Soapbox shortage threatens season

By David Kavanagh | posted on February 14, 2020

ALBANY Soapbox Club has offered to buy back soapbox racers from their owners as a shortage of the motorless vehicles threatens to dampen the start of the racing season.

Club President Larry Puls said the group, set to convene for its first meet of the year this Sunday, was “struggling” with the amount of soapboxes available for its members.

“In 2012, when we celebrated our 50th anniversary, there were 54 soapboxes at the championships and 28 of those were from Albany,” he said.

“Now we have nine of those left and 13 soapboxes all up. They’re something the Club really needs to have on display to show and teach newcomers about the sport.”

Soapboxes are typically made from aluminium or fibreglass and use gravity to propel down the racetrack, reaching speeds of between 80km/h and 100km/h.

The Australian National Soapbox Championships are held on Mount Clarence in Albany each year, with this year’s rendition taking place on April 11.

“Part of the reason we’re starting up registrations a little bit earlier than usual is the soapbox shortage,” Mr Puls said.

“Drivers need to have done three races before they can qualify to race in the championships.”

Mr Puls urged anyone with a soapbox “lying around in the shed or backyard” to consider selling it to the Club.

He also called on those aged six to 17 and curious about soapbox racing to sign up at the February 16 meet.

“It’s a different sport, it’s a fun sport,” Mr Puls said.

“It’s a sport where you don’t have to be athletic or know how to kick a ball, you just put your bum in a box and let gravity do the rest.”

Mr Puls can be contacted on 0439 395 860 or via email at albanysoapboxclub@gmail.com