#rnli – A motorsport team from Dungannon in County Tyrone has claimed the Bundoran Lifeboat Soapbox Race perpetual cup following an exciting end to the second annual fundraising event which saw a crowd of 2,500 spectators gather on Astoria Hill in Bundoran on Sunday (2nd June 2013). The winner of the ball race was also from Tyrone with the event itself being part of Discover Bundoran's "Big Weekend".
21 year old driver Stewart McClean representing McClean Motorsport got through his heats with ease beating off stiff competition from 25 other soapboxes who were battling it out for the cup, the medals, the bragging rights and with thanks to refreshment partners Mountain Dew Energy, 2 VIP tickets for Sea Sessions Surf Music Festival. The first race of the day was started by newly crowned 'Belle of Bundoran' Rio Carlin Rosanio. Soapbox cars arrived from all over the area and the country to take part in the event which was a fundraiser for the volunteer crew of the Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat with a crowd of almost 2500 people packing onto the Astoria Hill to watch the thrills, spills and crashes from some very creative soapbox cars. McClean Motorsport's entry narrowly beat rival local competitors Good Time Charlies to clinch the title, as the rain started to fall, around 3.45.
Event organiser Cormac McGurren said 'we were thrilled that there was such a large turnout again to support the soapbox race and glad that the light rain which fell didn't put people off staying until the very end. While we are sad to see the cup leaving Bundoran this year, we hope that it might encourage more entries from Northern Ireland next year while giving locals in Bundoran a hunger to win it back for the town'. He also paid tribute to the volunteer lifeboat crew who helped out on the day 'without the teamwork and continued commitment of our volunteer crew to help out with the very important job of fundraising, the whole day wouldn't have happened and on behalf of the organising committee I would like thank them all for their help'.
Amongst the other events on the day was the Huku Boards longboard skate competition, again in its second year. Skaters from all over the country took part and showed off some intricate moves as they took full advantage of the Astoria Road course. Special mention is given to the youngest competitor Aaron Drennan from Dunboyne in County Meath who at just 10 years old proved his worth against the older skaters and won an award for "Grom of the Year".
The much anticipated ball race happened directly after the soapbox race as 1100 balls were dropped out of a tip truck and rolled down the hill. The lucky number that went through the funnel at the end was 565 and belonged to Mary Collins from Castlederg who had just bought her ball that afternoon.