Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


"Easy" Ryder keen to continue winning roll

"Easy" Ryder keen to continue winning roll

June 24, 2005

Hurtling down a steep 300m-long track at up to 60kph in a trolley is Jarrod "Easy" Ryder's idea of fun.

The 12-year-old is about to take off for Akron, Ohio, to try and win the All-American World Championship of Soapbox Derby racing.

No foreign competitor has won the race since it started in 1934.

And the confident youngster - who won the New Zealand Derby recently - is pretty sure he can do it.

"I'm the only one who's done under 28 seconds," he says.

NZ Soapbox Derby director, Paul O'Brien, also believes Jarrod could have the talent to take the world title.

"He was about half a second faster than any of the other competitors, which is a considerable margin in the super stock class, but this time he is racing history as well as the other drivers," he says.

Soapbox derby racing is big business in the USA, with 20,000 spectators expected to turn out for the race, which also airs on the American TV sports network.

"About 500 competitors aged between eight and 16 years come to race at the historic Derby Downs track from all over the USA - and other countries including Japan and Germany - but Jarrod will definitely have travelled the furthest," says Mr O'Brien.

Jarrod will be in the minority of English speakers among the foreign contingent at the race. He also converses in sign language, as both his parents are deaf.

Although his slick green and black trolley plastered with sponsors' stickers is already on its way to Akron, Jarrod has been putting in plenty of practice in his school trolley.

He will be in Akron for seven days in total, and will take part in a motorcade and training before racing begins on the three-lane custom-built track on July 30. Jarrod also has 500 souvenir badges with his photograph on to swap with other competitors.

The young racer reckons the best thing about trolley derby racing is that it's exciting and you make "heaps of good friends" - something he's looking forward to doing in Akron too.

But Jarrod will also be delighted when the race is over, because then he'll be able to enjoy a holiday with his parents and grandparents, who are travelling with him.

Highlights will include Disneyland, Niagara Falls, and watching a live Nascar race in Indianapolis.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>


Mars News: Winners Announced For The 2016 Apra Silver Scroll Awards

Wellington singer-songwriter and internationally acclaimed musician Thomas Oliver has won the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Award with his captivating love song ‘If I Move To Mars’. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Salt River Songs by Sam Hunt

Colin Hogg, a longtime comrade of Sam, writes in his Introduction that, ‘There is a lot of death in this collection of new poems by my friend Sam Hunt. It’s easier to count the poems here that don’t deal with the great destroyer than it is to point to the ones that do.’ More>>

Electronica: Restoring The World’s First Recorded Computer Music

University of Canterbury Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland and UC alumni and composer Jason Long have restored the earliest known recording of computer-generated music, created more than 65 years ago using programming techniques devised by Alan Turing. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Almost Getting Away With Murder

The Black Widow by Lee-Anne Cartier: Lee-Anne Cartier is the sister of the Christchurch man found to have been murdered by his wife, Helen Milner, after an initial assumption by police that his death, in 2009, was suicide. More>>

Howard Davis: Triple Echo - The Malevich/Reinhardt/Hotere Nexus

Howard Davis: The current juxtaposition of works by Ralph Hotere and Ad Reinhardt at Te Papa perfectly exemplifies Jean Michel Massing's preoccupation with the transmigration of imagery in a remarkable triple echo effect... More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news