Adrenalin pumping... heart beating faster... concentration high... eyes focused on the track below ... fingers tightly gripping the steering rope... that was the first running of the Soap Box Derby, which was arguably the surprise event of 2011. The inaugural Soap Box Derby (SBD) took place down Simola Hill, running on part of the track that was used for the Hillclimb event. Gravity, nerves of steel and skill, not petrol and superchargers determined the winner. The event was designed to attract teams from local primary schools in the Knysna, Sedgefield and Plettenberg Bay areas, but for 2012 the geographical area will be extended beyond these borders to George and Port Elizabeth.
Due to the popularity of the event the invitation to participate will this year be extended to secondary schools and individual entries will also be accepted from pupils in addition to the official school entries. An open day has also been introduced which will host an open category that will accept entries from members of the public. Within the open day we will also host various corporate challenge events.
The standard soap box cart used in our derby is designed by a local engineer to our specification. The cart is supplied in kit form, which then has to be assembled, decorated and painted by the participants under the watchful eye of the marshals'. It is a treat to watch some of the children holding a drill for the first time and assembling the vehicle that they are going to race - the enthusiasm of these children has to be experienced.
The build-off is done the weekend prior to the event which is also when the children decorate their Soap Boxes making it uniquely theirs.
>The SBD provides an environment in which investors, corporate, parents and the community work hands-on with racers to instil basic skills of workmanship, the spirit of fair and honest competition, teamwork, the true sense of what Ubuntu is by embracing diversity, facilitating friendships, encouraging sportsmanship and the perseverance to complete a project from start to finish. The principles applied during the course of the building and execution of the Soap Box teaches the application of maths and science concepts, encouraging engineering skills and handicraft.
While the event will expand to include schools in the Southern Cape in 2012, the long term goal is to expand the event nationally with build-offs and qualification races taking place throughout the country. Qualifying teams will then participate in the final in Knysna.
The 2012 edition of the SBD event will comprise of 3 days of activities and racing :-
Day – 16th May 2012 – Simola Hill
This will consist of businesses and an ‘open class’ competing on the day.
Day – 17th May 2012 – Simola Hill
This will consist of Primary and Secondary Schools competing on the day.
Build Day – 12th May 2012 –
This will be similar to last year, with teams building and decorating carts. As there is also an ‘open’ and business competition, we will be encouraging those teams to join in the build event.
The format for both racing days will be similar, consisting of the following components :-
1) Timing – all carts will be fitted with transponders allowing us to keep track of times during the day.
2) We will record the time of each cart on each run, together with the cart number and driver name. Depending on power points, we can record this on a laptop, otherwise on paper.
3) A maximum of 4 members in a team, plus the Team Leader.
4) Practice Session – this session will allow all teams to practice with their designated drivers. Team Leaders need to appoint their drivers before the event. This session will run in the morning.
5) During the Practice session, the Team Leader will select their fastest driver. This driver will represent the team during the afternoon qualifying (if required) and finals.
6) Qualifying Session – depending on the number of teams entered, we may require a further qualifying session to take place to select the fastest teams for the finals.
7) The format of the qualifying and final sessions will be on a knock-out basis e.g. 4 teams will run down the hill and the fastest driver will progress to the next round. The number of knock-out rounds will depend on the number of teams entered.
8) Finals – this will be run on a knock-out basis, with a maximum of 4 carts per race. The number of rounds will depend on the number of teams entered and eliminated during qualifying.
There will be a number of ‘competitions’, including the Fastest Estate Agent in Knysna. All competitions will run in parallel with winners announced and trophies/prices handed out during the prize giving session.
For more information contact Anton Heymann on email@example.com
16 MAY 2012 - Open Class and Corporate Challenge
17 MAY 2012 - Schools Challenge