WITH top speeds of 48km/hour, more than 100 races and "some of the best home baking you've ever seen”, the Ballandean Billy Cart Bash was a day of high-performance fun and friendly competition.
Ballandean State School P&C president Aaron Cox said the weather had been "fabulous” and there were close to 50 entries taking part in the school's popular annual fundraiser last weekend.
The final fundraising tally had not been completed, but Mr Cox said the event was a big success, with just a few "scary moments” during the practice runs at the start of the day.
"One poor little fella rolled over - he would only have been five - but he got up and dusted himself off. And my niece went through the hay bales and into the drain.”
Mr Cox said acting Ballandean State School principal, Sue Evans, was a surprise champion, competing in one of the Haynes Racing Carts and, as winner of the Open competition, taking home a trophy and V8 Supercar driving experience at the Holden Performance Driving Centre at Norwell.
"She'd never done it before and she was very scared when she was sitting on the top of the hill for the first time, and then we couldn't keep her out of it after that.
"She went on to win all of the races of her day. The adult races are generally good value, because they're fast and a bit competitive.
"It comes down to driving practice and knowing what to do when it swerves. I think some of the adults had been practising.”
Mr Cox said tips for winning included getting a good billy cart and putting fear to the side.
"Stay away from the brakes, don't swerve and go down the hill.”
He said that because "heavier” was better when racing, "It's really one of those sports where it actually pays to have eaten too many doughnuts the day before.”
Mr Cox, who praised all billy carts for being "beautifully decorated”, said stand-out racers included the Ballandean Dinosaur which was "a pallet with three wheels and a seat” and the Eukey Panther.
He said, however, the main highlight had been "just seeing all the kids having a great time”.
Stanthorpe State High School, with Sidney Hollingsworth at the wheel, won the school challenge, which involved a final race between a representative from each school who had scored the most points throughout the day. And Kerri Muller won the pride of Eukey Race.
All first, second and third place-getters received a trophy, and winners in the 5-7, 8-11, 12-15 age category also received a Bendigo Bank Stanthorpe community branch $40 voucher.
Mr Cox said most billy carts would "probably be put under a tarp until halfway through next year, when they would be dusted off and worked on again, or pushed around the farm by kids”.
He said he was very thankful to all event sponsors, organisers and the community for its support.
Category winners: 5-7 age group sponsored by Landmark Ballandean: 1st Lilly Simpson, 2nd Ruby Galvin, 3rd Amelia Perkins; 8-11 age group: 1st Brendan Wells, 2nd Hunter Robertson, 3rd Zane Daley; 12-15 age group sponsored by Wilshire and Co: 1st Sidney Hollingsworth, 2nd Allegra Daveson, 3rd Mathew Pickham.
Opens winners, sponsored by Lindsay Transport, were: 1st Susan Evans, 2nd Tom Scott, 3rd Kerri Muller.
Photos of the day can be bought at www.shaneandersenphotography.net.bash.
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