Eastment St Billy Cart Derby 2012

17 Dec in Northcote

Racing sweeps Melbourne in the first week of November. Most of the action happens at the track, but if that (quite frankly) repulses you – there is the Eastment St Billy Cart Derby:

A narrow backstreet in Northcote fills with so many people a new track must be carved every race. There is little margin for error, and everybody wants to see.

At the beginning of heats, very few went to a photo finish.

“Clear the Track” signs and a PA alerted the crowd when new carts were on their starting blocks.

The crowd is quick to cover the tracks.

Close races provide an irresistible opportunity to push off another object.

And others enjoy every moment of the limelight.

“Clear the Track” signs wandered the course so often that their early-warning properties dissipated.

Sometimes the crowd and carts mixed.

Kids enjoyed the human-powered ride back up.

And some brought their own transport, although (what with whizzing knee-height objects) the Derby wasn’t entirely kid-friendly.

To win, you need more than just gravity.

Steering was treacherous, and several pilots lost commanding leads by hitting hay bails at the finish line.


The Best Dressed.

For the girls, this quickly evolved into a burlesque-off (rendering any photography unprintable).

Winners were chosen by cheer-o-metre.

Without nudity on their side, there was significant male rabble-rousing.


And the co-male-winners were like Yin-Guy and Yang-Guy.

I’m definitely going next year…