Soap Box Derby approaches

Up to 50 youngsters are expected at the annual Comox Kiwanis SoapBox Derby.

THE COMOX KIWANIS 26th annual Nautical Days SoapBox Derby happens this weekend

THE COMOX KIWANIS 26th annual Nautical Days SoapBox Derby happens this weekend

It’s happening again!

Young people racing cars on public streets at 15 kilometres per hour over the speed limit and spectators just smiling and cheering them on.

How could this type of activity happen right here in the Comox Valley?

It happens every year at the Comox Kiwanis SoapBox Derby.

Up to 50 youngsters aged six to 13 race side by side at speeds up to 42 km/h in their own hand-built Soapbox Derby cars.

In past years, police have issued a ticket (jokingly) to the winning driver for excessive speed in a school zone, as the event is staged on Noel Avenue in Comox, from Torrence Avenue down the hill to Brooklyn Elementary School.

Are you fed up with sort of activity on our public streets?

Well the kids who participate sure are and well fed — the Kiwanis Club members cook hamburgers and hot dogs and serve ice cream and drinks to all the entrants at no cost.

The Derby racers all receive a trophy for entering and another bigger trophy if they win or place in their age group.

This year marks the 26th Anniversay of the annual Nautical Days  Soap Box Derby.

It was started in 1986 by the Kiwanis Club of Comox on a narrow, gravel-shouldered road in a heavily-treed area of Comox, and yes, it is still in the same location, surrounded by subdivisions and new houses and a nice wide paved street with sidewalks. How time flies when you’re having fun.

To enter the races, a Derby Go-Kit must be purchased and a car built maintaining a standard set so that all participants have an equal chance of winning.

The kits are built by Almetal Company of Winnipeg (http://www.mts.net/~derby/index.html), the wheels and steering gear are supplied, as well as patterns, creative ideas and designs about how to construct a car.

This is and excellent family-oriented activity, with children and parents working together to build and finish a safe, good looking race car to enter and compete in the Nautical Days Derby on Saturday.

It’s always exciting to see our young people (drivers) interacting with each other and their family members (pit crew) as they compete for the top spot and the beautiful trophies supplied by the Kiwanis Club.

For information and kits, call 250-897-8408 or e-mail    comox.kiwanis@gmail.com.

— Kiwanis Club of Comox

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