THREE families from Sherfield-on-Loddon finished fifth among 74 teams at the Red Bull Soapbox race last Sunday with an incredible cart modelled on the X-Wing from Star Wars.

The families, who are huge soapbox fans, had 13 members competing in the race.

They are Matt and Hayley Claughton, Matt and Helen Sheppard, Martin and Rebecca Neale, Harley Claughton, Morgan Sheppard, George Sheppard, Chase Claughton, Carter Neale, Zac Sheppard and Lola Neale.

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Soapbox racing uses homemade cars without motors on a downhill course, and teams from around the UK have been designing their structures over the past few weeks before the big day.

Before the race, Hayley said she was excited as well as nervous about the big day. However, she was jubilant after finishing fifth in the race.

Hayley said: "We were thrilled to finish the run as we thought we might stumble on the first jump. But we made it without much damage soaring over all the jumps. So we were all ecstatic.

"It was a great day out for all our family and friends and we want to thank everyone for supporting us online and in person.

"Not sure if we'll do it again as this projected needed 600 man hours. But we can't wait for it to be aired in August Bank Holiday on Dave TV."

X-wing has been in the making since 2018. 

But they were late to enter the 2019 event and then Covid got in the way. 

"Red Bull actually contacted us this time and asked whether we’d be applying this year," Hayley said. 

“We all loved the soapbox competition and figured that after so much time apart with lockdown it would be a great project for our three families to work on.

“We prepared for the event with lots of hard work, we did a test event representing our children’s secondary school Robert May’s [in Hook] where the headteacher ran in costume down the high street alongside the soapbox as we had to make sure it could handle the jumps.”

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Hayley said they chose X-wing because “everyone loves Star Wars” and an X-Wing “seemed like a challenge”.

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