Billycart race: supercart honours grandfather

When she was a little girl, Jodie Paull's dream was to win Port Kembla's billycart derby supercart event.

Her grandfather Les Jones used to build billycarts for her to compete in the juniors, but her goal was to win a supercart race at the annual event.

When she turned 11 in 1988 she was finally old enough to try, but the dream was all but shattered the day before when she had an accident near the finish line during practice.

It was her first run in a new supercart built by her grandfather.

But Mr Jones was only worried about his granddaughter and when he realised she was not injured he found her a new cart, which was named Merinda.

Mrs Paull only ever got the one shot at trying to win a supercart race at Port Kembla but tomorrow she will be back to have another go in the same machine.

"I had promised I would never do it again because it was something that was very close between me and my late grandfather," the Barrack Heights woman said.

"But when they brought the derby back to Port Kembla . . . I thought 'I have to do it again for him'."

Mrs Paull said there was one other female driver in the supercarts when she was an 11-year-old but there would be many more this year.

"I am in it to have fun.

"I have not raced Merinda in 20 years so we will just see how she goes. As long as I make it down the hill in one piece I will be happy."

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