On your marks

THURSDAY SPOTLIGHT: Sixth annual Greater Errington Zucchini Race

Siblings won best in show and fastest zucchini in 13-and-under category

It was a nail-biting morning at Errington Community Park.

Crowds gathered on the field for the sixth annual Greater Errington Zucchini Race. Well, organizer and founder John Olsen said he thinks it’s about the sixth race for Errington.

Olsen said the zucchinis have been getting more elaborate every year.

“I’ve learned there’s a whole engineering aspect to (racing) zucchinis,” Olsen said.

Olsen said he’d like to challenge other communities to a zucchini race one day. There have been zucchini races on Salt Spring and Grabriola islands, and as close as Coombs.

This year there were 17 entrants for the race; 14 in the 13 and under category and three in the 14 and up category. There were prizes for best in show and fastest zucchini.

Bob Herbison won both best in show and fastest for the 14 and up category.

Siblings Grayson and Violet Waldie of Parksville won fastest and best in show respectively for the 13 and under category.

Grayson, 4, decorated his zucchini to look like Marvel’s Iron Man while Violet, 6, painted hers to look like a penguin.

Their mom Amanda Sapieha said Violet’s zucchini had been in the works for a couple of weeks. Sapieha said Violet thought the zucchini looked like a penguin, and then they found out about the race, so they painted it.

While this was the family’s first time entering in the Greater Errington Zucchini Race, Sapieha said they will be back next year.

However, it wasn’t only fun and games in the race. There were rules to be followed.

Any sized zucchini could enter, but the maximum allowable axel width from one exterior side of the wheel to the other must be no more than 28 centimetres and the wheels must be a maximum diameter of 14 centimetres.

No engines or drive systems were allowed, which included rubber bands.

The axel shafts had to be punctured through the body of the zucchini. External carriages, remote control devices and weight plumping — meaning extra weight in the front — were not allowed either.

To top it all off, all zucchini entries had to be grown in the Greater Errington area. For those readers who may not know where that is, its from Campbell River in the north to the Malahat summit in the south and the Pacific Rim in the west to the Salish Sea in the east.

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