Conner Russell earns a ‘straight shooter’ award at the fourth annual Little Lightning in the Valley soapbox derby for racing straight down the Argyle Street track on Saturday, July 20. SONJA DRINKWATER PHOTO

Soapbox derby a success in uptown Port Alberni

Organizers say an adult racing category is coming for 2020


Special to the News

There were 30 plus entries in the fourth annual Kinsmen Soap Box Derby on Argyle Street, Saturday, July 20.

Dubbed ‘Little Lightning in the Valley’, the event drew competitors and spectators alike to lower Argyle, where the street was closed off to all but soapbox racer traffic for a few hours on Saturday.

Racers’ cars were powered by nothing but gravity. There were a few crashes but nothing too serious.

Lucas Huysmans won a trophy for best time to beat: 30 seconds flat. This is the second year in a row he had the same fast time, according to his mother, Krista Huysmans.

“He felt pretty nervous on his fastest run; it was a bit scary,” she said.

Blast from the Past trophy went to Anders Bell, 9, who went as Capt. Jack Sparrow in his racer called the Black Pearl. Bell has been a participant in all four years of the races history.

Future Engineer went to Victor Ferguson and Aston Bouter. People’s Choice went to “Pizzachu” Jacob Tinkess, 10 and also to Julia Paul, 11, for assisting her sister Nadine, 7: when Nadine’s soapbox slowed to a stop Julia pushed and ran behind.

Straight Shooter honours went to Jacob Amero, 8, and to Conner Russell, 11. Best dressed went to Joelle Servatius, 7, and Owen. Hard Luck awards went to Devon Johnson and Leyland Jordan. Top crash went to Paige Barker.

Of special note is next year there will be an adult category, so ladies and gentlemen start your carts.


Jacob Tinkess coaxes his Pizzachu racer down the Argyle Street course during Saturday’s soapbox derby, presented by the Alberni Valley Kinsmen. Tinkess won People’s Choice for his racer and costume. SONJA DRINKWATER PHOTO

DERBY TEAMWORK Julia Paul gives her sister Nadine’s soapbox racer a nudge when it stalls partway down the Argyle Street course during the Little Lightning in the Valley event, Saturday, July 20. SONJA DRINKWATER PHOTO

Joelle Servatius, 7, was named best dressed racer for her unicorn costume at the fourth annual Little Lightning in the Valley soapbox derby. SONJA DRINKWATER PHOTO

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