There was no rumble of idling engines, followed by the roar of acceleration and the screeching of tires on asphalt.
On Saturday, the loudest noises came from cheering families and friends, and the rattling of wobbly wheels against homemade racer frames as East Quogue’s Cub Scout Pack 261 held its second annual “Soap Box Derby” in the parking lot of Tiana Beach in Hampton Bays.
Eight cars were entered in this year’s derby and the imagination and creativity that went into the designs more than made up for any lack of high-speed thrills. Each boy was allowed several shots at the track, in double elimination races, down gravity-fueled lanes. Each car was safely cushioned and, just beyond the finish line, a barrier of hay bales was set up in case homemade brakes failed.
“We had twice as many entries as last year and this year we even had some visitors from another Cub pack,” Pack 261 Cubmaster Kevin Rushlo said. “They wanted to see what we were doing, and it looks like they are going to challenge us in a race next year.”
At the end of the two-hour series of races, trophies were handed out for first, second and third place. Additionally, all of the drivers received medals and special “pit crew” badges were distributed to those who helped with the cars. Drivers and spectators then enjoyed a hot dog party after the racing.