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Always a champion

August 17, 2005

Soap box derby is rarely a glamorous sport. Much of racers’ time is spent designing, building and maintaining cars, traveling, and trying to qualify for bigger events—not to mention going to school and having a social life.

Gorge locals Adam McCaw and Austin Requa, both nine, got their rare glamour, however, as they were whisked into Akron, Ohio with a police escort during opening ceremonies of the 2005 All American Soap Box Derby World Championships.

The two recently completed their successful with a week of activities and racing in the World Championships. McCaw qualified for the Championships as a local, Oregon champion, and Requa qualified as a champion of District Two (Ore., Wash., Idaho and Mont.). Also representing the Gorge was Nathan Requa, who was honored this year as the 2004 year’s Stock Rally World Champion. Nathan received a shield that was posted at the week long event and he participated in activities that peaked with racing against one of NASCAR’s Bush Series drivers in an oil-can race.

After a long road to qualifying for the World Championships races, Adam and Austin hit the course only once in Akron. The championship is a single-elimination format and the boys both lost close opening races.

Their short-lived shot at world titles was, although a little disappointing, a great experience.

Accompanying the boys on their trip was supporter, parent and sponsor Jeff McCaw. He commented; “They participated in several other activities, they received gifts from the All American Soap Box Derby, they were treated as Champions in Akron and they participated in many memorable activities, including a day at the amusement park at Geauga Lake, a badge and trinket trading night, and a parade of champions on race day.

“They both enjoyed all the festivities and were celebrated with 500 other champions during the entire week. A true all-star event as Akron showcased the champions, their cars and wonderful sportsmanship. The boys made friends with other champions from all over the world, and strengthened the friendships they already had with the champs and their families from the Northwest.”

At the end of their races the boys were awarded bracelets inscribed with the words, “Always a Champion”.

For many, the bracelet signified the culmination of a year of hard work, dedication and most of all good sportsmanship.

Hood River soap box derby:

The third annual Hood River Lyons Gorge Classic soap box derby comes to town on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 10-11. A course on Wasco Street will pair racers side by side as they coast east at about 30 miles an hour. The event is open to racers of all skill levels ages 8-16. Several cars are available for newcomers, on a first come-first serve basis.

Anyone interested in soap box derby racing or in the Gorge Classic race can contact Jeff McCaw for more information at (541) 386- 4950.

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