The Great DF Soap Box Derby
The inaugural DF Soap Box Derby took place a little over a week ago as part of our end-of-year celebrations. The non-motorised racing event pitted DFer against DFer (and their loved ones) as 5 teams of 4’ish went head-to-head to design and build fantastical, human-powered machines.
Even before the pre-race brief, it was apparent that this wouldn’t be just another chance to get together for a social gathering. In the days leading up to the race, there was scheming, strategising, and even the odd verbal at the water cooler as we braced for what was to come.
To bring about some order, the self-appointed organiser, judge, and race official, Julie McLeod, laid down some ground rules:
- Teams would be judged on speed, creativity and durability
- All carts had to be human powered (no engines)
- They had to be built on the day
Throughout the afternoon, the engineers and grease monkeys got down to business sawing, hammering, and drilling with all the grunt and determination they could muster.
As construction came to completion, each cart was carefully finished with patchy paint work and questionable decorations like only good software developers could do.
Finally, after all the talk and labour of love, the carts were complete and ready for some fast and furious racing.
The challenging course with jumps, tight chicanes, and obstacles including shooting a basketball and getting shot at by paintballs caused several spectacular crashes but thankfully everyone came through relatively unscathed. Apart from Sam’s lot (which I may have been a part of) which failed to complete even one race for unspecified reasons (DON’T build your cart out of a preschooler’s bike).
As the sun set and the racing finished, we tucked into some tasty woodfired pizzas and enjoyed a quiet one before hearing the announcement that Craig and his band of merry elves had reigned triumphant.