Adult Soap Box Derby*

  • Saturday, Aug 5, 2017 12-5pm

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Join us for the first ever Adult Soap Box Derby off the Booker T. Washington Bridge downtown Hampton! Can you imagine the fun...what will you design?

Race Date: Saturday, August 5, 2017

Place: Booker T. Washington Bridge & Settler’s Landing Road

Time: 12pm-5pm

Registration Deadline July 22 – We must have a minimum of 10 cars registered or race will be cancelled.

Download Flyer  Download Rules   Register Here

Mission: Our mission is to provide a fun event for the entire community that is family friendly and enjoyable for all ages. Our primary goal is to have fun!

Why a soapbox derby? A soapbox derby is a fun event that is GREEN! It is a GRAVITY POWERED event, fueled only by the creativity and imagination of the participants!

Who can participate? Participation will be limited to 30 teams of adults (18+). The entry fee for each team will be $50, non-refundable and due prior to the race. Teams will enter one of two categories, Art or Speed. Awards will be given out in each category. Each team will be assigned a number two weeks prior to the event, or specific numbers may be requested on first come first served basis, for an additional $10. Purchase of a number will also secure rights to that number in next year’s event.  Each team will consist of a minimum of three adults, a driver, pit crew member and at least one volunteer. Each speed entry will race no more than one driver in the vehicle. Art entries may have up to two in the vehicle. The volunteer must arrive early and work during the entire event. With a full field of 30 vehicles, this will provide for an immediate volunteer base of at least 30 volunteers. Failure to provide a volunteer will result in disqualification.

Course Description: The course will run from the top of the Booker T. Washington Bridge going west on Settler’s Landing Road to the middle of the street between Wine and King Street, requiring road closure during the race. Ingress and egress for hotel/brewery guests will be limited, but available between races on a predetermined schedule. We expect each race to last less than 3 minutes. The entire course is approximately 1/4 miles in length

Speed Cars will race competitively. Races will consist of two vehicles at a time. Each team will run the course 3 times, alternating lanes between runs. Speed teams will be timed, with a total time of all three heats determining the fastest 8 vehicles to advance to the Championship rounds. Championship races will be single elimination brackets, starting with quarterfinals, using standard seeding (ie No 1 fastest vs No 8 fastest, 2 vs 7, 3 vs 6 and 4 vs 5). The high seed will be given the choice of lane. Losing vehicles from the semifinal round will race each other for 3rd place, while the winners will race for 1st and 2nd

Art cars will not be timed. Their objective is to entertain, not to win a speed challenge. Art cars will compete based upon creativity and team spirit, use your imagination, have fun with your design, just keep it “PG’ for the kids in the crowd.

Is speed the only objective? No, the primary objective is FUN! This means fun for the participants and the bystanders. Teams may choose to focus on either Art or Speed. Designing something outrageous, creative, slow, fast, wacky or wild will add both entertainment and amusement to the race. The event is designed to bring out the competitive instinct in all team members, during the design and construction stages as well as on race day! As we tell our kids....please “do your best”!

How will the course be staffed? Each team will provide at least one volunteer to man the race. Additionally, local service organizations will be asked to participate by assisting with the course management duties. Organizers welcome the support of volunteers within our community.

Will there be food and beverage vendors? Yes. There will be food and beverages available for purchase.

Will alcohol be permitted? Yes. Beer and wine will be sold. This is not a BYOB event.

Safety: We would like this to be an accident free and fun event. It is the responsibility of all team captains to ensure that their teams race in a controlled and safe manner, for the entire length of the event. If any vehicle is determined by the race staff to be unsafe, it may be disqualified from the race without refund. If any team is acting in an unsafe manner, they too may be disqualified at the discretion of the race organizers. Medical personnel will be on duty to provide assistance if needed.


