Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

First Coast Kids to Roll for the Gold

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

First Coast Kids to Roll for the Gold

Article excerpt

Four Northeast Florida children will roll for the gold tomorrow,

when they and their gravity-powered race cars tackle the 61st

annual All-American Soap Box Derby in Akron, Ohio.

Ten-year-old Lillian Ritz, 14-year-old Andrea King, and

12-year-olds Robby DuBroc and Amy Haspel take on the Derby Downs

course. Don Neal, director of the Northeast Florida Derby

Association, said they have a good chance to bring home the gold

winner's ring and gold jacket.

"Robby, Amy and Andrea have tackled the course before, and we

are looking for big things. They certainly have the experience,

and we are hopeful one of them will bring back a big trophy for

us," Neal said.

The four local racers join six other Florida children at the

event. Nearly 300 children, ages 9 to 16, will compete from 38

states, Germany and Canada. Amy and Lillian hail from Yulee,

while Andrea is from Fernandina Beach and Robby comes from Ponte

Vedra.

Derby General Manager Jeff Iula said Florida has the

fifth-largest contingent of racers this year, the most

competitive Derby race ever.

"It is the most kids we have ever had in the history," Iula

said. "Racing has improved ever since we went to a new style of

car in 1992 that is much easier to build. We have more photo

finishes because cars are similar and because of the weight and

the balance and the way the children drive."

Andrea won the masters division class July 4 in the Seventh

Annual All-American Soap Box Derby in Fernandina Beach, while

Lillian won the stock division. After winning points in various

Soap Box Derby rallies in the United States, Robby DuBroc will

compete in the Stock Division Rally in Akron representing the

Southeastern Division, while Amy will be the Southeastern

Division Masters rally representative.

Andrea, who has been racing for five years, said she's excited

about her chances in Akron, although she doesn't like the Downs'

steep hills. …

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