A day of creative contraptions, ludicrous crashes and not an ounce of exhaust fumes.
Sunday, December 2, saw the Indian debut of the Red Bull-sponsored soapbox race at Bandra in Mumbai. For the event, participants build soapbox machines (with no engines) that are manoeuvred downhill, powered only by gravity. The participating teams are awarded points on the basis of the concept of their construction and how well they negotiate the twisting and turning downhill track with ramps and bumps.
The Indian edition drew a large audience who cheered and whooped as the unique contraptions came rushing down the sloping track. A total of 53 teams participated in the event. There were soapboxes that resembled everything from pink buffaloes to Indian-style loos and even a bottle. One of the bends had a ramp on one side, a pass over which entitled the teams to extra credit. Obviously, this was the point on the track that saw the maximum number of crashes. Most of the participating teams though were undeterred by crashes and in some cases, even loss of wheels. They proceeded to complete the race on foot, carrying their respective soapboxes.
The panel judging the contest comprised television personalities and Indian rugby spearhead Nasser Hussain, among others. The winning team, who had fashioned their soapbox in honour of the dabbawallahs of Mumbai, will get the chance to visit Austria to experience the World of Red Bull.
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