  • All efforts must be made to avoid contact with other cars while underway. Intentional bumping/rubbing is prohibited. Malicious contact will result in disqualification. Teams that are impeded by another team coming into their lane will be given the opportunity to make a replacement run. Any contact during an elimination round will result in the forfeiture of that race for the offending car that leaves their lane.
  • Speed vehicles may not weigh more than 500 pounds (no more than 60/40 weight ratio front to back, so front cannot weigh more than 300 with driver). Art vehicles may not exceed 700 pounds, including drivers. No more than one person in speed cars and two in art cars. All ballast, excepting driver and passengers must be adequately secured in place.
  • Bumping will not be permitted. Weapons of any kind, including Ben Hur axles will not be permitted. Cell phones, text messaging, and alcohol do not mix with driving, and will not be tolerated. Team members will not be allowed to consume alcohol until they have been eliminated from the event.
  • Each car must have functional brakes. (No Fred Flintstone style brakes, no anchors, no brakes that require contact with the road) Brakes must remain functional throughout the event to prevent disqualification.
  • Each vehicle must be powered by gravity. No additional propulsion is permitted. This includes moveable weights, batteries, wind, solar, giant rubber bands, rocket engines and anything else that the judges determine to be too sneaky!
  • The vehicle may be no wider than 4.5 feet, no longer than 9 feet, and no taller than 6 feet. Each vehicle must have an audible horn/bell.
    Each vehicle must be equipped with large eyebolts in the front and rear of the vehicle. These will be used to transport the vehicles back up the hill to the start of the race course. Vehicle must be constructed in a manner to allow multiple vehicles to be towed in a line (daisy chain) from these hooks, and for a Jeep to tow the vehicles back up the hill via rope and carabiner.
  • Each driver is required to wear a helmet that is secured to their head by a strap. At a minimum, helmets must meet DOT (motorcycle) requirements. Full-face helmets are highly recommended. Closed toed shoes are mandatory; we recommend long pants and other protective gear.
  • Numbers will be assigned with registration. Each vehicle’s number must be displayed in a large and prominent fashion (at least 8” high) on the front and sides of the vehicle. Numbers must be clearly visible to the timing judges.
  •  “Head First” driver/passenger positions will not be allowed, due to higher risk of injury.
  • No automobile frames and axles permitted.
  • No glass allowed in the construction of vehicles
  • Any sheet metal edges must be folded over (hemmed) so sharp edges are not exposed
  • Vehicles must be steerable, capable of avoiding other cars, obstacles and pedestrians
  • All teams are required to assist with set-up, clean-up and race day operations. Duties will be assigned.
  • Cell phones, text messaging, and alcohol do not mix with driving, and will not be tolerated. Team members will not be allowed to consume alcohol until they have been eliminated from the event.
  • Each team can have up to 5 members including your pusher. The “push” will be one hard push by the pusher whose feet must remain firmly planted on the pavement.
  • There must be at least one member of your team in your pit stall at all times. The Pit Boss will come by your stall once to call you up for your next race, if you miss your call and are not queued up on time your team will not race that heat. If your team misses a heat, 3 minutes will be entered for your team for that heat.
  • Each team is expected to clean up after themselves
  • On race day your car will be inspected by the Pit Boss crew. You must demonstrate that your brakes stop your car. Any car that appears unsafe or in violation of our rules will be disqualified from racing without a refund.
  • All drivers and team members must sign a liability form prior to racing. Failure to do so will result in immediate disqualification.
  • All drivers must be present with their vehicle on inspection day (July 22). Failure to do so will result in immediate disqualification.
  • Absolutely nothing may be thrown from vehicles during races

Team members are encouraged to dress in a manner that exudes team spirit and enthusiasm! Have fun building your car...and have fun entertaining the crowd!



Information call 757-727-1271 or email 

*With support of the City of Hampton Love Your City Event Grant

Award ceremony starting at 6pm
Concert free for all ages starting at 7pm with Buddha Council and 9pm The Pietasters
Children's Area 6-8pm
Food & Beverage for purchase

Special Thanks to our sponsors: Bud Light, Devil's Backbone, Spiked Seltzer, App-a-Cab, and "Turn your knob to BOB" - 93.7 BOB FM; US 106.1 New Country, 96X Modern Alternative, 96.5 ROCKS!, 790 AM WNIS Newstalk Radio, and Sports Radio AM 850 WTAR. “With the support of the City of Hampton Love Your City Event Grant Program.” 

***No Professional Camera or Video unless Pre-Authorized with the Band Management***


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