This was the first running of Aidan Harwood's new teapot racer. As a matter of fact, he and his mother only finished building it two days before the races at Renninger's Steampunk Industrial Show in Mount Dora, Florida on January 28th.
Aidan has been studying Vikings this year and did a presentation about them for a homeschool social studies fair back in November, which is when he started talking about wanting a teapot racer with a Viking theme.
One thing that Aidan learned about Vikings, is that they often gave their ships intimidating names, so his mother asked for suggestions for intimidating tea related names from her friends on Facebook and received many great ideas. The name "Tongue Burner" is a shortened version of a name suggested by Jimmy Cantrell.
Tea Leaf Erikson and his tea party raiding raiding party cross the finish line during a practice run before the race.
For those of you who are not familiar with Aidan, he is the reason we have teapot racing in Florida.
After seeing YouTube videos of Splendid Teapot Races in New Zealand, Aidan announced to his mother that he wanted a teapot racer, too. Together, they built a pirate themed racer out of a Rock Crawler RC truck and a child's tin tea set. Then Aidan wanted someone to race against, so his mother started the Facebook group, Splendid Teapot Racing Florida and asked Renninger's Antique Center in Mount Dora, Florida to host their first race as part of their biannual Steampunk Industrial Show.
Aidan has mild cerebral palsy that affects the right side of his body, as well as epilepsy, a blind spot in one eye, and developmental delays. There are not many competitive sports that he would be comfortable playing, but teapot racing has given him a way to compete with people of all ages and all abilities on a level playing field. He has excelled. This has done amazing things for his self confidence!
Aidan has now raced in Florida, New Jersey, and Missouri. As of Jan. 28, he has won Grand Champion at 3 of the 7 races he has competed in and has enjoyed every one of those races. Teapot racing is aways a good time, even if one is not a winner!
This time, though, he did very well with his new racer (the first RC tank he has ever owned). He took home medals for "Most Splendid Design", "Most Splendid Speed", and Grand Champion", as well as the trophy, donated by Renninger's, for the Grand Champion.
Teapot Racing may be the only sport that encourages the bribing of the judges. I think that has greatly helped Aidan's over-all scores, as well. This time he presented the judges with chocolate frosted, chocolate cupcakes with gear-shaped sprinkles.
Our Judges for this race: John Sprocket and Renate Goodwin from the band The Cog is Dead and a bonus puppy judge.
Aidan is already looking forward to his next race, which will be at the Big River Steampunk Festival in Hannibal, Missouri over Labor Day Weekend. The vehicle he took to Big River last year was not behaving well (it might have had something to do with the jumps on the dirt RC track he had tried it on back home). He hopes that "Tongue Burner" is just what he needs to compete with the many creative entries in Missouri.