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.”
*image courtesy of MannMotorsports.co.uk
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!"