Soapbox racing fun

The fifth annual Hoar Cross Downhill Soapbox Competition took place in England today, with all concerned seeming to enjoy themselves enormously. This competition is organized by the MAD Club, which isn’t as bad as it sounds. From their Web site:

The MAD Club (Meynell Arms Drinkers) is a much deliberated and vaguely appropriate name for a group of Hoar Cross guys who, upon organising a regular pint in their beloved local The Meynell Ingram Arms in the village of Hoar Cross, decided to put together a number of annual events for both fun and the worthy cause of raising a few pennies for local charity.

The inaugural event, the Hoar Cross Downhill Soapbox in 2004 attracted over 1000 spectators watching 30 homemade soapboxes piloted by pairs of crazed drivers tackle the half mile School Hill within the village.

A total of over £14,000 was raised for the local St Giles Hospice along with an undertaking from MAD club members to continue this grand beginning with an annual programme of beer fuelled charity events.

More fantastic fund-raising events continued throughout 2005. Medieval Madness in August and Cycle to the Surf in September raised £15,050 for the When You Wish Upon A Star charity, the HC Downhill has now become an iconic local event with the 2006/2007 events raising over £130,000 for Birmingham Childrens Hospital and Acorns Childrens Hospice.

This years event is set to break all records and once again we are delighted to be supporting When You Wish Upon A Star.

I like the attention to detail that the competitors put into their designs. No ordinary soapbox cars will do – these have to be something special. Here are a few examples. Click the pictures for a larger view.

From 2007, the Flintstones car:

and the Coca-Cola delivery truck (with a Pepsi number-plate!);

From this year’s event, ‘Team Muppet’:

Team ‘Starsky And Hutch’ demolish the chicane:

and team ‘Here Come The Girls’ show us how it’s done:

Here’s a video clip of the 2007 event. I’m sure the 2008 race will hit YouTube within a few days.

Looks like a lot of fun was had by all.


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