Sooo… DubRun 2k18. I’ve been on a few of these trips to Durban myself, probably half of them although remembering which years is a little bit of a mission. This will be the second time I’ve covered it for VAG Cafe though and it’s an honour to do so because of a fact that many of you may not know – the founders of VAG Cafe were also among the first to introduce the DubRun back in 2007. Basically it started out as a trip to Durban with the Volkswagen Club of SA to attend the annual Autostyle show, but as the club grew and the needs changed, it evolved into a purely club-based pilgrimage to the land of no winters – hence the time of the year it takes place. In 2016 I was convinced that particular DubRun was the best it could get, but it seems I was wrong, it’s most certainly 2018’s run that will stand out in memory for a few years to come. I didn’t get to attend the 2017 edition and by all accounts I was lucky to have missed it because it wasn’t quite put together properly or supported like it should have been. The common denominator in 2016 and 2018 is Chairman Ian Foat, a great guy in all respects but a real whip-cracker when it comes to running the Club – and it shows. From the Tape-Up evening through to the social media awareness and many live videos to pulling in sponsors to planning the activities – it all ran like clockwork, the Club Committee’s hard work is plain to see. While this year’s run took place over a normal weekend thanks to the mid-June public holiday falling on a Saturday, the plans were changed to accommodate, and so the theme of Back 2 Basics applied. DubRun 2k18 would consist of Tape-Up, the convoy down, a park off at Hazelmere Dam, prize-giving and a party at Beach Bums and a trip home. The racing and dyno side of things wasn’t included and quite honestly, no one really missed them.
THURSDAY 14 JUNE: TAPE-UP – BEDFORD CENTRE
Tape-Up is great, it initially started as a way to stop the cars in convoy getting stone chips by applying blue painter’s masking tape to the front bumper and bonnet. The main reason for the blue is because it’s a little more pliable than the generic white, and the glue comes off with the tape when you remove it instead of staying on the car and causing much anger. One year someone made a shape out of blue tape (most likely a penis, because car guys) and someone thought they could do better, and so on and so forth. This nighttime activity has evolved into an event all on it’s own that attracts many onlookers, so much so that the location is often kept secret so that too many people don’t attend. The designs have become more and more elaborate, some DubRunners even go so far as to add full vinyl themes to try and outdo the rest. Of course, it’s not just for fun anymore, there are actual prizes to be won for Best Tape-Up and Best Theme – a little competition never hurt anyone. This year the venue was the basement parking at Bedford Centre (with management approval, the right way) and it’s the best venue so far. Well lit, sheltered from the wind and the cold, and more than enough shops open to fuel hunger. My favourite part – DECENT LIGHTING, which equates to better pics to post up on VAG Cafe. All you chaps who like to use a camera will know what I mean… Registered DubRunners all received a goodie bag filled with cool bits and bobs as supplied by various sponsors and the Club itself. Those who ordered merch also had a chance to collect while those who didn’t order a DubRun 2k18 hoodie were kicking themselves. Luckily some more are being made available for those suffering from FOMO as far as I know.
FRIDAY 15 JUNE: CONVOY – JOZI TO DURBS
A trip to Durban always starts early, and this year VAG Cafe kicked off the journey at the proverbial sparrow’s fart. Actually, it started the night before bunking at the Chairman’s house so we could get on the road ASAP with zero fuss. Myself (Krutch) and Chairman (Ian) would be driving down in a brand new Volkswagen Polo Beats that was given to us by the awesome team at Volkswagen South Africa. First off, brilliant car, that little turbocharged 3-cylinder measures in at just 1.0-litre capacity but it feels like a much bigger engine, in fact the way the car goes is rather surprising. Not only is it properly nippy, we got to Durban with the car using just 4.6-litres/100km – mind blowing. The Beats sound system is awesome, it banged pretty much non-stop over the entire 580-summin kilometre trip and the only issue was deciding what to play next. All the car needs is some loving from the VAG Cafe shop and I’d gladly have it in my driveway permanently. So the meeting point was the One-Stop before the 1st toll gate, the plan was to leave there in convoy at 06:30 on the dot and that’s pretty much what happened. It was on the chilly side so everyone filled up on coffee, and being a normal weekend it wasn’t packed with travellers, just DubRunners so that was cool. Chairman Ian gave a quick speech with the convoy rules and Robert’s your mother’s brother – we were off. We headed up the convoy at a steady 110lm/h with other Comm members in the middle and at the rear to keep an eye on things. I’m guestimating there were at least 30 cars over the registered 90-summin participants, and unlike previous years the convoy stuck together for many, many miles. Things usually spread apart after the 1st toll gate, but this time round the convoy stayed intact until the main meet point in Harrismith – impressive. From there some did move along on their own, but quite a few did stay in eyesight of each other. That’s a record I’m sure.
