Racers, start your -- feet? Yes, it's that time of year again, as the Brisbane Billycart Championships take over Carindale Recreation Reserve for a day of fun and mayhem on Sunday 19 August.
Brisbane's biggest billycart championships, the Carindale event has been running for many years now and just gets bigger all the time. It's open to everybody from 4-year-olds to adults, all of whom race two-by-two down a grassy slope that becomes a hotly contested race-track for the day.
Organised largely by Rotary, and supported by Brisbane City Council, the championships started off mainly as a fun event to raise money for charity. People whacked together some planks, a steering wheel, a bit of string and some old wheels and off they went.
The championships still raise funds for charity, but some of the carts have become a lot more sophisticated. When we went a couple of years ago, we were blown away by some of the high-tech mail-order entries that turned up. (Although my favourites were still the home-made jobs.) To keep things fair, the organisers now have separate categories for 'traditional', 'novelty' and 'modified' designs, and everyone under 18 races in age groups.
We've never competed, but gone along as spectators twice now. It's great fun, and there are always plenty of food stalls and a festive atmosphere. Carindale Recreation Reserve (opposite Carindale Shopping Centre) is also a lovely park, and we've taken our dog along and given her a run afterwards.
A couple of words of warning, though. The billycart championships are popular, and parking can be a bit tricky, so it's good to arrive early or allow some time to find a park. Speaking of time, it also pays to check the schedule of races before you go, as there are quite long breaks between races and if you arrive at the wrong time it can be a bit boring waiting for the next races.