Soap box derby set to be ‘even faster’ thanks to steeper hill start

The launch of this year's Soapbox Derby in Hunstanton. Astronauts are Patrick and Oliver Richardson,

The launch of this year's Soapbox Derby in Hunstanton. Astronauts are Patrick and Oliver Richardson, grandfather and grandson team racing in Apollo 11, Andrew Searle and Cllr Elizabeth Knockolds. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A madcap seaside soap box derby is shifting up a gear.

The launch of this year's Soapbox Derby in Hunstanton. Astronauts are Patrick and Oliver Richardson,

The launch of this year's Soapbox Derby in Hunstanton. Astronauts are Patrick and Oliver Richardson, grandfather and grandson team racing in Apollo 11, Andrew Searle and Cllr Elizabeth Knockolds. Byline: Sonya Duncan. Copyright: Archant 2019 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Organisers of the Searles Soap Box Derby say a new course will make the home-made karts go even faster.

This year's event on Sunday, September 22, begins on Greevegate, giving competitors a longer, steeper hill to descend as they race towards the seafront.

At the launch today retired farmer Pat Richardson, 70, who won the over-65s race in his rocket kart last year, said he was looking forward to the challenge.

"It's brilliant," he said. "We reached 20mph in the old machine. This year it'll be 30mph at least.

The launch of this year's Soapbox Derby in Hunstanton. Astronauts are Patrick and Oliver Richardson,

The launch of this year's Soapbox Derby in Hunstanton. Astronauts are Patrick and Oliver Richardson, grandfather and grandson team racing in Apollo 11, Andrew Searle and Cllr Elizabeth Knockolds. Byline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2019 - Credit: Sonya Duncan


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"We're hoping they'll suspend the speed limit for the day."

Winning became a habit for the family last year after Mr Richardson's grandson Oliver, 18, won Cromer's soap box race.

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First held in Hunstanton in 1953, West Norfolk council brought the popular event back to the town in 2017. Families enjoy a carnival atmosphere, while watching the racing, with a music and gin tent on the green.

Elizabeth Nockolds, deputy leader and cabinet member for culture, said: "The Searles Soap Box Derby was a wonderfully successful event in 2018, and we're delighted that it's coming back to Hunstanton once again. The Soap Box Derby will be a day packed with free family entertainment, so make sure you come along and enjoy the fun."

The launch of this year's Soapbox Derby in Hunstanton. Astronauts are Patrick and Oliver Richardson,

The launch of this year's Soapbox Derby in Hunstanton. Astronauts are Patrick and Oliver Richardson, grandfather and grandson team racing in Apollo 11, Andrew Searle and Cllr Elizabeth Knockolds. Byline: Sonya Duncan. Copyright: Archant 2019 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Paul Searle, from Searles Leisure Resorts, said: "We like to support the town whenever we can, especially when it comes to events that put Hunstanton on the map and attract visitors. The Soap Box Derby is an exciting event to be part of. The local 45 Club will also be pleased to provide the gin tent again and raise money for a local charity."

Entries are now open. There are four categories, based on driver age, which include 10 to 12-year-olds, 13 to 15-year-olds, adults aged 16 and over, and over-65s. As well as a place on the podium, the top three teams in each category receive a prize, along with the best-looking soap boxes.

To book, go online to www.west-norfolk.gov.uk/soapboxderby.

A soapbox derby race in Hunstanton in the 1960s., Photo: Borough Council of Kings Lynn & West Norfol

A soapbox derby race in Hunstanton in the 1960s., Photo: Borough Council of Kings Lynn & West Norfolk - Credit: Borough Council of Kings Lynn &

A soapbox derby race in Hunstanton in the 1960s. Photo: Borough Council of Kings Lynn & West Norfolk

A soapbox derby race in Hunstanton in the 1960s. Photo: Borough Council of Kings Lynn & West Norfolk. - Credit: Borough Council of Kings Lynn &

A soapbox derby race starts in Hunstanton in the 1960s. Photo: Borough Council of Kings Lynn & West

A soapbox derby race starts in Hunstanton in the 1960s. Photo: Borough Council of Kings Lynn & West Norfolk . - Credit: Borough Council of Kings Lynn &

Scenes from the Searles Soapbox Derby at Hunstanton. Picture: Chris Bishop

Scenes from the Searles Soapbox Derby at Hunstanton. Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

Scenes from the Searles Soapbox Derby at Hunstanton. Picture: Chris Bishop

Scenes from the Searles Soapbox Derby at Hunstanton. Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

Scenes from the Searles Soapbox Derby at Hunstanton. Picture: Chris Bishop

Scenes from the Searles Soapbox Derby at Hunstanton. Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

Scenes from the Searles Soapbox Derby at Hunstanton. Picture: Chris Bishop

Scenes from the Searles Soapbox Derby at Hunstanton. Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

A soapbox derby race in Hunstanton in the 1960s. Photo: Borough Council of Kings Lynn & West Norfolk

A soapbox derby race in Hunstanton in the 1960s. Photo: Borough Council of Kings Lynn & West Norfolk - Credit: Borough Council of Kings Lynn &

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