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Gravity Rush

It’s all downhill from here

Planning is good. More planning is better. Too much planning is a disaster.{b}

OK, although not exactly Formula 1

Sadly, there has been no Gravity Rush since 2015 due to safety concerns raised by the Police after this event. It is hoped Gravity Rush will return…but at present there seems to be no plan.

Gravity Rush

About Gravity Rush

Download a Gravity Rush Map
Download a Gravity Rush Map

The idea behind Gravity Rush is really very simple. First you build a vehicle. It must be entirely without any means of propulsion, and it needs steering because you have to get around a corner at the bottom. Brakes, safety gear, etc. are optional! Then you ride your vehicle down from AVES{1} down Market Street, turning right as you pass Thorpes Grocery Store to finish in front of The Standard. One other vehicle will ride against you. The winner is the first to the finish line, who then goes through to the next round.

Driving etiquette is not required, so if you want to run your competitor off the road, that’s entirely up to you!

Gravity Rush is organised each year by S.H.A.P.E.. The first Rush was on 16th June 2013 with seven vehicles taking part, the overall winner being Cable & Wireless. In 2014 the event was much bigger, with fifteen entrants from organisations across the island. Overall winners were Prince Andrew School’s Kart, ‘No Guts, No Glory’. The 2015 race was held on 14th June.

See Gravity Rush from a competitor’s point of view here:

Gravity Rush 2015

On Sunday the SHAPE gravity rush was hosted in Jamestown.

There were 13 teams in this year’s event; some were from previous years and there were also a few new entrants. The rain held back allowing for some fast and intense racing. There were a few crashes and some karts did not survive the day but all-in-all it seemed as though people were enjoying it. In the first segment everyone got a chance to race everyone; they were then divided into the winner and loser brackets. After that the racing was far more intense. With everyone in the winner bracket trying to stay on top and everyone in the loser bracket trying to claw their way into the finals, they were not letting up at all. Tight corners, wild overtakes and pushing their karts, and themselves, further than they were ever meant to go.

As it always is with these things, it came to a final showdown between Bring it & Skeleton. Both were brilliant karts; Skeleton was light and fast; Bring it was smaller but agile and both drivers would do anything to win. They came past the first corner in tight formation ending up going wide. After an intense day of racing the karts showed their strain as Skeleton’s (somewhat ornamental) front splitter broke and sent Skeleton into a jump which was somehow kept stable. It was the second and final corner and nobody was going to use their brakes. As they hit the crash barrier Bring’s driver was thrown from his vehicle. Luckily he wasn’t hurt but the race was so close it was difficult to tell who won.

The video footage was consulted and the eventual standings were Skeleton in 1st place and Bring It in 2nd place. Best design award (as chosen by the crowd) went to the St Pauls Primary School kart, Bumblebee. The award for the fastest time down the track was given to Silver Arrow.

The 1st prize was this year named in honour of Sharon George and a short tribute speech was given by the founding chairperson of SHAPE, Basil George. After the races there was a big party with live music provided by The Big Easy that went on until about 10pm.{c}

Gravity Rush in pictures

Read More

Article: Gravity Rush - It only rains on special days

Published on the blog tpholvey.wordpress.com 17th June 2014{3}{4}

There seems to be a general rule on Saint Helena, the sun always shines (in Jamestown at least) as long as something important isn’t happening. It very much appears that Sod’s Law rules the weather. Until Sunday it hadn’t rained all day for quite some time, in fact the last time it happened was when a major cruise ship was in the harbour. This obviously meant far fewer tourists wanted to disembark (the fickle sods, I mean you come all this way and a little bit of rain stops you seeing one of the most remote islands in the world) and the economic impact for the island was much lower than it should have been. They even have a saying here, like at home that when the cricket season starts you can expect rain. Only and very bizarrely here it’s the football season that brings rain. Cricket, as I’ve mentioned at length before plays through the rain here, but the footballers come off when it gets damp. It’s to do with tearing the pitch up but I still can’t quite get my head round it.

Gravity Rush competitors in action

Sunday was another such day, for weeks people had been looking forward to the annual Gravity Rush competition. Gravity Rush is a Soap Box Derby or Go Kart Race as I would know it. It’s a race from Upper Jamestown, downhill along Market Street until you hit town at the Market. It looked like great fun and many teams entered, bigger organisations like the school and Basil Read (the construction company who are building the airport) entered several teams. There was some real effort went into them too, some of the karts were bought in, some were welded together like professional looking go karts, some were big clumpy wooden things that didn’t look like they would even move an inch (sometimes they didn’t). One pimped up ride even had its own in built sound system complete with radio and USB stick to play banging tunes as gravity propelled it down the road.

The whole thing looked great fun to take part in and was fun to watch, with high speed crashes (no one was hurt) and full spins as competitors turned into the finish line. The only downside was the blasted weather which kept a lot of people away and made it much less fun that it should have been. One of the big downsides to rain and cold weather here is that the island is designed for outdoor activity, the bars are largely outdoor, the coffee shop is the same, as are the takeaways and even some of the restaurants. When it rains it therefore has a big impact on the activities that people do and on an important day or event that impact is multiplied. It was such a shame, it was a great event, well organised, raised lots of money but would have been just so much better in the usual Saint Helena sunshine.


{a} Wirebird Blog{5}{7}{b} Anon{c} Andrew Turner, 19th June 2015{3}


{1} Now the ‘St Helena Community College’.{2} Please first read this warning.{3} @@RepDis@@{4} See more blogs.{5} See more blogs.{6} The four ‘Wirebird’ publications should not be confused.{7} Published by the Tourist Information Office{6}.