other tribes with the promise of the most beautiful coastline England has to offer combined with music events.
I recall one moment walking up a slope from the beach, a non-VW customised car that appeared to be lost was making a u-turn. I heard one person from the crowd making its way up from the beach shout out “..go home, you’re in the wrong place!” to which he got a few cheers and the car was briefly greeted with a gentle rain of chip wrappers before driving off.
I somehow feel that this incident, acted out in fun and smiles more than any anger, was the Custer’s Last Stand of the hardcore VW enthusiast; like the wild North Cornish coast, you just can’t keep the tide at bay forever and with bigger music artists playing each year, the argument might be that the heart had gone from the event in favour of another kind of regular thumping beat.
It’s quite telling that you have to scroll a long way down the gallery of the official Run to the Sun Facebook page before you see a few Volkswagens. And the page’s request to ‘show us your rides’ was met with a high percentage of non-VW cars.
But I guess things move on and nothing stays the same forever. The event has been running for 27 years having started in 1987, so anything or anyone that keeps it alive and fresh has to be given their due.
I just hope that the classic VW remains the raison d’être for many of the people attending for future years to come, if not for the show’s organisers.
Images – fastcar.co.uk & Run to the Sun
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