Monday, 17 September 2012

Moi First Cart Race


Jennospot 80 – Moi First Cart Race

Last week Oi told yew about the first lesson Oi ever 'ad in soapbox cart racin'. Terday, Oi'm goin' ter tell yew about moi very first cart race wot were between moi gang an’ that lot from Lions Avenue. It weren't moi most excitin’ race ‘cos there were ovvers later on wot were real 'eart-stoppers. Even so, it were pretty good. Peter were racing that day an' all, but oi beat 'im fair an' square 'cos 'ee come in last! The fing is, it were moi first real race ever, an' that makes it special fer me. We was racin' on the Zigzag wot is the track down inter the Mountain Glide. There's a narrer bit near the top wot makes fer some tricky manoeuvrin'.


The line-up at the start
Ev'rybody wanted ter be first inter the narrer part, so we took off at the start in a flurry of furious punting. But it was JJ, Roy an' Reenie, with their longer, stronger legs, wot got there first. Peter was close behind 'em, wiv Itchyprick an' Stinky alongside 'im. Winnie were just be'ind Peter, while Oi brought up the rear. Well, Oi were the smallest weren't Oi? Besides, it were moi first real race, so Oi were bein' sorta cautious loike.

Any'ow, we come round the first bend in the same order. Peter troid to force Itchyprick and Stinky ter the outside so as Winnie c'd come through on the inside, but they was a bit too far ahead fer this ter work.

On the next straight, wot is only moderately steep, it were only possible ter punt wiv a leg now and again to maintain speed. Winnie 'ad an advantage 'ere, 'cos 'er Blue Flash, wiv its big wheels, rolls easily over the rough places but Itchy an' Stinky saw 'er idea an' swerved from soide to soide ter stop 'er overtakin'.

As the second 'airpin came up Peter called: ‘On the inside Winnie.’ An' then 'ee reached forward an' grabbed the rear of Itchy's cart. 'Ee pulled it against 'is steerin' bar so as ter make 'em slide tergevver ter the outside of the turn. Winnie broadsided through the gap.

Peter let go of Itchy and punted hard to get ahead of 'im an' close the gap, but Oi slipped through be'ind Winnie as well.

Itchy said some words wot weren't at all perlite, an' then 'ee rammed Peter from behind wot made 'im slam inter the rocky wall on the left of the track. 'Ee spun round an' come ter a standstill. By the time 'ee got movin' again, ev'rybody else were well ahead, includin' me, but 'ee punted on towards the third hairpin even so.

JJ, Reenie an' Roy, still close tergevver at the front, rounded the bend in that order. Stinky an' Winnie were a few yards behind 'em, an' Oi were on their 'eels. Winnie troid to pass on the inside but Stinky moved ter block 'er. This left room on the outside fer me ter overtake Winnie.

Winnie's Blue Flash didn't 'ave no advantage on the flattenin' slope after the turn, so wivvout any change in the runnin', ev'rybody punted on ter the finish.

Peter's Lightning is a good cart, so 'ee gained a bit on Itchy through the final turn, but couldn't catch 'im before the line.

We all grouped, pantin', around the finish. The judges were busy wiv their calculations.

‘Result of the first race,’ announced Dismal finally. ‘JJ first with one point.’

All of us from the Mob cheered. Peter's Lotters clapped politely.

‘Second Reenie, with two points.’

This toime the Lotters cheered.

‘The others, in order of arrival are: Roy, three points; Stinky, four points; Jenno, five points; Winnifred, six points; Itchyprick, seven points.’

‘And last, but not the least of the Lot,’ continued Dismal imperturbably, ‘Peter; eight points.’

‘That gives a total of nineteen points for the Lions Avenue Lot and seventeen points for the Pepper Mill Mob. I therefore declare the Mob, winners of the first race.’

Not bad fer moi first race, don't yew fink…?
 

(Adapted from "Gang Rivalry" Chapter 8: http://www.peterstjohn.net/index_4.htm)

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