What’s a Charanga? You might be more familiar with a Soap Box Derby. They are home made vehicles designed to fly down a hill, powered only by gravity and the driver’s skill.
For the second year, the local Rocky Point community has put on a Soap Box / Charanga Derby on Campeche St. It’s the big hill heading to the Mirador area. A good sized crowd cheered as the teams pushed their cars up the hill to the starting line. This time a team from Puerto Privada took part, bringing members of the US community into the fun.
One by one the twenty or so Charangas flew down the hill. Some swerved and weaved, loosing parts as they went. More than one completely crapped out, only to be carried across the finish by members of the team. Looking to set the fastest time down the hill, all of the drivers had to decide if they would hit the ramp at the bottom.
To cries of ‘Rampa” from the crowd, most did. Opting for some dramatic airtime, jumps were punctuated by heavy ‘thunks’ when they landed. The gringos vehicle came down sideways, but no one was injured. Another car valiantly drove the race with wheels that popped out sideways. Going from side to side, the car bounced off of the protective hay bales on either side of the track. Launching over the ramp, the steering wheel came of in the drivers hand! That got a lot of applause.
The Charanga Rally raised funds for the Casa Hogar, or the local seniors facility.
The race winners were the two-time champions “Topota Mom” – Realistics with Meño, Jesus Cuadras, Osvaldo Reyes, Gustavo González, Brayan Javier, Mario González and Gina Mezquita. While then the most creative Charanga was for the “Las Conchas, Service station” with the vehicle “CharangWars” conformed by Salvador Galván, Jahdiel Acosta, Isaí Acosta, Azael López, Gadiel Acosta y Renato Acosta.