FOUR FRIENDS from Tavistock who beat 35 competitors to win the Wacky Rally have presented a cheque for £1,500 to the Tavistock branch of the RNLI.

Team Wacky Green Navy took part in the challenge earlier this year which involves driving an old banger — in their case a 20-year-old Saab Estate — 1,400 miles across Europe from Lille in northern France via the Alps down to Barcelona in four days, passing through seven countries.

The trip was sponsored to raise money for the RNLI, and the car was transformed into a lifeboat with a top superstructure crewed by two RNLI teddy bears.

Team leader Clive Pattison presented the cheque to branch secretary Ann Parsons, treasurer Heather Webster and chairman Daniel Leonard-Williams. The presentation was also attended by Ellie Walker, left, RNLI Community manager for Devon.

Clive thanked his team members and those who had sponsored them, together with the secretary and chairman for helping make the fundraiser successful. The branch in turn was grateful for the substantial and much appreciated donation.

The money had been raised by Just Giving online and donations in person, mainly at Drake’s Café at Grenofen, where the presentation took place.

Having survived the journey to Lille and the subsequent 1,400 miles, the car had broken down on the way home, but has been recovered and is awaiting a mechanic to investigate an ignition fault.

Clive said that as they had done a tank in 2019 (army), a lifeboat this year (navy), next year they were hoping to raise funds for the Royal Air Force Benevolent Association with something special to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of the Dam Buster operation.