Soapbox Derby with HomeAway

Posted: May 22 2018

Comments: 1 Comment

The beautiful historic Coombe Abbey Hotel, near Coventry was host to our wonderful day of team building with a twist as Team Challenge Company met with a group of 60 plus HomeAway employees for our exciting unique Soapbox Derby event.

The weather was amazing on our arrival at the venue so it was perhaps slightly forgiving that the first half of the day was indoor based in a beautiful part of their conference facilities. 

Our competitors now split into 8 keen as mustard teams and were given the task of creating a business plan to support the racing team they were now a part of. The teams had to work together to create a Logo, Team Moto and a number of core values that their team would strive to promote and present to potential sponsors.

Solar Speed went for the environmentally friendly and energy efficient values which certainly caught our sponsors eye! Once this had been completed the teams then pitched their business plan to our panel of sponsors in order to gain points which would affect their final racing position

Team Falcons had an incredibly funny and well polished presentation and performance which played in their favour. E Race presentation gave the room an energetic burst with their performance too! Our sponsorship judging panel gave our honest and unbiased scores to each and every presentation – all apart from Marcus who was to be fair – Brutal – he is our very own Simon Cowell!

After the team presentations, our pumped up teams headed outdoors onto the lovely spacious grounds and were given the task of designing and building their Soapbox Race Carts from scratch. They were given set materials to use and once again there was a strict criteria to follow within their design and construction brief to gain their pedal cart driving licence. 

Some of the carts looked phenomenal and a whole lot of time and effort went into building the outer structure, but how long would it last? Taking into account was the creativity, quality and design of the carts. Team Wheelie Fast unique cardboard helmet may have looked amazing, but perhaps Team Vroom's minimal, sleek design would allow for optimal streamlining during racing.

The final part of the day seen out guests from HomeAway take to the track with their purpose built Soapbox Derby carts. Heads turned in admiration as we made our way out onto the race track at the rear of the hotel. Before we kicked off the race one team even managed to get a puncture – in a pedal cart - our inside mechanic managed to step in and make the cart race ready in no time. The heats were very intense as every team was pushing to achieve pole position in the final race. 

There were a few bumps and un-sportsman like manoeuvres -just look at the photos for evidence)- as they pushed themselves and their pedal carts to the absolute limits. The final race was fast, furious and definitely intense! Our final remaining carts battled it out for the Team Challenge Company Winner’s Trophy!

At the end of the team building day as our teams cooled down and calmed down we calculated the final scores and added up the points from across the day. In last place with a still respectable score in the racing and presentations were Laser Forces who cheerfully (we think) walked off with the Wooden Spoon!

 In third place was the ever high spirited Solar Speed. Team Falcons made a fantastic effort throughout the day taking their small team to second place – what a performance! In first place, taking home the Team Challenge Trophy - beating off all challengers! - was the incredible high octane performing Wheelie Fast! All in all the day was a huge success and we once again would like to thank Heather for her integral part in organising such a great day for her colleagues - and keeping everyone in order – well mostly!

Presentation Winners - Falcons
Best Design Winners - Wheelie Fast
Best Teamwork Winners - Solar Speed
Race 1 Winners - Solar Speed
Race 2 Winners - Laser Force
Race 3 Winners - E-Race

Overall scores from the day: 

1st Place - Wheelie Fast
2nd Place - The Falcons
3rd Place - Solar Speed
4th Place - Le Flash
5th Place - E-Race
6th Place - Vroom
7th Place - Matrîce
8th Place - Laser Force

Comments (1)


stephen hazley

Well done to all Homeaway teams for getting so involved and completely immersed in the Soapbox Challenge and for exemplifying their values with such excellence. One team said in their enthusiastic marketing pitch that their team members lived and breathed their values, and this is something that can be said for the entire team at their wonderful Coome Abbey event. Great Venue, Great Clients, Great Event. Big Shout Out to Heather for making it all happen so seamlessly. I look forward to working with you again in the future. Stephen



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