We all know men love their motors but the action at yesterday’s Red Bull Soapbox Race proves a car doesn’t even need a motor for a man to fall in love.
Stepping out of his cart at the starting line on the giddy heights of St Patrick’s Hill, Paul Fennon, of team Count on Dracula, proposed to long-time girlfriend, Cat Dalton, in front of a crowd of thousands.
For anyone who didn’t hear her answer amid the cheers of spectators, a banner unfurled at the back of his soapbox read “She said Yes”.
Hillary Cronin, who had a bird’s-eye view of proceedings from a balcony outside her sister’s house on Patrick’s Hill, said Paul had gone down on one knee and produced the ring box.
“And then a chap dressed as a bishop ran down the hill and offered to perform the wedding ceremony,” Hillary said.
Yvonne Cronin, owner of Cork’s most sought-after balcony, let Donald Trump into her home to use the bathroom.
Donald, aka Barry (Baz) Hicks, was up early to apply a can of spray tan from Boots before launching the Irish leg of his presidential campaign.
“That bathroom is going to be a collector’s item in years to come,” he told Yvonne, handing her a couple of dollar bills on the way out by way of thanks.
Accompanied by two Mexicans on a break from wall-building, The Donald was travelling via the Trump Mobile, covered in attic insulation and a dead-ringer for his wig. “We need plenty of insulation to insulate us from those Mexicans if we are going to make America great again,” he said.
The Silly Goose soapbox team, composed of, well, Silly Gooses, was representing Cork City’s Silly Goose bar.
With both Superman and Sonic on board, hopes were high. Eoin Derham from Douglas was driving.
“He did an aptitude test and passed all levels of insanity,” said spokesman Kieran Stokes.
TV presenter Tim Warwood, hair gelled into an immovable wedge, was next to inveigle his way onto that balcony, a move he probably regretted given the raucous audience present. Way too many takes and a sip of whiskey later, he finally got it right to camera for the Dave Channel. Cue shouts of “Take another sip Tim!”
At the Paddock in Bell’s Field at the top of Patrick’s Hill, crews were gearing up for the challenge of steering a motorless cart down the country’s steepest hill with just hay bales to break the crash impact.
The newly-engaged Paul and Cat, from Stockport, UK, returned to the Paddock where Cat showed the Irish Examiner the ring her fiancé had done a fine job of choosing.
“I used her grandmother’s ring to gauge the size. I was going to propose in August but I thought the Red Bull race might be a better place so I had a word with the organisers and they were all for it,” Paul said.
Paul, who designs banners for a living, had intended to design one that read “Marry Me” but Red Bull persuaded him to go with “She said Yes”. Fortunately for all, Cat did accept.
Paul and Cat weren’t the only two celebrating. Race honours went to Jumbo BreakFast Roll from the South East Motor Club, Co Wexford, who completed the 350m chicane-laden track in just 37 seconds, beating 59 other teams to the Red Bull soapbox crown as well as the online vote.
It had been the lifelong ambition of driver Nigel ‘the soft yoke’ Molloy to hurtle headlong down Patrick’s Hill in a giant breakfast roll and on a day of high jinks, high fives and high-energy drinks, he finally lived the dream.
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