Types of Event

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No two cartie races are exactly the same. Cartie races normally grow from a group or a community who want to organise an event for whatever reason, be it raising money for charity or project, providing an activity for kids or the community to take part in, or just for the fun of it.

Cartie races are so varied and idiosyncratic that they defy any kind of rigorous classification. There are several elements that are often involved, and it is common for events to be made up of a combination of the elements listed below;

Cartie Types

  • Gravity Racers
Red Gazelle at BelchfordThis is the "serious" end of cartie racing, and is for dedicated racing machines. Gravity races are normally held on relatively steep courses and speeds of in excess of 30mph are common. Pre-race safety checks of all the carties are normally made by the organisers and the wearing of full safety equipment by the drivers is mandatory. The Cadwell Park Gravity Festival and Cairngorm Soapbox Extreme would be good examples of this kind of event. 
  • Novelty Carties
Novelty Cartie
Featuring highly decorated and themed carties, novelty cartie races tend to be slower than the pure gravity race events, but usually offer greater crowd pleasing spectacle.The prizes do not alwaysgo to the fastest cartie, as there is often some form of subjective judging for the "best turned out" team or cartie. Some events, such as the Catterline Cartie Challenge and the Belchford Downhill combine elements of both novelty carties and outright speed machines, with different prizes for both.

Race Types

  • Downhill Race

Downhill races are on courses that are almost entirely downhill. There may be a few level or even slightly uphill sections on the course, but it is normally possible for the cartie to travel from the start to the finish simply be gravity power alone. Some events, such as Isle of Wight and Richard's Castle, build "start ramps" to help get carties going and to get them to the end of an otherwise relatively level course.

  • Push Race

PushPush races involve at least some degree of pushing to get the cartie to the finish line. These can be done on nearly level surfaces or surfaces with limited gradient. This sort of race is very good for team involvement and works well for novelty cartie events and junior races at e.g. vilage galas and fetes, school events, etc.

Some events, such as the Kirkton of Skene Cartie Race, are entirely push powered only. Others,  such as the Monymusk Cairtie Challenge, are a combination of both with some dowhnill sections and some cross country sections where pushers are required.

Competition Types

  • Time Trials
Safety considerations and the width of the courses generally available make this the most common kind of downhill event. Each cartie is timed from the start to the finish and only one cartie is on the track at any one time. On exceptionally long courses where it takes several minutes to travel from the top to the bottom, it may be appropriate to have carties started at (say) two minute intervals to maintain separation between competitors while avoiding undue delays.
  • Head to Head Races
This is a common form of competition for push races, but head to head races are rare in downhill races as many courses are too narrow to allow carties to safely run side by side.