Kapooka kicks annual Billy Cart Race into gear

For the fun: Lance-Corporal Angelina Kopanakis dove behind the wheel of her team's tank-inspired vehicle to conquer Kapooka's first racing event in 20 years.
For the fun: Lance-Corporal Angelina Kopanakis dove behind the wheel of her team's tank-inspired vehicle to conquer Kapooka's first racing event in 20 years.

A nail-biting downhill race brought whimsy back into Wagga’s otherwise heavily regimented army base on Thursday. 

Kapooka soldiers let their inner child out to play, firing up an old billy cart racing tradition. 

The annual event was kicked into gear, following a 20-year hiatus. 

Staff got behind the wheels of hand-crafted vehicles, “clapped together” from bikes and lawnmowers.

Piloting an imitation “Rommel” tank, Lance-Corporal Angelina Kopanakis said the race was a good way to let off steam. 

Cart designer Lieutenant-Colonel Russ Mullins said if the competition was based on looks, his Rommel design would have won. 

But on a more serious note, he said the race would help foster a new culture at Blamey Barracks.

“It’s been a tough year of hard work,” Colonel Mullins said. 

“We’re so busy we can forget to put fun back into what we do.”

Check out the fun-filled action at Kapooka

Check out the fun-filled action at Kapooka

Event organiser Warrant Officer (first class) Peter Coles said staff often neglected to take time out from a 24-hour life of training, organisation and discipline. 

“It’s good for recruits to see we do have fun and can challenge ourselves as well,” WO1 Coles said. 

“We’re all just big kids at heart.”

The winning team from Thursday’s time-trial battle – Echo Company – will now take their weapon of choice to the Australia’s next Billy Cart Championships.