The gazebo has been taken down, the Cottage has no food left, the pub is dry and we’re totally exhausted! It can only mean one thing; Jumpstart is over, well, for another few months before we start planning for 2016.

Ireland’s largest gathering of aircooled VWs retains that very title after yet another awesome day in Loughmore. The weather messed up more than our hair sadly as it was showing no signs of fecking off for the day but the really odd thing is that we are up on last year’s numbers despite looking at the village and thinking it didn’t look as full as last year. The thing is, we gave out a lot more goodie bags and took registration details so it looks like we beat last year’s number of 106 by a whopping 26, meaning that once again, Loughmore in Tipperary hosted Ireland’s Largest Aircooled VW Gathering with 132 VWs who were not afraid of the rain passing through our imaginary gates.

The downside to the weather is that people did leave early which is totally understandable but the upside is that others arrived late and took their spot so there was always a buzz in the village and a rush to see the new metal driving through. The one VW that completely stopped the show was the 1950 Split Window Karmann Beetle Cabriolet that made the journey from Dublin with a lovely rust free and totally original Crossover Bay Window Camper following behind. It was running so sweetly and the little gearbox whine left you in no doubt as to its age. What makes it even cooler is that the owner has had it for almost 40 years and uses it on an almost daily basis to go to the shops or just whizz around the area. Ok, whizz may be a slight exaggeration but it does get used! It also ‘whizzed’ away with the award for Best in Show and also Best Stock VW.

The Best in Show award was made by Paul Twibill and featured one of his now famous miniature Type 1 beams, mounted on a hubcap, powdercoated black and then pinstriped and signwritten by the world famous Prosign in the UK.
Peter Ferguson won the WayneMac Choice Award for furthest travelled VW and it was well deserved as he drove almost 5 hours each way but his words said it all; “I loved every minute behind the wheel and can’t wait to hit the road back home because I know I’ll love it all over again”.

Despite the rain, the ‘build and they will come’ approach worked and not only did we fill the village again but we also raised nearly €3,000 for TLC4CF. We also managed to drain the pub of all its alcoholic beverages on Friday night and the cottage was left with only crumbs by the end of Saturday. Irish TV also popped along to capture the proceedings so all in all, it is safe to say that Jumpstart was a massive success and is on the path to become a regular on the VW calendar and is sure to grow every year. Will you be there next year?