Soapbox - Humber
After many months of worry, excitement and speculation, the ABP vehicle was ceremoniously transported across the Humber Bridge to take part in its maiden voyage. The ABP team looked so proud as it was parked outside their promotional marquee. The livery indicated how many people had been involved in its creation. It was evident that the competition was going to be tough and fellow competitors raised an eyebrow when they saw how solid and strong the mighty number 4 looked.
It was just one of 30 vehicles, so diverse in range, and teams could be seen lovingly polishing, making final adjustments and blessing their vehicles, not quite knowing what the survival chances would be.
Our young designer Ciaran was very quiet and reflective and the sight of his name and the Coomb Briggs logo roused many emotions.
As the morning went on, the ABP team became very pensive and when the time came for the trial run, the first driver looked as focused as if he was ready for the start of the Monaco Grand Prix.
The vehicles were towed up the hill which gave the drivers their first glimpse of the treacherous course with twists, turns and the ramp. It was no time to start worrying about the effectiveness of the brakes and the sensitivity of the steering column.
Hundreds of spectators lined the course waiting for the marshals to communicate that the test runs were about to commence. A loud burst from an air hooter was followed by the sound of clanging cow bells willing the vehicles to go faster. One by one they soared down the gradient, the whirr of the wheels, the frantic waving of flags and the gritting of teeth all added to the anticipation of the fastest time recorded.
Soapbox number 4 reached the bottom unscathed coming to a controlled and well manoeuvred halt before the crash barriers. The driver may not have been awarded with a laurel wreath but pats on the shoulder and thumbs up from the team indicated to him that he was indeed ‘a hero at the ABP HIT terminal.’
Several runs later with fresh drivers, the Soapbox still stood solid, a legacy to the construction team.
We were proud to be part of this adrenalin packed event. Thank you ABP!!!