SATURDAY 16 JUNE: PARK-OFF – HAZELMERE DAM
You know when you have a plan in your head but when it comes to putting it into action something throws a spanner in the works? That was Hazelmere Dam this year. The Club had an event at the dam on 2016’s DubRun and set up in a sweet spot, and so the plan was to once again set up camp under that cluster of trees. When we arrived at the venue to make sure all is OK we found that the planned spot was no longer there. Well it was, but thanks to decent rain and the damn not having any run off, the water level had risen by 20-metres turning “our” spot into a mini Atlantis. Turns out that was a good thing, because we then secured a spot with great views, toilets and the perfect place for DJ Ameeth (poached from Beach Bums) to set up his decks to keep the DubRunners entertained until the planned shutdown time of 17:00. Things were set up early on Saturday for a 10:00 start and pretty soon the chaps trickled in, buy 12:00 there was a huge congregation of Club members and supporters from Jo’burg, Durban and some spots in between. The Club supplied braais and charcoal that were put to great use, the charred meat smell attracting some local monkeys who were seen stealing unattended food. Sponsors also had space for themselves, the chaps from Retrofitters KZN, R&D Performance and Vape Cartel all showed their wares. During the event Chairman Ian and Comm member Sebz inspected judged the various cars for the prize giving at Beach Bums a little later. All in all, it was an absolutely awesome, properly chilled day in the Durban heat, shared with good mates.
SATURDAY 16 JUNE: PRIZEGIVING – BEACH BUMS
Beach Bums is a DubRun favourite, no matter if it’s a long or short or good or bad DubRun, things wrap up on the beach with a good old fashioned ripper and too many Jam Jars. Before the wheels came off, Chairman Ian gave a speech to pull at the heartstrings a little and then launched into prizegiving. Prizes were sponsored by Retrofitters KZN, R&D Performance – a Revo Authorised Dealer, VW Club of South Africa, Vape Cartel, Sascha Miller, Chris Wall Media and Pyro Design and they were pretty damn cool. The usual categories were in play like Best Tape-Up, Best Theme, Crowd Favourite and a few more. One cool one was for Spirit of DubRun that went to someone who went above and beyond to attend, and Gareth Munthri took that as he wasn’t able to get leave and so flew down on Saturday morning and flew back on Sunday morning just so he didn’t miss out. Power! Straight after that the chaps from R&D Performance bought everyone a shooter and the rest, as they say, is history. Here’s the categories and winners for you:
Best Tape-Up: Jason Heritage
2nd Place: Jan Du Plessis
Best Theme: Ruhaan Van Heerden
2nd Place: Jason Amichand
Best Tape Up at Tape-Up – Sascha Miller
Best 90’s: Sandiran Rangan
Best 00’s: Ashwin Pietersen
Best 10’s: Jason Amichand
Most Spirited DubRunner: Elrico
Vape Cartel OTT Tape-Up: Johnny Styger
Crowd Favourite: Sebastian Cenizo
Spirit of DubRun: Gareth Munthri
What more can I say? DubRun 2k18 was definitely one for the books. The plans could not have gone better and we could not have had a better time either. The drive there (and back) was smooth and hassle-free, the people were awesome, the venues were great and the vibe was second to none. If there is a DubRun 2k19, you can be guaranteed to see VAG Cafe in attendance again. This really is one of the coolest events a car club can have, which is evident by the number of non-VW cars that tagged along. It will be quite the mission to get better than this year’s event, but I’m sure the VWCSA Committee will take that as a challenge, especially Mr Foat cracking that whip. All that’s left is to see the planned 15-minute co-lab video coverage of DubRun by Dylan Shaw Photography and Branix – hurry up chaps!
A huge thanks to Mr Chairman for the accommodation and co-piloting duties, thanks to Volkswagen South Africa for the wicked ride, that Polo Beats is the perfect long distance car, and thanks to everyone else involved in making DubRun 2k18 so damn cool – y’all rock!