ISLE OF MAN – The first ever Microgaming Soap Box Race was a great success, drawing huge crowds and raising £2,900 for Isle of Man Hyperbaric!
On Saturday 13th September, over 25 homemade soap boxes raced down Upper Church Street, against the stopwatch, in an attempt to become the first ever Microgaming Soap Box Race champion. There were jumps, chicanes and a very tight final bend for the racers to contest with, providing the packed crowd with hours of entertainment, and of course a few heroic crashes!
Each non-motorised soap box completed the downhill course twice, with the five fastest going through to the final. With only 0.06 seconds between first and third place, it was a fiercely competitive final round which saw 'Manx Engineers' crowned champions in an impressive time of 33.55 seconds, followed by ‘Hobbyweld' in second and ‘Miquando' in third.
But it wasn't just about speed, spot prizes were awarded on the night, celebrating creativity and personality! Outstanding soap box was won by ‘Does My Scrum Look Big In This' – a team which travelled from London to compete. In stark contrast, ‘The Children's Centre' entry attained the scrapheap challenge award. ‘Brum' was awarded the fastest speed, achieving an impressive 25mph. Biggest jump went to ‘Swagelock', and the best crash to ‘Moore and Son's' (Snaefell Mountain Railway), who crashed in spectacular style on the final turn onto Barrack Street.
The biggest winner on the night, however, was Isle of Man Hyperbaric, the event's charity partner. Entry fees alone raised £1,500. Miquando, who sold advertising space on their soap box, added £900, and finally all winners' prizes were kindly donated by the top three teams, meaning the total raised was an impressive £2,900.
David Downie MBE, Isle of Man Hyperbaric, comments: "What a fabulous night – well done to Elliott Moore and everyone else who contributed to the event. We are incredibly thankful to be the event's chosen charity partner. We are a charity that relies heavily on public donations, requiring over £1,000 a week to continue our operations. We treat over 15,000 local patients a year, for a wide range of medical conditions, and so this donation will assist hundreds of patients who require oxygen therapy."
The event was months in the planning, and thanks to a huge number of helpers and volunteers, it was every bit a success.
Elliott Moore, Event Organiser, explains: "There's a long list of people I need to thank who helped make this event happen. Firstly, thanks to the teams who entered, who spent their time creating some incredibly entertaining soap boxes and the drivers who braved the course! Thanks to everyone behind the scenes – there are far too many to mention – but this includes the volunteers and marshals, commentators, southern farmers, St. John Ambulance, 3FM, and of course our biggest supporter, Microgaming! I'm so delighted that the event was popular, and that so many spectators turned out to watch!"
John Coleman, Finance Director at Microgaming, adds: "What a night of non-stop entertainment! A big well done to Elliott for organising such a brilliant event – we know how many months of hard work went into putting this together, and we're delighted its paid off. And for the event to raise £2,900 for such a worthy charity is fantastic!"
3FM, the official Media Partner, helped raise awareness of the event.
3FM Sales Director, Tony Palmer, says: "Firstly, we'd like to congratulate everyone involved in putting the event together! It drummed up a fantastic response from the public. It was amazing to see all the volunteers on the night working together to make the event such a spectacle for everyone who attended. We can't wait to work with the team again next year!"