Eden drifts into new title

By Jared Smith

Whether you race on three wheels, or wheels on your two legs, the fundamentals are the same balance, timing and no fear.

Wanganui's Eden Smith might usually be adept in the world of speed skating, but transitioned his skills for the dash down from Queen's Park into Drews Ave yesterday, as the open section winner of the drift trikes during the Pak'n Save Soap Box Derby.

"It was all right, it was fun my first competition," the 13-year-old said.

"The axle bent but that's all right."

As his prize, Eden received two new tyres to replace the well-worn specimens on his trike after an afternoon of hard braking on the asphalt.

Competitors were judged on their skill, as well as speed heading down the hill.

Eden returns to the world of inline speed skating in April, when he heads to Australia to compete.

Organisers were delighted with the crowd turnout in Wanganui for the inaugural derby event, which has come a long way since its conception during a pub conversation.

But there were a few painful memories, as the Wanganui Chronicle's own Viv Johnson could attest after coming a cropper in his cart on the way down the hill.

"I've got a bit of skin gone and a few track marks," Johnson said, making light of his rather painful looking elbow and knee scratches.

Coming off the jump ramp, the front of the derby racer dug itself into the ground.

"It's a bit bent, it will need some repairs," said Johnson talking about the derby racer although it was also an accurate description of his predicament as well.

He would have done better to follow of the example of his 10-year-old son Thomas, who had cleared the jump perfectly on his hill run.


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