The racers have raced, many wheels have crumpled, and countless haybales have taken a battering: The first ever Rubis Soapbox Challenge is over.
On a damp and drizzly July Sunday morning over 30 crazy competitors assembled in town with their homemade soapboxes. The machines were a sight to behold a giant blue mug, a coffin, a racing car, our very own thebestof pink bus and loads more. I can only begin to imagine the hours spent in garages in the run up to the event!
The race track started in the Bordage, down Fountain Street and into Church square, through chicanes and over ramps. Each vehicle fuelled by sheer courage, the force of gravity (which seemed to fail a few!!) and a little madness!
The organisers did an excellent job of getting the course together and practice runs (without ramps) started from mid morning. This raised the concern that our triple axled pink bus would not even be able to handle the starting ramp so the first go was from a push start!
For the second practice run we had to give the starting ramp a go, or we had no hope for the full run with ramps!! Against all odds, the bus didn't scrape the ground and our confidence soared our pink bus soapbox would be INVINCIBLE!
Our brakes were awesome, although the brakeman, Lee Murphy (operations manager at CT Plus), was under strict instructions to only use in an emergency. Which there must have been as they had somewhat melted by the end of the day! Others weren't quite so effective notably Tim Gaudion in his firebird machine who flew down the course in his first trial with utter abandon and crashed to a halt at the finish line, reportedly because his brakes failed right at the top of the hill. His Go-Pro video is hilarious check it out on our Facebook page and listen for the clicking of his brakes as he tries to engage them whilst getting faster and faster.
By the time of the timed runs of the main event, the sun and the crowds were out. The atmosphere amongst the participators and the spectators was tremendous. And it was just a little bit competitive, with some machines built for speed and stability, others just hoping the wheels would stay on!
If there was a prize for the best crash and burn, there would have been a few contenders, but thankfully no serious injuries incurred even if there was some drama on the day with ambulances required.
Congratulations to the winning team of Brad Guille, Tony Duquemin and the fastest driver of the day Ryan Langlois from the Greenhouse Project, who were worthy winners and built an incredibly rapid Soap Box! You truly were abredapart!
And we are proud to report that Thebestof pink bus won BEST THEMED SOAPBOX so a massive thanks to Max Gaudion for all his work, and to Finlay Stonebridge for entrusting us with his go-kart and allowing us to transform it.
Thanks so much to the organisers from the Guernsey Motor Festival and the main sponsors RUBIS, as well as Forest Road Garage, La Villette Garage, Wood 'N' Tops Carpentry and others, including the rescue & ambulance Crews, timekeepers and assistants, marshals and commentators. We were relieved to hear that the two injured competitors were home recovering after a quick check up and we wish them a speedy recovery from their bumps and bruises.
The pictures truly tell the story of the day, a few of which are attached (thanks to JR Photography, Mike Reeves and Andrew Le Poidevin (Tallpictures.com)). You'll find links to loads more on our Facebook page and a few videos too.
Our thoughts now turn to next year we will definitely be back for more!
Member since: 3rd January 2015
As a Guernsey based chartered accountant, I provide accountancy and specialist financial management services and advice for individuals and for Guernsey businesses of all sizes.
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