Blue skies greeted participants of the 16th Annual Big Hill Boxcart Derby on November 29, and the races went off without a hitch to the delight of the many spectators gathered.
After a series of trial runs, participants were ready to get down to business with a variety of box carts; some designed for speed and some with a focus on flair in many shapes, colours and themes creatively designed with some matching the drivers’ costumes as they zoomed toward the finish line.
Supporters filled up on the usual fare of hamburgers, hot dogs, drinks and sweets as they cheered on their favourite racers along on the 800-foot course. There were a variety of other treats and drinks, including the famous “swiggle” on sale as well.
This year, there were 12 adult entries and 8 junior entries.
In the junior downhill category, first time racer Deana McDonald placed first in the smoking Damianos Sothebys cart; Megan McCully grabbed second-place with “Roamer”; and the youngest racer to enter the event, six-year-old Blake Cash came third in “Red Runner.”
In the adult downhill category, Christian Wilhoyte captured first place in “White Lightning”; following in second place was Brady Cobb in Sundance Marine’s boxcart; finishing out the top three was Kenny Sands in the Damianos Sothebys cart.
The more challenging slalom category was taken by Christian Wilhoyte aboard “White Lightning.” In second place was “Roamer” driven by Megan McCully and rounding out the top three was The Commodore who piloted the “Rat Sass”.
In the final category for showmanship, despite some difficult decisions the judges gave the top prize to Lauren Cobb and the Nichole Megaloudis Foundation boxcart. Eric Patterson came second with “Hope Town Shaker” followed by Christian Wilhoyte’s “White Lightning”
After two first place finishes, including a third place in showmanship, the King of the Hill 2014 Overall Champion was Christian Wilhoyte and “White Lightning”.
This is Christian’s third king of the Hill.
The Boxcart Association inducted two new members to the Boxcart Derby Hall of Fame for 2014. The first inductee is Peter “Cuba” Albury whose claim to fame was a spectacular crash in the inaugural Derby in 1996 and the second inductee was the Wilhoyte Family who have supported and participated every year since the beginning. They become the ninth and tenth inductees respectively into the hall of fame.
According to Organizer Stafford Patterson of the Bahamas Boxcart Association, funds raised will benefit local youth clubs and groups in Hope Town, which includes the Hope Town Primary School PTA, Hope Town Swimming Team and the Hope Town Junior Sailing Club among others.