Thousands of people attended the Port Kembla Billy Cart Derby last Saturday, signalling the revival of the suburb’s spirit and a brighter future.
Red Point Artists Association, which brought back the popular event after a 25-year absence, and the Port Kembla Chamber of Commerce were delighted with the estimated 12,000-strong crowd, more than double the people expected. The day also provided a boost to businesses.
Crowds lined Wentworth Street from 8am to early evening to watch the more than 100 billy carts race in six divisions, competing two at a time for the best time and the chance of racing glory and prizes.
‘‘It was awesome,’’ Red Point president Dulcie Dal Molin said.
‘‘The amount of people that arrived was unbelievable. We are so pleased and so thrilled that everyone had such a great time. All the comments were so positive ... and the kids’ faces, they were beautiful to watch.’’
Mrs Dal Molin said she was positive next year’s event would be ‘‘bigger and better’’.
‘‘Port Kembla’s alive and well. The old spirit of Port Kembla is there.’’
Mrs Dal Molin paid tribute to the organising committee, which had worked hard for 18 months and ‘‘given up their private lives’’, and the team of 30 volunteers.
Chamber president Ian Fulford said the members were delighted with the outcome.
‘‘Everyone reported outstanding trading,’’ he said.
The chamber had attracted $4million in investment into Wentworth Street in the past year, including 32 new businesses and the derby was a ‘‘testament of things to come’’.
‘‘We shouldn’t be resting on our laurels. Red Point’s done the hard work, we [businesses] need to follow it through.’’
Junior Soap 1: 1, Alex Wallace (Ferrari Dino); 2, Jayden Andriske (Ava Claudia); 3, Daniel Papkosomos (Pack, Pack, Pack). Junior Soap 2: 1, Keane Nobrega (Charmed); 2, Bailey Van Leeuwen (Shantific); 3, Giorgio Kyriazopoulos (Tip Top Special). Junior Special: 1, Shania Dupille, (Blazer); 2, Kyle Noberga (Flying High); Giorgio Kyriazopoulos (Alvin). Weird and Wacky: 1, Brendon Prentice (Rambo Rambler); 2, Keo Watson (Flying Wedding Cake); 3, Peter Knapp (Joint Venture). Best Design – Flying Wedding Cake (Laurence Tonitto). Industrial: 1, Jimmy Kyriazopoulos (Blazer); 2, Vince Sa (Woody); Kon (Cobra). Open Senior: 1, Allan Treloar (Scrounger); 2, Troy Davey-Milne (Sniper); 3, Stephen Thomassin (Shaft).