Soap Box Challenge 2009
This year saw 8 different soap box entries being ridden by 10 different pilots.
The "Challenge" came in the form of intelligence! I know that it takes a certain kind of character to design, build & ride a soap box down a fairly steep hill, but you know you have got your work cut out when almost half of the entrants obviously could not count! This lack of numeracy skills manifested itself as 3 teams turned up with soap boxes with 3 wheels when everyone knows that a soap box has 4.
But this minor technicality was easily overcome, as the organiser,(that's me), used the get out clause at the bottom of the "Rules & Guidelines" that I had the right to change any of the rules without prior notice. So I did by running 2 separate classes -Trikes & Soap Boxes subdivided of course into age groups for the riders.
Over an hour and a half, the riders rumbled down the hill and sweated in the hot and humid conditions pushing their rides back up the hill.
The highlights for me were as follows:
- To see just how fast you could get down the hill with the superb machines built by Ted Hurst and Simon Jeacock.
- The innovation of the two man bob build by Peter Arksey, who let everyone he knew have a go in it.
- The daring of Andy Towers perched on the back behind his 9 year old son, Harry, counter balanced by a 56lb weight.
- To watch James Willmott gently roll down the hill in the comfort of his 3 Wheeled Cruiser regally waving to spectators.
- To wonder at the planning & design of Dave Jackson's Toilet Chopper complete with loo roll and having a sweep stake on when a wheel would fall off - which of course one did.
- The Piece de Resistance of watching Robert Hollingsworth's "Challenger" with 4 unequal size wheels, one of which was punctured before he started his one and only ill fated run, slowly descend the hill and having made it to the bottom, run out off momentum before getting to the Give Way line which should be now known as the Give Up Line!
Finally some thanks to the following:
- To all those who came along to watch.
- To all those who entered.
- Starter Marshall: Gerry King
- Traffic Marshalls: Olly King & John Chalmers
- First Aiders: Catherine Wrench & Barbara Doe
- Use of Barriers from Martin Mead (Mead Construction) & John Taylor (Newmarket Hat Hire -sounds odd but he runs the Fordham Car Boot Sales & Bank Holiday Markets)
- To all the residents of Cage Hill & High Street.
Looking to 2010
Prepare for the following: The traditional speed runs will continue but there will also be a new part to the event, a slalom.
The results & timings table is detailed below, but these relatively irrelevant as the purpose of this event was to have fun. On the sheet the reference to assisted runs is that after two runs, the entrants asked the Starter Marshall if they could have running push starts rather than static push starts.