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Volume 12 Week 5

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(Posted 10:30 a.m., June 11)
Orléans Soap Box Derby continues to grow in popularity

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

One of the competitors in this year's Orleans Soap Box Derby sets out down the course. This year's Derby attracted over 65 participants. Fred Sherwin/Photo


After growing in popularity over the past seven years, the Orléans Soap Box Derby maybe in need of a major expansion possibly going from a day long race to a weekend festival.

With a full field of over 65 competitors taking part in this year's derby, the event has reached the point where they can't accept any more entries withour expanding to second.

"It's something that we have thought about and we are exploring," says co-organizer Carlos Conde. "We'd like to bring in a lot more schools and more youth organizations like the Boy Scouts."

This year's event went off without a hitch as 67 entries competed in four different categories.

Pierce Rodgers took home first place honours in the Participation Class, while Matthew Bracewell won the Hobby Class and Jordan Reside captured the top spot in the Open category.

In the main event of the day, Anthony Carriere from Orléans successfully defended his title in the Hobby Pro Class.

The year's event also featured the Councillors Cup in which Orléans Ward Coun. Bob Monette tried to repeat his success in last year's inaugural race, and although Monette did defeat mayor Jim Watson in their heat, it was Cumberland Ward Coun. Stephen Blais who made it down the hill the fastest.

Looking ahead to nect year, Conde says the prganizers are going to try to bring in a more activities for the kids, both non-racers an racers alike.

"We'd like to turn the area up on the hlll into a real Kids Zone with more activities and different things to do during the whole day," says Conde.

Several hundred racing fans took advantage of the perfect weather to cheer on their favourite Soap Box Derby car and see what th event is all about.

The Orléans Soap Box Derby has become a real family affair with parents helping out as car builders, mechanics and pit crews.

Most of the cars are built from kits costing $350-$380. Once the kit is put together and painted, there is very little that's needed in terms of maintenance, beyond fine-tuning the steering.

This year's event was accident free and everyone went home safe and sound with a smile on their face and plenty of great memories.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson got off to a good start against Orleans Ward Coun. Bob Monette in the Councillors Cup, but ultimately lost after he veeered into Monette's lane. Fred Sherwin/Photo

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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Posted Jan. 12



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