Known as the home of hot rods, organisers also like to claim Castlemaine, Victoria, as the Billy Cart capital.
The event has had a rollercoaster history, beginning in 1949 as the Apex Soap Box Derby. Numbers began to fall by the '60s, before a return in 1997. The last race was in 2003, and now in 2017, organisers are looking forward to getting the community together once again.
There are four divisions; under 12s, under 16s, 16 plus, and professional, with the latter getting a longer run down the Mostyn Street hill.
Amongst a lengthy and detailed list, guidelines for building a billy cart include:
- One person per billy cart - no tandems
- Must be a foot-first driving position - No ‘Superman’ or ‘Superwoman.’
- All billy carts to be powered by gravity only
- Go Karts with engines removed are permitted
Peter Williams (below) raced a cart based off a 1934 Chevrolet in 1997, and since then has constructed four carts. This year his son will be joining him in that same cart.
Held on October 14 during Mental Health Week, funds will be raised for the ELM Network, a local suicide prevention and awareness initiative.
Entries are open now until October 4 and forms can be found on the event website.