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Travel Trade Crusade smashes £150k charity target after fourth and ‘final’ ride

The 2019 edition of charity car challenge the Travel Trade Crusade grew the initiative’s total fundraising since its inception in 2013 to more than £156,000.

This year’s wacky rally through France, Germany and the Netherlands drew more than £46,000 in donations across 19 teams.

Crusaders donned fancy dress and drove themed “bangers” decked out in everything from Honey Monster furs to Noah’s “Ark”, taking part in a series of tasks in a bid to earn extra money for their chosen charities.

Co-founder and organiser Sarah Archer told TTG she was “absolutely delighted” with the success of this year’s crusade.

“We set out to reach £40,000 this year to take us to £150,000 and hit £46,000, which is just phenomenal, and Crusaders raised more than in 2017 – with five fewer teams,” she said.

“The spirit of the crusade is something really special, as anyone who has taken part will appreciate. You just could not have an event like this without the dedication of those who take part.

“Everyone is so inventive, resourceful and generous with their time and money to help a load of fantastic causes.”

Let’s Go Dental – a team comprising Baldwins Travel Group co-directors Chris and Nick Marks and If Only head of sales south Dom Carrick – were named overall winners.

Carrick said: “Winning is brilliant, but the Crusade is much more than just the challenges. The camaraderie between teams is second to none, and I honestly think it personifies the industry at its best.”

Beginning in the French city of Reims on Saturday 6 July, teams travelled about 850 miles over the three days via Germany’s Hockenheimring F1 racetrack before a finale party in Rotterdam on Monday 8 July.

Finishing second overall was Priscilla, Queen of the Desert-themed Queens of the Crusade.

In a movie parallel, the team ended up breaking down en route to the start line – but managed to rent a replacement van.

Archer (inset) added it was “highly unlikely” the crusade would ride again.

“If it is the last then we can all say we gave it everything, and what a way to go out,” she said.

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