Updated: Oct 20
✦ This event is postponed to Sunday 27th November
Established in 1980, 'The Beechwood Billycart Classic' is the biggest billy cart race on the Mid North Coast and it's on again!
You will see the village of Beechwood come alive. The day kicks off at 9am with market stalls and kids activities. Then the carts race down the 5km mountain course that takes in both Pappinbarra and Beechwood Road at 11am. It all starts on Mt Pappinbarra, at 422/424 Pappinbarra Rd, West Frazers Creek.
From there, it winds through sharp bends and fast straights, before flattening out, with a couple of slight uphill stretches, before the last run down to the finish line.
This is closely followed by the kids and ACES race which is a 1km course. All races finish outside the Beechwood Hotel where there will be a sausage sizzle, crab racing at 1:30pm, a mega raffle and live entertainment from 2pm with Chris Rose at the Beechwood Hotel.
The 5km adult course attracts entries from far and wide
In past years the top racers exceeded 100kph and the fastest course time recorded was set by Stephen and Robert Johnson in 2012 at 5m 39s beating their old time set back in 2010 of 5m 48s!
Since there are a couple of small uphill sections, billy carts for the classic are unique in the world, in that they are two-person. One does the driving, whilst the co-driver needs a fit pair of legs to keep the power up when gravity’s working against them.
Children do a much shorter downhill-only course on the main street of Beechwood, but since it's only a gentle decline, they use a co-driver too!
There are some guidelines
Open carts are to have sides no higher than 500mm from the floor of the cart and no screens, four wheel carts can be open or enclosed, pro carts can be fully enclosed and have 3 or 4 wheels. Kids carts can be anything, as long as it has steering and brakes.
Viewing vantage points
For spectators, there are a few good vantage points up the mountain near West Frasers Creek Road that you will need to be in prior to 11am as the road will be closed for the safety of the riders. Some good ones are found at one of the sharp corners on the mountain or on the straight downhill slope near the Beechwood fire shed or at the finish line where the rest of the day's events are happening.
What do the carts look like this year?
One of the organisers told us, “Fast! A few of the old carts are being cleaned up and getting ready to race with a few new carts under construction. Also, past carts are up for sale by their owners. We should have a few contenders for the honour roll this year.”