A little rain wasnt going to stop Sundays Magnolia Street Soapbox Derby.
More than 400 people braved the wet weather to see the homemade cars fly down the Magnolia Street hill.
This shows how endearing to the community this is for people to come out in the rain, said Jessica Walden of the College Hill Alliance, organizers of the event.
If you think the race, in its fifth year, is all fun and games, that depends on who you talk to.
The team in the winners circle this year is no stranger to success at the derby.
The racing team sponsored by Bearfoot Tavern, 401 Cherry St., won with a time of 10.08. It was the teams fourth year winning the event.
After the two dozen or so teams ran a practice round, the cars were all lined up near the finish line placed under tarps and plastic to shield the creations from the rain.
Not the Bearfoot car. It was a block away resting inside of a trailer getting some extra attention before the big race.
The winning car was built by Mitch Dyes of 5Star Small engines. He had previous wins when he was sponsored by the Hummingbird Stage and Taproom, located at 430 Cherry St. One of his former cars is enshrined on the ceiling there.
Before the race, Dyes said he liked his chances for a fourth straight win.
This one we built last year and rebuilt it this year, he said as volunteers worked to repair a wheel that popped during the practice round. As for how his team keeps winning: Hard work, critiquing and making sure it runs right, he said before the race. Thats the 5Star way.
Building a winning car isnt cheap either. Dyes said they spent $1,700 on the Bearfoot car.
Its all fun and games, Dyes said, but we want to win.
The team Dyes said he was most concerned about before the race was the car sponsored by AG Graffix of Lizella. Their car looked very similar to the Bearfoot car, something Dyes said was more than a coincidence.
Its not like theirs, said Al Gray, driver of the AG Graffix derby car. The wheels are from the same company.
Gray said his rivalry with the 5Star team is fun. Its a friendly rivalry thats about to come to a head, he said as he took his car to the starting line atop the Magnolia Street hill.
Gray said his team spent $1,200 on their car. Theres a lot of money spent on these. ... Its mostly good fun, he said adding that with 5Star winning the last three years, hopefully this will be the first year they dont.
AG Graffix came in second to its rival.
After the race, Gray said theyll be back. As long as they (5Star) are here, well be here, he said with a smile rolling his car away with some volunteers.
The race wasnt all about speed for every competitor. Christyanne Gaspar, owner of Rodeo Beach at 2328 Ingleside Ave., was the driver of the car sponsored by her store and Centenary United Methodist Church. The beach meets west soapbox car featured two wooden horses on the front standing on makeshift surfboards pulling a large wagon covered with an orange canopy. I think were going to win the best looking, Gaspar said before the race. Style, not speed.
Her car ended up winning Crowd Favorite and Best in Show.
To contact writer Harold Goodridge, call 744-4382.