Castle Douglas Soapbox Derby 2019

Castle Douglas Soapbox Derby 2019

We heard about the Castle Douglas Soapbox Derby on Facebook in early 2019 and started to prepare an entry in March 2019 giving ourselves three months to complete the project. Our objective was to build a soapbox that was entertaining and funny to look at but primarily to get the fastest time.

The Build

Mike decided to build a two-man cart from 2"x4" framing lumber with a fabricated steel front and rear axle with brakes and rear suspension from bicycle components. The bodywork was to be a scaled down shed complete with flower boxes and a shed felt roof. The bodywork had to be able to be lifted off by the driver and co-driver at the end of the run.

The build was executed by Mike Sandes and Mick Omara doing the woodwork, Phil Kirby did a fantastic job making up the steel axles and steering and Martin Ridding lending us his bike building expertise. Once the chassis was completed and tested, Mike and Mick set about building the shed bodywork from 3-ply, Jean Sandes was responsible for the feminine touches, the flower boxes and the curtains.

Race Day

Race day finally arrived and with the loan of a trailer we transported the cart to Castle Douglas. Our team was to be David Stott, driver, Mike Sandes, co-driver with Martin Ridding and Phil Kirby as team members. Our bright red overalls were supplied by Rolf Buwert, thanks Rolf! David and Mike took the opportunity to walk the course and were quite intimidated by the size of the jumps, also a little disappointed that the chicane was very small - we had put a lot of effort into steering and handling expecting to shine in that department. 

We were scheduled for the second run out of a field of 22 entrants. The ramps were exceedingly hard on the bodywork which broke its retaining toggles and came off the positioning pins on the first jump. Not to mention the impact of the driver and co-driver! Despite that Stottie was completely fearless and hit the jumps at maximum speed. We made it to the finish line without the aid of a push which meant we must have achieved a good time. 

When the times were announced we were very pleased to learn that we came fourth.

We are eagerly anticipating next year's derby and have plans to reduce aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance.

We are going to win in 2020!! 

(We would like to take this opportunity to thank Keith Kirk for allowing us to use some of his images -

Special thanks to the Castle Douglas Soapbox Derby for allowing us to use a clip from their video.