Oh, Canada (SPOILER ALERT!)
Last week’s ‘Oh, Canada’ episode on The Grand Tour saw its presenters Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond follow ‘satellite compasses’ as they took on a characteristically comical challenge. To quote Hammond, “It’s a brilliant show, it’s a good one”, and we highly recommend giving it a watch! Aside from our own top highlight, Paris Hilton and Rory McIlroy take each other on on the race track and Jeremy takes a team of lawyers for a ride in a Tesla X. But, if you don’t have Amazon Prime and would like to find out what kind of silly shenanigans unfolded, we’ve done a round-up of the best bit...
Having already taken an Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio, a Range Rover Velar, and a Porsche Macan Turbo Performance Pack (is it just us or does this sound more like a Need for Speed expansion than a car?) for a spin round a race track, the team convene around Jeremy’s phone to receive a challenge from their producer. They are to race up Canada’s Apex Mountain Resort towards a the finish line at a lake. The Apex Mountain Resort is home to the ‘lightest champagne powder snow’ and ‘incredible terrain’....for skiers.
The guys are going to have to follow their ‘satellite compasses’ to find the fastest course to the finish flag as the crow flies. The hitch? That they will be towing speedboats behind them. It’s a task that is destined for disaster; designed to go so wrong. And it goes so right.
Before they set off there’s quick car-swap from Jeremy who realises that his Alfa Romeo doesn’t have a trailer hitch and so substitutes it for a Ford F150 Raptor which is a pick-up truck that can smash over or through anything and everything. Convenient that.
Ever-prepared May is mocked for wearing a hat but is soon the one laughing when snowflakes begin to settle on the ground and the challenge begins! Predictably, Clarkson and Hammond check their Beelines for direction and speed off somewhat haphazardly straight up the mountain. May takes out his map, checks the gradient lines, and formulates a plan. Hammond’s Porsche Macan unfortunately turns out not to be up to his choice of route and, after a few minutes of spinning tyres, Richard “what a spanner” Hammond returns to the start point to the delight of James.
Jeremy thinks he’s winning by miles.
Gloating in his apparent success and superior car, Jeremy thinks that he’s got it in the bag. Until he arrives at a fallen tree. The Ford Raptor is a beast but even it can’t drive over a whole tree and Jeremy is forced to attempt a three-point turn on a gravel mountain path. The speedboat very nearly meets its death but is saved when Jeremy unhitches it for a manual turn and - car and speedboat unscathed - gets back on track.
With a carefully planned route and a ‘slow and steady wins the race’ mentality, all appears to be going well for James until he too is stumped by a tree-mendous obstacle in his path. “Oh cock!”
Luckily he too is fairly experienced in the three-point turn.
Hammond, meanwhile, checks his “electronic compass” (It’s called a Beeline, Richard!) and is getting closer and closer to the finish flag. “This is looking good”!
A few minutes later and Richard arrives at the shores of the lake. The finishing flag is in sight! But, alas, on the other side of the lake. Good TV wouldn’t allow the flag to be on the right side of the lake now, would it? And to add insult to injury, Clarkson beeps his horn and pulls up at the lake too. The race is really on and, while Jeremy decides to tackle the detritus on the shoreline of the lake with wanton disregard for his car or trailer, Hammond heads back to find something that looks more like a road.
Boat and trailer severely damaged by the boulders and branches in their Jeremy gives up on plans to skirt the shoreline and heads off in search of another route. His trailer has a puncture and eventually sets on fire and...as if that wasn’t bad enough...meets it end when it careers off down a slope as Jeremy attempts a second manual three-point turn.
Jeremy’s boat is smashed to smithereens, Hammond is drifting his trailer at 60mph as he blasts towards victory, and what has happened to James?
Arriving at the lake a few minutes after the others, James has another plan up his sleeve. How do you cross a body of water? By boat, of course! And what does James have on his trailer? Just that.
He finds a conveniently located wet suit, zips himself up in it and then, with no sign of the others, clambers into his victory vessel.
No sooner has May got the engine started (it was looking questionable) than Richard pulls up at the flag to claim victory. But wait! Clarkson is already there, complete with his ‘boat jigsaw’ in his flatbed.
The race appears to be over but another race has just begun. While all appeared to be going swimmingly for James on his un-speedy speedboat, it has now sprung a leak and is rapidly sinking. Will James make it before complete submersion?
You called it!
We had a lot of fun watching Beeline on The Grand Tour. We also had fun getting it ready for the show. Find out how we took Beeline from Raleigh to Range Rover here.