Chuck Vassar's 2010 Cart Build
Guidelines for builders and racers
Racers must have one crew member, called the Racer Assistant, accompany them at Check In. The Racer is the only person who will go down the hill. No passengers. Racers must fit into the vehicle and be able to operate the steering and brakes.
Your vehicle must be hand-made. Any kits or prefabricated vehicles will be disqualified. Use any material you have available to put your rig together keeping in mind it will need to pass our weight and safety inspection, and stay intact down the race track to the finish line.
We encourage you to be as creative, fun & tasteful as possible when building your cart. Many racers will come up with a theme for their cart and pit crew, while others just might want a cart built for speed. This is a fun community event so come light-hearted and ready to have a great afternoon! If you have a support team who wants to cheer you on, you should get them to gather in one spot and hold up a sign so other fans can gather.
Please be sure to keep your vehicle’s appearance at a PG13 level, free of profanity or nudity as there will be impressionable eyes looking on. Also, no politics, or candidate advertising. Any violation to this rule will result in disqualification. Use your noggin and best judgment here folks!
Please adhere to ALL the rules as they are in the interest of not only your safety but the safety of others as well. Failure to meet the requirements could result in disqualification from this event.
Dimensions and weight. Your vehicle must be no more than 8 feet long and 4 feet wide. There are no height restrictions. You must have either three or four load-bearing wheels. No bicycles with side wheels. The vehicle must weigh less than the limit for your Racer Class: 250 pounds with driver for Kid Racers; 350 pounds with driver for Teen Racers; 450 pounds with driver for Adult Racers. All weights include the driver's weight. You are allowed to add weights to make it heavier, as long as it does not go over the limit.
This is a gravity-fed race. Your vehicle cannot move using any mechanical, gas, solar, electrical, sonic, wind (natural or biological), rocket, nuclear, biomass, Flintstone or magical fairy dust power. Adult vehicles must be sturdy enough to withstand speeds over 35 MPH and should be able to steer through the downhill course without flipping over or collapsing. Make it sturdy! Low center of gravity! Strong parts and construction, and brakes, and suit up for safety. And NO capes! Please.
All vehicles must have brakes. While kids carts can use a simple swivel stick to the ground, teen and adult carts should have better brakes, considering the speed they may reach. Brakes will be tested during check-in inspection.
Vehicles should be rugged. During the check-in inspection they will be dropped from a height of about six inches to ensure so. Inspectors will also test the sway durability (side to side) on adult carts to determine whether the cart with driver can handle the curves.
Vehicles must have a floor. Racer legs cannot be extended over open space. Full enclosures are not necessary, but are encouraged, especially if the cart will be used in other races with more severe hills. Racers are not required to be in a fully seated position, and may lay prone if desired. Seat belts are not required, but are encouraged.
Absolutely no foot-based steering. Vehicles must employ a hand-operated steering mechanism. Feet can rest on the steering axel, but the cart must primarily employ hand-steering, either using a rope loop, or better yet, handle bars or steering wheel.
Protective gear. Bicycle or motorcycle helmet, gloves, elbow pads or a jacket, and goggles or shop glasses (or full face helmet with shield) MUST be worn by ALL racers. Absolutely no exceptions. No opened-toed shoes, such as sandals. Knee pads are encouraged. If you are jettisoned from your vehicle, they will all come in handy. Make sure your helmet is buckled on when you race.
Strap everything down. Ensure all your wheels, chassis, decorations and anything else that could become dangerous projectiles are securely attached to your vehicle! No sharp edges inside or out. If there are items found to be in question, they must be removed or corrected to meet race requirements.
Tow hooks. Your cart must have a strong closed-loop hook (or horizontal "bumper" bar that a carribeeener could clip on to) solidly screwed in somewhere on the front of your cart near the center line, and clearance underneath the cart to the open guide hook in the back of the cart for the tow-rope to pass along to the cart behind you. Tow vehicles will pull four carts at a time up the hill using a 50' rope with carribeener loops tied in, one for each cart.
Here's a tip for those looking for speed: it's all in the wheel bearings, and the aerodynamics.