ISLE OF MAN – The fun filled fundraiser showed no signs of diminishing popularity as thousands braved the rain to watch contenders vie for soapbox glory.
The race, which took place on Saturday 3rd September 2016, raised a spectacular £2,270 for Hyperbaric IOM from entry fees and spectator donations on the night.
David Downie (MBE), of Isle of Man Hyperbaric, expressed his gratitude to the organisers, saying: “We are incredibly grateful to be the event’s chosen charity partner. IOM Hyperbaric relies heavily on public donations to treat over 15,000 local patients every year for a wide variety of medical conditions. This donation will make an invaluable difference.”
Despite grey skies and drizzle, Upper Church Street was a hive of activity as 29 karts of all shapes and sizes took to the street. Creative flair was much in evidence and punters were treated to the unique spectacle of a sunshine-yellow skip, a wheelie bin and a batmobile careering towards Barrack Street. Other innovations saw a beer ‘fueled’ design from local brewers Hooded Ram and a lovingly crafted VW camper courtesy of RL360 cycling.
Event Organiser, Elliott Moore, comments: “The range and quality of the vehicles have gone up a whole other level this year and the event just keeps getting bigger and better. This is a real community effort with so many people coming together to make it happen. A huge thankyou to our volunteers and marshals, commentators, southern farmers, ELS, Eye-Spy Security, The Kissack Bros, SAS Events, Spar and gourmet sandwiches, St John’s Ambulance and the Outback; our media partners 3FM and of course our title sponsors Microgaming.”
This year the course saw bigger jumps, tighter chicanes and of course, the infamous ‘boneshaker’ ramp. The crowd cheered as karts came a cropper, and a spectacular roll into the hay bales snagged The Hillside Bat the prize for Best Crash. First place for an individual entrant went to Turtle Power, while Manx Engineers claimed 1st for the corporates for the 3rd year in a row! They have also forgone their prize money of £150, donating it to the Hyperbaric charity.
Prizes were again awarded in a variety of subcategories with Scarbo IOM scooping the award for best turned out kart, while DC Skips won the Scrapheap Challenge. Other victories included D&M Racing for the Highest Speed of 25mph and Martin Burns for the Biggest Jump.
“It’s brilliant to be a part of what’s fast becoming an iconic event on the island’s events calendar,” says Claire Coleman, Head of Microgaming PlayItForward. “Despite some murky weather the atmosphere was anything but downcast and we were really pleased to see such an enthusiastic turnout on the day. The fact that people continue to support and enjoy the event makes all the difference to the critical work done by IOM Hyperbaric.”
Tony Palmer, 3FM Sales Director, adds: “As official Media Partner, it’s a pleasure for 3FM to help promote and support such an enjoyable local event, and one that raises money for a worthy local charity. Kudos to Elliot, Microgaming and everyone else involved, for another successful soapbox derby.”
Entries for next year’s event are now open at douglassoapbox.com.
*image courtesy of MannMotorsports.co.uk