Intermittent rain forced the 15th Annual Big Hill Boxcart Derby to get off to a late start on Nov. 30, but the wet weather did not dampen the spirits of the participants and those who came to watch the much-anticipated event.
Of course, the sensational Tania Duncombe emceed the event, and got everyone up to speed on what they needed to know once armed with her “swiggle” drink. Before the event, participants took their box carts for trial runs down the hill to determine who they would race against.
Although Hope Town School students were absent this year with their book fundraising booth, a new addition this year was the Hope Town Wreckers Softball team players. The Wreckers sold conch salad, switcha and ice cold sno-cones of strawberry and grape flavours to support Hope Town’s Youth Softball League.
Brenda Sawyer represented the Abaco Swim Club and was in charge of T-Shirt and raffle sales. Supporters filled up on hamburgers, hot dogs, drinks and sweets in time to cheer their favourite racers along on the 800-foot course. Box carts of all shapes, colours and themes were creatively designed to expertly match the drivers’ costumes as they whizzed toward the finish line.
This year, there were 12 adult entries and 10 junior entries.
In the junior downhill category, Tracy Lebrun placed first with “Goodyear”; Skyler Devoe winged a second-place win with “Seagull”; and Emily Kemp came third on “Scurvy Few.” The top three contenders for the adult downhill category were: Lauren Cobb on the “Nicole Megaloudis Foundation’s” box cart; Christian Wilhoyte on “White Lightning,” and John Stailey with “Crazy.”
The more challenging slalom category allowed Wilhoyte to capture first place aboard “White Lightning.” This time Cobb settled for second place with the “Nicole Megaloudis Foundation,” and Chloe Sweeting took third aboard “Greased Lightning.”
Creativity was awarded to Wilhoyte again for “White Lightning.” Chloe and Malia Sweeting were a close second for “Greased Lightning,” and Christopher Lightbourne accepted third place for “Bahama Pride.”
For the second year in a row, Christian Wilhoyte was crowned King of the Hill. Pat McCully was honoured as the newest Hall of Fame inductee.
According to Organizer Stafford Patterson of the Bahamas Boxcart Association, funds raised will benefit Hope Town School, Hope Town Swimming Team and the Hope Town Junior Sailing Club.