Leg 16-09A – “You intentionally wanted to get me wet.”
Teams will be magically transported back to Bucharest from which they will begin the 9th Leg of the Race. Their next destination? London, England!
All teams will be on the same Ryanair flight from Bucharest to London Stansted arriving at 8:10am.
Once in London, teams must make their way to Piccadilly Circus.
Here, teams must search the area for their next clue. They will discover that the next clue is a yellow and red arrow appearing on the Samsung-sponsored LED billboard which will be pointing down to a hidden cluebox right below on street-level.
That clue tells teams to make their way to the London Eye. And that clue reveals the Detour: Swans on the Water or Knowledge of the Streets.
In Swans on the Water, teams will take part in the annual census of the Queen’s swans. But with a twist! Teams will row down the Thames in Windsor and collect 10 swans with a matching colored scarf as their boat. Once they’ve retrieved all swans, they will receive the next clue.
In Knowledge of the Streets, teams must memorize one of 320 taxi routes in London in order to pass The Knowledge, a test that must be passed by a prospective taxi driver before getting their permit to operate in the city. Once they can demonstrate their Knowledge, they will receive their next clue.
Teams must now make their way to North Greenwich Station in front of O2 Arena to find their next clue.
That clue tells teams to find the coach parking lot of O2 Arena.
Here, each team member must drive a double decker bus through a course without hitting any cones. If any team member hits a cone, both team members must start over.
Teams must now “Find the Reformers’ Tree.” This landmark is located in Hyde Park. And here, teams will find the Road Block: Who can make the right call?
These red phonebooths are iconic London symbols. For this Road Block, teams will have to play a match game using the faces of teams already eliminated from the Race. Each phonebooth in this sea of dozens has a brand-new Samsung Galaxy S9.
Teams must unlock each phone and look for a text message sent by a contact with their team name and photo. That text message will have the face of one-half of one of the six eliminated teams. Teams must now find the phonebooth with the Samsung Galaxy S9 that contains the text message addressed to them with the matching partner of that eliminated teammate.
Each phonebooth is numbered, so teams must remember which phonebooths contain the matching teammates. Teams can not take any written notes. Once teams have matched the correct phonebooths for all six eliminated teams, they will receive the next clue.
That clue tells teams to find the cluebox outside the Royal Albert Hall.
And that clue tells teams to find the Mat inside on stage.
But on the Mat is a cluebox. And that clue tells teams that this Leg is not over! It is a SuperLeg and they must continue Racing!
The first team to arrive here will win P100,000 courtesy of Shell V-Power Nitro+. The team that arrives last at this SuperLeg midpoint will have to face a Rewind on the second half of the Leg.
Whew! This a very full Leg. … And it’s not even over yet!
So I’ve definitely been wanting a full London Leg for TARPHDME for a while now. The last UK visit only had a cluebox in the city. But this is definitely a very full Leg in London.
We start off with Piccadilly Circus. This kind of task is a good first task for a Leg. And this task is certainly not new to TARPHDME, but this time, we can insert a plug for our wonderfully generous sponsor, Samsung. Hehe.
Now next up is the Route Marker at the London Eye. Originally, I wanted to recycle TAR China 3’s Atlanta Ferris wheel task here. Having one team member dangling on the outside of the capsule to grab a flag and do math problems. But a little later on before I finalized this Leg, I discovered the two great Detour options instead. (This London Leg, before it became a SuperLeg, did not originally have a Detour.)
The Detour comes from a Great Big Story video about very British stories. And the Queen’s swans and The Knowledge seemed like great possible tasks. The Knowledge could be a great Road Block as well since it’s a test. But this should be a good Detour. I’m not sure about the logistics and distance between Route Markers, but task-wise, I think this is pretty balanced.
For the swans-side of the Detour, teams will need to make more than one trip in order to collect all 10 (fake) swans as they won’t be able to fit in all 10 in the canoe. And the Knowledge is memorization, so that depends on the teams’ skills.
Next up is a recycle of TAR7’s Road Block. But what really got me to include this task was after watching TAR14’s snowplow driving Detour in Russia. This time both team members must drive the double decker bus (which is of course, also very-London). And it might take some time.
Finally, what should be the highlight of this episode is the Road Block with all the bright red phonebooths. It is a simple match game and more memorization. But teams having to run around to each phonebooth, not to mention this sea of more than 100 phonebooths in the park would be great to watch. Very exciting and tension-filled task, I imagine. And also another opportunity to feature our wonderful sponsor Samsung of course!
Finally, I put the cluebox outside of Royal Albert Hall so teams will get that thrill and rush that the Pit Stop is inside only to be shocked to find it is a SuperLeg once they find the Mat.
Overall, a very full Leg, or first half of a Leg. Some great tasks I think and a good Leg to have with lesser teams towards the end of the Race since there are a lot of tasks.