Teapot Racing at CubaDupa – register now

CubaDupa is coming again and Capital! Steampunk will be there in splendidness, parading, tea duelling and – most important – racing teapots.

The festival dates are 24-25 March – check the CubaDupa site for the full programme.  The teapot racing is currently scheduled for 3.30pm on Saturday 24th (we’ll let all the registered teapot owners know if that changes, but it should be pretty firm).  As with last year, the venue is expected to be Dixon Street, outside the Dixon St. Deli.

If you’ve raced a teapot before, you know how it all works.  Fill in the registration form with details of you and your teapot and we’ll confirm time and place nearer the day.  We plan to give you a race number before the day so you’ll know roughly when you’ll be performing, but we’d like all teapots at the course by 3.15 on the day so they can be on display in our pits area.

If you haven’t raced before – how about making this the year that all changes?  The rules are simple (and very flexible, if the judges are suitably bribed).  The only rule that really matters is about the size of the racing teapot, so you can be confident it will fit through the obstacles.  We can also offer some construction tips if you need them.

Along with ‘normal’ teapot racing through the obstacle course, we’ll try to fit in some Teapot Sheepdog Trials.  A new feature this year will be the availability of a couple of ‘have a go’ racing teapots.  They’re basic, but they’ll get round the course without too much trouble and give you an idea of what can be achieved with a simple, relatively cheap base vehicle and a minimal amount of decoration.  We’ll set aside some time during the racing for a (limited) number of people to try out our splendid sport.

Contact us if you have any questions.  And may the best teapot win.


Racing teapot

 

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3 – 4 February – Vintage Harvest Rally

Every two years the Wairarapa Vintage Machinery Club organises this popular event, with working vintage machinery, lots of other displays, markets, food and more.  Our friends at Wai Steam are going, and Capital! Steampunk members are welcome too.

The event runs over both days of the weekend from 9am to 4pm at the Clareville Showgrounds – just north of Carterton on Chester Road, if you’re coming from Wellington.  One of the highlights will be the harvesting of a specially planted wheat field. The harvesting, threshing and milling will all be done by vintage machinery.  Draft horses will harvest a wheat crop with a binder and a Clayton Shuttleworth mill will be working.

We may be able to do a gentle teapot racing demonstration, so bring your pot along – you have got your teapot ready for CubaDupa, haven’t you?  Otherwise, we’ll enjoy the opportunity to promenade, have photos with the marvellous machines and catch up with Wai Steam.

The best bit?  If you come along in steampunk costume, you’ll get in free!

Some thoughts on making a satisfying racing teapot

CubaDupa 2018 is now just two months away and we’ll be opening registrations for Splendid Teapot Racing very soon.  If you haven’t got your racing teapot together yet, here are a few observations you might find useful:

  • The basics: get a radio-controlled car or truck, remove the body, attach a teapot, decorate the vehicle according to your taste then race against the clock through an obstacle course. This clip of Lord Edmund from 2017’s CubaDupa will give you the general idea
  • Read the rules. Most rules can be got around with a suitable bribe to the judges on the day (small bars of chocolate, cups of tea or small bags of shiny objects are often appreciated), but don’t ignore the one about the recommended maximum size. The main reason for this rule is not to stop you making a megapot if you want to, but so your teapot has some chance of getting through/over/round the obstacles without damaging itself or them. If you’re buying a vehicle, somewhere between 1:24 and 1:16 size is about right
  • It’s more about control than speed or power. Spend the right amount on your base vehicle.  You can pay $1000 or more on a radio-controlled car, but don’t – it’s unlikely it will get round the obstacle course any better than something much cheaper.  But don’t spend too little, either. Some of our friends and acquaintances have been delighted with a bargain from an op shop, only to find the vehicle either doesn’t steer at all, or only turns left.  If possible, try to see the vehicle in action before you buy it – make sure it has enough power to get up a slope (and remember it’s going to be heavier by the time you attach a teapot to it)
  • And on the subject of the teapot – keep it light. Your vehicle should be able to both climb ramps and go round corners without tipping over.  Ceramic teapots are far too heavy (and breakable).  Aluminium or stainless are generally fine; you might even find small plastic ones at a toyshop. The teapot doesn’t have to remain functional as a teapot once you’ve finished, so don’t worry about drilling holes in it
  • Attach things firmly.  It’s hilarious for the audience but embarrassing for you if some major component of your racing teapot (like, say, the teapot!) falls off partway through the course.  Glue doesn’t seem to be what it was back in Queen Victoria’s time, bless her, although some of us still swear by hot glue. The Colonel, with several racing teapots under his belt, is a firm believer in small bolts or screws for hooking things together. And don’t ignore the mounting points the original body came off – they can be very useful if you can manage to put matching holes in the bottom of your teapot (some of us struggle with the degree of accuracy required …)
  • On teapot racing day, don’t run out of steam.  Use fresh batteries, or if your vehicle uses rechargeables, make sure they’re fully charged the night before.  And don’t forget about the batteries in the controller as well.

That should get you going in the right direction.  Watch here or on Capital! Steampunk’s Facebook page for registrations to open and we’ll see you at CubaDupa.

Racing teapots

6 January 2018 – The Greatest Showman

Join us for our first 2018 event at the Embassy Theatre in Kent Terrace on Saturday 6 January at 5.45.

This film is one we’ve been keeping our eye on as a Capital! opportunity for splendidness and tells (with some artistic licence) the story of P. T. Barnum – creator of the Greatest Show on Earth.  Come along in full steam, part-steam or your new Capital! Steampunk t-shirt – whatever you’re most comfortable in.

Book your tickets here – as a bonus for online bookings, this is the Embassy’s Movie of the Week so tickets are only $10 if you register with them.  Otherwise buy them at the door.  It’s the 6.15 session, but come early and meet us in the Black Sparrow bar under the Embassy before the show starts.