Every year the Pedal Kart charity race is held in Hong Kong with the goal of raising as much money as possible for charity. It is organised by Round Table Hong Kong who are assisted by Ladies Circle Hong Kong. Since Titus was spending time marshalling for Round Table I finally got the chance to make it down to the event and see what it was all about. I would have helped with marshalling too but as my knee hasn’t been fixed yet I had to sit out this year.
Pedal Karts are basically a combination of a go kart and a pedal car. The internal mechanics are very similar to those on a bicycle, only the driver is seated low to the ground with the pedals in front of them. The pedals in most of the karts are housed under aerodynamic hoods. The race runs over a 24 hour period with teams of drivers taking shifts with the pedalling. These guys make it look easy, but I am assured it is incredibly exhausting and the top teams spend many hours training for the event.
What surprised me was how fast these karts fly around the track. The top teams cruise at speeds of 30 kilometres an hour and faster. And believe me those top teams take this competition extremely seriously. Most teams have multiple karts – eg. Cathay Pacific has several karts, each run and teamed by different sections of their company (eg one for pilots, one for engineers, etc). So not only is there competition between teams, but also competition between karts as each tries to be the best within their company.
Even through the night these karts continue around the track virtually non-stop. Each kart had its own lighting system which allowed them to continue racing safely.
This year during the day there were a few events set up around the track for kids to enjoy. Not only did I pop down on the Saturday night but I also returned with the sprogs in tow on the Sunday morning.
They loved watching the karts, even more-so when they discovered a free jumping castle slide! There were also electric bikes for the kids to ride as well as magic shows, and balloon making clowns.
The Sunday morning also saw the novelty karts take to the track. Noah’s Ark drew quite a crowd as it slowly pedalled around the outer edge of the track (staying well out of the way of the serious racers). It even had sound effects with animals moo’ing and baa’ing as it drove past.
As the event came to an end all the karts lined up for a flag ceremony before the final results were announced and some of the trophies awarded. Everyone had a great time. The riders were all smiles, those watching got to see a great spectacle and most of all lots of money was raised to be used for charitable projects in Hong Kong. Winners all around!
If you get the chance I would definitely recommend a trip down to watch the karts (with or without sprogs) in 2014!