Published: Monday, 23rd September 2019
More people than ever before enjoyed The Searles Soap Box Derby in Hunstanton on Sunday 22 September.
The event, organised by the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, returned to the town in 2017 and has got more popular each year. 44 teams raced down the new, faster, course that started at the town hall and finished near the bandstand overlooking the sea.
Teams travelled from all over the country to take part, including racers from Newark, Wellingborough and Milton Keynes.
This year, for the first time, there was a speed trap on the course. Some karts travelled at more than 30 miles per hour. The fastest vehicle on the day was driven by Ed Napolitano in the Hunstanton District Round Table kart. Completing the course in 31 seconds on his first run and 28 seconds on the second.
The slowest kart of the day completed the course in 1 minute and 40 seconds. Admittedly this longer time was due to King’s Lynn Police Cadets rolling their vehicle over on the first run and it was required to be tipped back onto its wheels, on the second run they achieved the fastest time in their under 16 category.
The Dad’s Army van lost its steering on the first run but was repaired in time for the second run to record a fast speed and Apollo 11 earnt second place in the race, only 2 seconds behind first place. The moon landing kart, that commemorated 50 years since Apollo 11 landed on the moon, also won in the veterans category the concours d’elegance trophy picked by a judging panel that included Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds from the borough council.
Other karts winning the concours d'elegance trophy were Dad's Army (adults category), Tigers (under 13's) and King's Lynn Police Cadets (under 16's).
Some karts went for elegance over speed, including a Mr Whippy van and Scooby Doo’s Mystery Machine.
Councillor Nockolds, deputy leader and cabinet member for culture, heritage and health, said: “It was an amazing day for everyone. Since the borough council reintroduced the soap box derby to Hunstanton in 2017 it’s gone from strength the strength.
“This year there were more racers and more spectators than ever before. The new course was faster and more fun and I’ve enjoyed watching the creatively made karts racing down the streets of the town. It truly is the biggest soap box derby in Norfolk.”
The rain held off all day and only appeared as the winners were being awarded their trophies by the Mayor of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, Councillor Geoff Hipperson, and Councillor Elizabeth Nockolds.
Competitors are already enquiring about how to enter for next year’s race when the speedy and whacky racers return.