This past Saturday Paul Spirito put on the first ever Hartford Art Sled Derby in Elizabeth Park. It was part art, part engineering, part theatrics, and all fun. Various sites have photos and commentary on the festivities, with the best sources that I have seen being the official Facebook event page and the Real Hartford photo recap, and the FOX61 News Report.
I was most interested in the actual sliding capabilities of the art sleds, so I staked out a position at the bottom of the hill to see how they performed. Keep in mind, there was a lot more to the event than what you’re about to see. Here is what happens when 15 individuals and teams put together art sleds and pointed them down a short, but steep, hill.
Note: Please refresh the page if the video doesn’t show up.
Paul and a team of judges gave out awards to the participants, but I didn’t have an opportunity to stick around to see the official winners. I’m sure those interested in that information can find it from one of the other recaps.
Instead, I would like to give out some awards of my own…
Most Spectacular Crash
I came into the event expecting a high percentage of the sleds to crash since the artistic design seemed likely to be emphasized over engineering. It turned out that there were very few catastrophic sled failures, which was a good thing since sledding can actually be dangerous. Anyway, there was one crash that stood out from the rest. Please join me in congratulating Cupcake for achieving the Most Spectacular Crash.
Most Successful Run
I was most impressed with the sliding capabilities of the entry titled “Lazy Tony.” This sled was a recliner like you would see in a living room mounted to dual snowboards. It was well built, with the extra weight and wide base allowing it to slide quickly and smoothly down the hill. Congratulations to Tony (and any team members) for their accomplishment.
Most Surprising Success
Of all the sleds, the Phantom Outhouse wins the award for the Most Surprising Success. It was a cardboard outhouse attached to an intertube – it appeared to have very little vertical supports and be top heavy. Yet it made it all the way down the hill without tipping over. Nice work team Phantom Outhouse.
Congratulations to all the participants, and to Paul. It was a fun event, and one that will hopefully become a winter staple in Hartford’s Elizabeth Park.