Ballymena’s ‘Whacky Races’!

Staying cool as the tow rope tightens on the journey to the top of the hill. Submitted.

Staying cool as the tow rope tightens on the journey to the top of the hill. Submitted.

There was a fantastic turnout for Ballymena’s first ever ‘soapbox derby’ on Saturday.

Hundreds gathered to witness teams from all over the local area put their mean machines through their paces on the steep hill at Woodside Road.

Advance Engineering were ready to roll with their double entry at the Ballymena Soapbox Derby. (Submitted)

Advance Engineering were ready to roll with their double entry at the Ballymena Soapbox Derby. (Submitted)

The event, hosted by North Ballymena Community Cluster proved to be a great success with a really fantastic family atmosphere throughout the day.

Teams gathered from mid-morning to show off their entries and to check out the opposition!

Soapbox styles ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous but each one aptly illustrated the spirit of fun which was the key to the entire event.

The race itself took place between the junction of Crebilly Road to Bog Road.

Best build award for this super kart superbly painted in 'racing green'

Best build award for this super kart superbly painted in 'racing green'

Race organisers were on the spot from early morning to ensure that all the preparations went smoothly.

Kevin McCrudden, one of the driving forces behind the event, said he had been inundated with entries in the run up to the event but admitted he had been a little worried about the actual turn-out.

“When you first arrive in the morning and the teams are coming in dribs and drabs you wonder if all is going to go well but we soon realised that we had nothing to worry about.

“It was also brilliant to see so many people coming out to watch the races.”

Leading the tributes to the organisers was Denver McMeekin of the Harryville Men’s Shed team, whose vehicle, sadly, never made it pasthe first bend.

“You have to give credit to the people at Ballymena North. They came up with this idea and have been doing all the organising.

“The derby was a brilliant idea and they brought that idea to reality. Well done to them and may be this can now become an annual event!,” he said.