Trolley Derby (unofficial)

Trolley Derby (unofficial)

On the weekend I got the chance to photograph the enthusiasts that make the Nelson Trolley Derby possible, in a one-off opportunity. A new stretch of highway has been under construction west of Nelson for quite some time now. One particular stretch look to be perfect for a trolley derby: 45 m vertical over 740 m, with a good run out. It required some courage, the thought of gravel burns from unswept new seal was not pleasant. This will give you the general idea of the course:

Let’s have a look at some of the racers.

Some of the trolleys are very sophisticated, built with hundreds of hours of loving labour, carefully streamlined and beautifully prepared. Here’s an example, Red Rak III by Tim Bayley:

He was second fastest on the day, reaching the incredible speed of 84 kph!

Others were somewhat more rudimentary:

Believe it or not, on this machine Sandy Edwards reached 56 kph which must have been quite a sensation that close to the ground.

It was a real family occasion. You could see what a buzz some of the young kids were getting, for example Morgan Dacombe (who reached 63 kph):

And the not quite so young:

Another beautifully crafted machine was Red Rak II. Piloted by Liam King-Turner it came fourth, reaching 81 kph.

I was surprised at how stable this was. At the end of one of its runs young Liam slid to a halt in a well executed but quite noisy four wheel drift, finishing up near the spot where I was standing.  Then he spoiled it by announcing that he had been totally out of control.  Lots of rubber on the new seal!

One fast (73 kph) racer showed its origins quite clearly, having made the transition from an aquatic to terrestrial environment:

Its pilot seemed totally relaxed, the epitome of cool:

Finally, the fastest vehicle on the day was the beautiful ‘Spirit of Burt Munro’ of Gordon Dacombe, reaching 86 kph

If you’re still interested after all of this, check out the full list of speed results here.  100 or so low resolution pics have been put up on my pBase pages and you can get high resolution images by contacting me directly.

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