Sharon Inderwisch had four rides racing down the ‘‘hill’’ at Oak Flats on Sunday on a billycart, hotted up with a slick paint job of glossy black with orange flames.
The ride along Central Avenue, from the bottle shop to the Bendigo Bank, may not have looked gravity-defying, yet Mrs Inderwisch said it felt pretty fast from where she was sitting, strapped in to the tiny custom cart.
After a gentle push at the start, Mrs Inderwisch picked up so much speed that she lost control towards the end of the first race, toppled the cart over, and took off some skin on her hands.
She got back into the billycart for another three attempts in the open section.
Mrs Inderwisch was co-awarded the ‘‘Jack Shield’’ on Sunday, at the inaugural Oak Flats Billycart Derby, for her great sportsmanship, along with police officers from the Lake Illawarra Local Area Command.
The shield was awarded by the derby organisers in honour of Mrs Inderwisch’s son, Jack, a former Oak Flats Public School student, who died in 2005, aged five.
Mrs Inderwisch custom-made the billycart in honour of her son, after the light machine was won by her daughter Kate in a raffle at Oak Flats Public School.
‘‘I altered it a little bit, painted it up and put on different wheels,’’ she said.
‘‘I wrote on the side of the cart, ‘‘In loving memory of Jack’’ with his date of birth.
‘‘Jack loved everything with wheels and he loved shiny black and flames so that’s why I did the cart that way for him.’’
She competed on the day wearing a leather jacket, black jeans and a black open-face helmet.
The derby was organised by the Oak Flats Dads Committee in a bid to stage a fun event that would appeal to children and adults and would build community spirit.
The races started at 8am with a kindergarten/year 1 division from Oak Flats Public School, followed by the older students and then an open section, which included adults. Twenty adults and 90 children took part in the event.
Oak Flats Dads Committee secretary Andy Zakeli said the derby was a huge success and there were plans to expand it next year to bring in other local schools.