Wiltshire Publications

Plans are racing ahead for town’s first Soapbox derby

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WESTBURY’S inaugural soapbox derby, organised by the town council, is set to take place next year on May 22nd and promises to be what organisers are calling the ‘steepest and most challenging course in the UK’.

A soapbox contender.

The council has confirmed that the cart entries are now open to the public and are encouraging people to enter their team to avoid disappointment.

Ryan Child, events manager for Westbury Town Council said, “We did have all 35 cart spots full, but had to put the event off because of Covid and have only just opened it up again. We will have a limit again of 35, so teams will have to be quick to enter before they all go again!”

The town council hopes the event will put Westbury on the map by attracting spectators from miles around. They are also using the event to encourage more youngsters to find enjoyment in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), as well as cementing the link between local businesses and schools through workshops.

Ryan explained, “We have been working with Arke Ltd [the Heywood-based engineering firm] to develop high-level STEM workshops for key stage 4 students. Arke is a primary sponsor alongside Daykin Estates. Jordon Daykin himself is going to speak to local students about business and leadership as part of the lead up to the Soapbox event. Both sponsors are committed to the educational side of the project. Sponsorship opportunities are still open, with local companies also welcomed to offer their services on the day of the event in exchange for sponsorship if they don’t have a sponsorship budget.

“We are accepting team entries now to Events@westburytowncouncil.gov.uk . It is free for schools and £100 for all other teams. Corporate teams that want to adorn their soapboxes with company livery will cost £300. Support teams can be of any age, but the Soapbox Racer must be 18 or over.”

The Soapbox derby, which will see drivers hurtling down the picturesque chalk escarpment above at the White Horse, was planned to be held last year, but had to be postponed due to the restrictions put in place due to Covid. Teams of engineers will be up against colleges, schools and the general public to take on the obstacle laden course. The course length is 850m long with a max speed of 70kph, with an average gradient of 8.4% and a maximum one of 18.4%.

There will be also be a drag race for local junior schools, a gravity race for younger children and an engineering fair for students in the area. Every White Horse Soapbox team will be asked to follow a historical engineering theme when it comes to decorating their vehicle, which could range from Viking ships to the Pyramids.

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