Time for a spot of teapot racing

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INTO its fourth year, the Southern Society of Steampunk Steamologists (SSSS) invites everyone to its annual free, family-friendly event – Teapot Racing – at the Queens Park bank rotunda on Sunday, March 17, from 2pm.

Steampunk member Ange Gibbs said people of all ages were more than welcome to come along and watch, or compete, dress up in steampunk attire or not, and cheer for their favourite rig.

“It is gearing up to be better than ever… and going by the past three years we are hoping there will be even more entrants racing and more crowd support.”

Competitors are encouraged to join in the fun by building and bringing along their own rigs to compete in the obstacle course, which involves racing teapots around various steampunk-themed obstacles, up ramps, jumps and possibly through tunnels to the finish line.

To race a teapot, it is mounted on to a remote-controlled vehicle chassis and taken through an obstacle course within a two-minute timeframe, Mrs Gibbs said.

“The rules are flexible and include bribing of the judges for extra points; heckling and jibing is encouraged; clever insults may be rewarded, and flair and entertainment is celebrated.”

There is no age limit and entrants do not have to dress in steampunk attire to compete, although extra points will be awarded for costume and appearance.

Each year more and more people have come along to see what teapot racing was all about, she said.

“Some come dressed in their steampunk finery, some are just curious, and some go away inspired to create their own racing machines and/or outfits.”

“It’s all about fun, for those who want to punk up their teapots and race, or those who prefer to be on the sidelines encouraging or heckling. For the more sedate, there is always the option of bringing along a blanket or fold-up chair, a picnic and simply enjoy a cup of tea.”

Although last year’s event was held in very wet conditions, the enthusiasm of the contestants was not dampened as they moved the race track inside the rotunda to continue, Mrs Gibbs said.

In case of inclement weather this year the event will be held at the steampunk group’s den at Number 3 UFS Hall in Tay St, Invercargill.For information on vehicle specifications, rules, and how to enter, go to the Southern Society of Steampunk Steamologists Facebook page or phone Ange Gibbs on 027 250 7597.

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