risk assessment

Young talent ?

Sebastian Vettel, age 7.

The picture above is Sebastian Vettel aged 7 - winning races and championships.

When I clicked the online entry form for Drumlanrig Castle, I was disappointed to see a minimum driver age of 14.  My lad Anthony will be 9 in September and has raced at Belchford, Denholm and others, and will be at Worlaby next week.  He has also tested on some big and demanding hills here in Snowdonia.  He is certainly not a novice driver.  Please check out our facebook page - (and like us).


We have seen a lot of middle aged men on the winners podium at recent events, which is why it is essential to have junior races and encourage our young talent. How can they learn and develop their skills unless we can include them? If they are not given sufficient opportunities to learn from others at relatively safe venues, then they will do it at the school of hard knocks on open roads.

I understand the problems that organisers have with risk assessments, insurance etc. but other sports like skateboarding, mountain biking, motocross and go karting manage to organise junior championships. 

Our cartie construction regs are quite comprehensive (and need to be to prevent dangerous contraptions), but driving experience seems to be a lesser issue. Do we assume that if a team can produce a good cartie, they must be serious sensible people with a realistic opinion of their own driving skills? Could the same assumption be made of car drivers we see on our roads?

Our little cartie "Little Red Bull" has disc brakes all round and tops out about 40/45mph. Which is quite fast enough for us at the moment. Our problem is finding enough challenging events to compete in. Any suggestions would be most welcome.

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Soapbox Derby Risk Assessments

Like it or not, it is a fact of life nowadays that organisers are required to pay attention to safety issues related to any event that they are running, and one of the tools that can be used for this is the risk assessment. This can be a worry, but it needn't be.

In fact, a thorough risk assessment is an extremely useful tool which can inform your event plan, course construction and competition rules. It helps you focus on the risks that really matter – the ones with the potential to cause harm to spectators, marshall and competitors. 

Useful links:

The safety plan for the 2012 Cairngorm Soapbox Extreme
The risk assessment prepared for the 2012 Cairngorm Soapbox Extreme
Everything you could possibly want to know about risk assessment, including the "Five Steps to Risk Assessment" guide. 


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