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September 18, 2014
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Downhill racers rely on gravity power; Welcome to the Port Jervis Soap Box Derby

Photos by Billy Templeton


The four divisions consist of Stock, Super Stock, Masters and Super Kids, each providing a different set of regulations to maintain a competitive balance. Although two cars race down the hill at the same time, racers are really competing against the clock, as the top times advance in the tournament. Although the racers are focused on achieving the fastest times, many volunteers are committed to making sure the children are safe and unharmed if something should go wrong.

“Safety is a serious concern for everyone involved with the race,” says planning committee member Tonya Addy. All new racers are required to practice driving their cars on three separate occasions. Experienced drivers practice at least twice before race day. Unfortunately, accidents still happen, but the Port Jervis EMS and fire company were on site to handle any emergency that may arise.

The Port Jervis Soap Box Derby has grown into one of the world’s largest such races largely because of the vast support from the community. The all-volunteer planning committee works all year to ensure that the event will be rewarding for all participants, spectators and sponsors, and judging by the cheers, smiles and positive atmosphere, the derby will continue to be successful for years to come.

[Note: Not pictured are this year’s scholarship winners Aaron Aumick and Kendra Addy, who are graduating this year. Hannah Bisland, the Masters winner shown at right, also won a scholarship.]