Penarth Downhill Derby 2022

Having been an avid fan of the televised Soap Box Racing in which teams race home built gravity fed karts (no engine power) downhill through courses which have turns, ramps and water along its length, it was great to see that Wales has it’s own version – The Penarth Downhill Derby.

What a great sporting event this was. The last couple of years has seen this event cancelled due to the world wide pandemic (covid), so it was absolutely great to see this taking place this year – and what a day to race – Saturday July 16th, the weather was dry, hot and sunny.

The event was open to 16 and overs, and also to under 16’s – which was fantastic. 16 and overs went first, followed by the under 16s and then the fastest of the 16s and overs raced again, firstly in pairs and then ultimately the fastest 3 raced together for one final downhill challenge.

People flocked there in their crowds, the event was very well organised and when the emergency services needed access through the closed off section, the stewards and crowds swiftly reacted without a hitch – and the race restarted afterwards.

Below are some of the photos taken during the race, I was lucky enough to have a good clear view of the ramps to try and catch racers as they flew over them, though some opted to take the safe route and bypass the ramp – or in the event of one team they unfortunately came a cropper after the first ramp and came to a grinding upside halt but all was good.

When karts got stuck, stewards and team members were swiftly on scene to help, pushing them over the ramps or running down with them so that they could get the bottom – well done lads!

This was an event that is a must for any fan of soapbox or kart racing, wish there were more of these events around in Wales – I know some hills that would be a great challenge.

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