Queensberry Cup is back for 2023

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Jack Hayes

Get ready for the thrill and excitement of North and West Melbourne’s favourite billycart race with the return of the Queensberry Cup on October 21.

Presented by local not-for-profit, The Centre, the Queensberry Cup is promising another year of cultural celebration through dance, food, music, and of course, the most coveted prize in local billycart racing.

According to The Centre’s director, Ariel Valent, the event is not just a billycart race, but also  a street festival with something for everyone, featuring the popular dog show, music from across the globe, The Courthouse Bar, fun activities for kids, community dancers, tasty food and pop-up performances.

This year will see one significant change to the festival, with the race circuit moving from Queensberry St to Errol St.

“The biggest feedback from everyone who participated last year, was to make the course steeper,” Mr Valent said.

“It makes it a different kind of race. We worked out a system by which we brought in a chicane and tight turn at the end to bring you to a stop at the finish line.”

 

It will require more skill because it’s not a finish line, your time finishes when you come to stop in the finishing zone.

 

The race will begin at the corner of Errol and Queenberry streets, finishing on Errol St near the corner of Byron St.

The iconic grass median strips along Errol St will play a pivotal role for festival goers, giving them a front row seat to the racing spectacular.

 

 

Local architect, builder, father, and co-designer of the winning cart for 2022, Pete Furlong, told North West City News, “the overwhelming response in the community from last year’s event was how fantastic the day was.”

“For us, it’s a real family thing. My wife has been the one searching for material for the cart; Orly, who won the event last year will be competing in a newly designed cart, and Lenny will be racing in the winning cart from last year,” he said.

“We are supposed to be travelling around Australia in our renovated motor home, but my wife allowed the family to delay the trip to compete in the race.”

Pete’s son Orly, 11, a keen engineer and designer of his cart for 2023, won both his age group and the open age race last year.

“Last year my friend introduced me to this race. He went away to Western Australia and would like to help build the billycart, but he couldn’t last year or this year,” he said.

“We’re halfway through building version two. It’s a different frame, a few different systems, it’s a single seater. Hopefully it’s quicker than last year, but we don’t know at the moment.”

The race will feature three different categories, ages seven to 11, 12 to 17 and open age, with the winner of the open age group for 2023 receiving a $1000 voucher to spend at local shops thanks to the North and West Melbourne Precinct Association. •

For more information: queensberrycup.org.au

John Buncle

John Buncle

February 14th, 2024 - Felicity Jack
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