The first annual Winter Wind Derby took place on Saturday, March 5 at 1:00 p.m. at the junction between the Assiniboine and Red Rivers on the Red River Mutual Trail at The Forks. A crowd of spectators and skaters gathered to cheer as four teams entered their wind-powered, personal propulsion contraptions to compete for Wind Derby title on this wonderfully blustery afternoon.
“It’s an exciting afternoon to hold the inaugural Winter Wind Derby,” says Kristin Pauls, the Marketing and Communications Coordinator at The Forks, “The winds have been blowing in our favour, and it has been a great opportunity to see the creativity and ingenuity of Winnipeggers here in our most beloved season. We have a fantastic crowd, and this is a great event because, let’s face it, as Winnipeggers, we all really know our wind!”
The four teams were judged on speed (measured in individual time trials), maneuverability, aesthetic value, overall design, and their standing in an exciting final race. Simon Jones won the derby title with his “Joneses Jalopy.”
The call went out to designers, tinkerers, artists and gadgeteers back in November, giving participants a little over two months to create their wind and human powered contractions in time for the February 5, 2016 deadline. Internal combustion engines, motors, rocket packs, and commercially purchased contractions were strictly forbidden. Participants were given forty-eight hours notice regarding the final date and time of the race since weather conditions needed to be amenable to wind racing.
Shawna Culleton is a freelance writer and editor living and working in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Why, you ask? Because it is her answer to the question, “if you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose?”