Retired airline pilot Rob Johnston has spent hundreds of hours creating a body-sculpted kart inspired by an airplane wing, clocking 65kmh in road trials, with ambitions to take the cup title at the upcoming Great Gulf News Trolley Derby.
The trolley has been tailored to the dimensions of Waiheke Real Estate agent Hayden Ringrose, who worked alongside Rob on construction and will get behind the handlebars on race day.
“We’re not going in there thinking we’re going to win,” says Hayden, “but we are in it to win it.”
The pair look forward to sizing up the competition at scrutineering ahead of the Father’s Day event on 3 September, with trolleys of all shapes and sizes expected to race down Oneroa’s main drag.
“I have seen some fantastic trolleys,” says Hayden, “It will be interesting to see the competition.”
Hayden met Rob after selling him a house, they got to talking trolley designs and it wasn’t long before they teamed up to build one.
“I didn’t think it was going to get to this; when the conversation first happened, I thought we were going to make a simple go-kart, but then Rob started to give me his ideas,” says Hayden.
The deadline for race entries to the Great Gulf News Trolley Derby has been extended to 14 August. • Liza Hamilton
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