Soaring blue skies accompanied by cool temperatures set the stage for a successful 14th Annual Big Hill Box Cart Derby on November 24 on Elbow Cay.
Always upbeat, Tania Duncombe was once again chosen as the moderator for the event. As participants took their box carts for test runs down the hill, she gave each participant an introduction. The Nicole Megaloudis Foundation was acknowledged as a Breast Cancer organization and noted for its sponsorship of soccer practices on the cay. Funds raised will benefit the Abaco Swim Club, whose members were on hand, and the Hope Town swimming pool.
This year, there were ten entries in both the junior and adult categories.
By 12:30 p.m., the anticipation rose to a fevered pitch as residents waited along the sidelines to cheer for their favourite participants. They were encouraged to grab something to eat from the food and drink booths.
Students and supporters of Hope Town School sold books and swidgel to raise funds for a cistern. Residents were also asked to fill out a survey distributed by Friends of the Environment on recycling. Box Cart Derby T-shirts were on sale as well as a drawing in support of the derby.
Meanwhile, carts in various shapes, sizes and colours were poised at the top of Big Hill as they prepared to race across the 800-foot course.
According to Stafford Patterson and Patrick Stewart, Box Cart committee members, the junior downhill competition saw a showdown between the Nicole Megaloudis Foundation driven by Yvenski Alcime and Tracy Lebrun’s “Flamer.” Yvenski took first place. Placing third was Joey Gale on his “Hammerhead” skateboard.
In the adult downhill race, the Nicole Megaloudis Foundation and Christian Wilhoyte’s “White Rocket” were featured with Team Nicole being the fastest with a time of 31.31 seconds. Christian’s best downhill time was 32.31 seconds – a full second off the pace. Third place was awarded to Sundance Marine with 32.65 seconds.
Patterson explained that the Slalom course is always a challenge because it requires good handling of carts.
“This year’s top marks go to the ‘White Rocket’; [the] time was 34.41 seconds; Sun Dance Marine a close 2nd with a time of 34.54; and HG Christie’s Real Deal’ in third with 37.24,” he announced.
Additionally, showmanship honours went to the “Wizard of Oz” cart of Chloe Sweeting, who dressed as Dorothy and Malia Sweeting, who appeared as the “Wicked Witch.” Caroline Albury’s “Conch Army Fighting Breast Cancer” out of Nassau placed second with “Colonel Saunders,” better known as Tom Hazel of the Abaco Inn, in his KFC chicken box cart. Hazel finished third.
King of the Hill, which is the title given to the overall winner, was Christian Wilhoyte with his speedy, well-handled and homebuilt box cart: “White Rocket.”
Both Stewart and Patterson congratulated all participants, volunteers and those that supported the program.
The 15th Annual Big Hill Box Cart Derby is scheduled for Nov. 23, 2013.