Big beaut billycart bash
By Will Jackson
A TRIO of local boys swept the field at yesterday's Bangalow Billy Cart Derby.
In front of thousands of spectators, the West Side Racing team of Aaron Coleman, 15, Rian West, 15, and AJ Wilson, 16, won every division they entered, including the junior homegrown, junior professional, open professionals and the tag-team events.
Aaron put their success down to commitment.
The boys, who all live on the west side of Bangalow, designed and built their own light and functional carts from scratch and practiced hard in the lead-up to the event.
"Over the last couple of weeks we've been doing runs down the main street late at night when there are no cars about," said Aaron.
He said one day they would like to take their cart to the Red Bull Billy Cart Grand Prix in Melbourne.
Not everyone took the competition as seriously.
Leighton Ford had visual impact rather than speed when he built his cart for the novelty event ? a scale model of the Titanic.
Sadly, the massive 7-metre vehicle ? said to be the most luxurious billy cart ever built ? struck an iceberg halfway down Bangalow's main street.
Meanwhile, 10-year-old Grace Hamill, of Bangalow, said the best bit was building her cart with her dad Paul.
Rolling with a Dorothy the Dinosaur theme, they built their 'Little Red Car' using materials they found under their house. It cost them about $2. Organiser Tony Heeson said one of the big attractions of the Bangalow Billy Cart Derby was its family-friendly atmosphere and the fact it cost bugger all to get involved. He said there were about 250 entries this year ? the biggest turnout in the event's history.
The success of the event reflected the town's own continuing vigour since the Derby was initiated in the early 1990s as a response to fears about the effects of the Pacific Highway bypass, he said.
All money raised on the day will go to paralysed Bangalow rugby player Richard Allen and the Bangalow Community Children's Centre.