Despite torrential downpours overnight along with thunder and lightning right up until 10 o’clock on the race day morning, the Aldington Soapbox Derby went ahead on Bank Holiday Monday.
31 karts entered the event in all shapes and sizes, ranging from novelty fun karts to some very serious efforts from some of the more competitive entrants.
With concerns about the safety of the track, organisers waited until midday before finally giving the green light for a 2 pm start.
Even though the main event field was soaking wet, an estimated two thousand people made the pilgrimage to the down hill dash.
The event got underway with two amazing entrants in the form of a full pirate ship and life-sized baby elephant making their way down the track at a steady pace. Followed by some more speedy machines.
The Looker editor, David Wimble, took part in his fourth event at Aldington with The Looker Speed 4, he told us; “This year I put a bit of effort into building a kart that would not only go well but look good as well, the only problem I had was that I had a bolt sheer off my suspension strut on my steering wish bones, making the kart almost out of control on the first run, but in true bodge it fashion a few cable clips and I made the second run. Even with an almost out of control kart I made it to the final 6 race, and came a credible 4th overall. I am now ready to beef up the suspension for the next event”.
Hundreds of man hours went into the construction of the karts and several people mentioned that it was a shame this was not an annual event, however the Aldington committee alternate every other year with the Annual Raft Race, with one witty comment stating that with the amount of water on the track a competitor thought he had turned up to the wrong event.
During the main races the crowds on the hill had some additional entertainment with a display of street boarding and down hill luge.
The Looker would like to thank all the hard working ‘unsung heroes’ who made the Derby the success it was in such horrendous conditions, all the committee and the team doing the public address system including Matt, Danny and The Lookers Steve Bolton, who stood in as event compare at the last minute.
Looking forward to seeing you all again in two years time.
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