Monday, 23 September 2019 00:00

Thousands enjoy Norfolk's Biggest Soap Box Derby

Written by  Tim Baldwin
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Thousands enjoy Norfolk's Biggest Soap Box Derby

More people than ever before enjoyed The Searles Soap Box Derby in Hunstanton on Sunday 22 September.

The event, organised by the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, returned to the town in 2017 and has got more popular each year. 44 teams raced down the new, faster, course that started at the town hall and finished near the bandstand overlooking the sea.

Teams travelled from all over the country to take part, including racers from Newark, Wellingborough and Milton Keynes.

This year, for the first time, there was a speed trap on the course. Some karts travelled at more than 30 miles per hour. The fastest vehicle on the day was driven by Ed Napolitano in the Hunstanton District Round Table kart. Completing the course in 31 seconds on his first run and 28 seconds on the second.

The slowest kart of the day completed the course in 1 minute and 40 seconds. Admittedly this longer time was due to King’s Lynn Police Cadets rolling their vehicle over on the first run and it was required to be tipped back onto its wheels, on the second run they achieved the fastest time in their under 16 category.


The Dad’s Army van lost its steering on the first run but was repaired in time for the second run to record a fast speed and Apollo 11 earnt second place in the race, only 2 seconds behind first place. The moon landing kart, that commemorated 50 years since Apollo 11 landed on the moon, also won in the veterans category the concours d’elegance trophy picked by a judging panel that included Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds from the borough council.


Other karts winning the concours d'elegance trophy were Dad's Army (adults category), Tigers (under 13's) and King's Lynn Police Cadets (under 16's).

Some karts went for elegance over speed, including a Mr Whippy van and Scooby Doo’s Mystery Machine.

054_SOAPBOX_DERBY_2019.jpgCouncilloe Nockolds, deputy leader and cabinet member for culture, heritage and health, said: “It was an amazing day for everyone. Since the borough council reintroduced the soap box derby to Hunstanton in 2017 it’s gone from strength the strength.

“This year there were more racers and more spectators than ever before. The new course was faster and more fun and I’ve enjoyed watching the creatively made karts racing down the streets of the town. It truly is the biggest soap box derby in Norfolk.”

The rain held off all day and only appeared as the winners were being awarded their trophies by the Mayor of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, Councillor Geoff Hipperson, and Councillor Elizabeth Nockolds.

Competitors are already enquiring about how to enter for next year’s race when the speedy and whacky racers return.


The winners were:

Adults section:

1st:         Hunstanton Round Table (each kart had two runs and the fastest times for this kart were 31 seconds first run and 28 seconds the second run)

2nd:       The Green Machine (35 seconds and 30 seconds)

3rd:        Apollo 11 A (36 seconds and 30 seconds)

Under 13’s:

1st:         Team Parrin (34 seconds and 34 seconds)

2nd:       Elevation Youth Club (37 seconds and 37 seconds)

3rd:        Totally Toy Story 1 (42 seconds and 45 seconds)

Under 16th’s:

1st:         King’s Lynn Police Cadets (1min 40 seconds & 37 seconds – they flipped their kart on the first run and needed to be pushed back onto their wheels, and then achieved the fastest time in their category on their second run)

2nd:       Team Bintley B (48 seconds & 1min 31 seconds)

3rd:        Whomsley’s Wonderbug (55 seconds & 51 seconds)

Veterans Section:

Winner: Apollo 11B (34 seconds & 34 seconds)

Overall Winner – The Champion: Hunstanton Round Table

Concours d’elegance awards in each category were:

Adults- Dad’s Army

U’13s- Tigers 

U’16s- KL Police Cadets

Veterans- Apollo 11


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