Thursday, 13th November 2003 – Macau, Day 6
The first day at the track was entertaining, and we wandered out to Melco to have a good look around and take lots of photos. We didn’t ask for photographers access, but we were given it anyway. The reason we didn’t bother asking is that in previous years we’ve not been given it despite asking… Anyway, it was fun, it a bit hair-raising, and quite why James Courtney felt the need to wave at us was a bit of a mystery. Afterwards, he said it was because we waved at him, even though I know we didn’t.
In the evening we went to the reopening of the Grand Prix Museum and the launch of Philip Newsome’s aweseomely ilustrated book covering fifty years of the event. The book is stunning and everyone who was at the launch was given a free copy, which Philip duly signed. We loitered around for a while afterwards, chatting the Kathleen and Edmund Irvine (Eddie’s parents), as we hadn’t seen them in ages either, and consumed more Champagne and canapes than was good for us. It was also an opportunity to look at the exhibits more closely, and just wander around the museum in peace.
After we left the museum, we had intended heading for the Food Festival, over by the tower. However, as we headed back to our hotel through the foyer of the Landmark, we were hijacked, not for the first time either. This time we were ushered down the stairs to a banqueting hall and told to take a seat. Lynne and I ended up sitting with – among others – Martin Donnelly who we haven’t seen properly in ages. It was all very bizarre, and turned out to be a dinner for previous winners, but seemingly they were dragging in any passing Westerners as well. The food was bland (prawn cocktail, beef) but the company was terrific, and the books all started to fill up with signatures as the evening wore on. Glyn seemed a trifle surprised at all this, but we were starting to get used to it after Sunday evening.
We also discovered that the wonderful lady we’d met on the coach tour was the daughter of the first ever winner of the Grand Prix. She was on a table with Maria who took part in the ladies races back in the 1950s. It was wonderful to meet people who were in at the start of this amazing event, and moreover to find them such entertaining and amusing company.