Head down, straight ahead
Soap box championships set for Tyne Valley July 25
Put your head down. Of all the advice and tips he’s been given over the past year, 11year-old Taylor Arsenault says that’s the important one to remember.
Arsenault and his St. Gilbert family left Thursday night for Akron, Ohio, where he will participate in the 78th annual All-American Soap Box Derby championships.
He won his entry there by generating the fastest overall time at last year’s Tyne Valley Oyster Festival’s Soap Box Derby championship.
Before setting out for Akron, Arsenault took one rip down Tyne Valley’s practice hill Thursday evening. He was in a car similar to the one he will be racing in Akron.
Keeping one’s head low in the tiny soapbox car is key, said Taylor, the son of Marcel and Tammy Arsenault.
He said his dad keeps reminding him of that, “so the wind doesn’t catch it and slow you down.”
He said he’s excited to be racing on the big hill in Akron.
He will have been in a soap box derby car only seven times prior to arriving in Akron - three practice runs and three race day runs last year, and his practice trip on Thursday. But what he lacks in experience he makes up for in confidence.
He had a one-word answer when asked what he’s looking forward to the most in Akron: “Winning.”
He will also be participating in a soapbox derby parade in Akron, proudly waving a huge P.E.I. flag.
While Taylor Arsenault is in Akron, another crop of soapbox derby enthusiasts will be in Tyne Valley on Saturday for the Oyster Festival’s fifth annual soapbox derby championship.
With 65 of the smaller race cars and 20 of the bigger ones, like the one Arsenault won in, Tyne Valley is now home to the largest soap box derby championship in Atlantic Canada, said organizer Rod MacNeill.
The soapbox derby race on July 25 is actually a pre-festival event as most other festival events, including the parade and the second annual Rock the Boat Music Festival, will be on the next weekend.
Race heats start around 9 a.m. and continue until around noon.
Taylor Arsenault straps on his helmet as he tries out the Tyne Valley Oyster Festival soap box derby’s practice hill. Arsenault will be missing the fifth annual championships, because he will be representing the festival at the Soap Box Derby championships in Akron, Ohio.