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Savvy young drivers outwit adults piloting wacky sleds downhill

Ready to race downhill in the Krazy Downhill Derby held Saturday Feb. 23 in Chestertown are young Baker siblings Hayden, 4; Cyrus, 5; and Wyatt, 10. Their father Aaron and Sean of Baker logging get ready to launch the bulky craft, fashioned after a John Deere skidder by the Baker family.

Ready to race downhill in the Krazy Downhill Derby held Saturday Feb. 23 in Chestertown are young Baker siblings Hayden, 4; Cyrus, 5; and Wyatt, 10. Their father Aaron and Sean of Baker logging get ready to launch the bulky craft, fashioned after a John Deere skidder by the Baker family. Photo by Thom Randall.

— Another child who proved his navigational ability was Ethan Gould, 11. He flew downhill perched on the back of a plastic alligator, outfitted with a steering column, as well as skis, brakes, and a central ski rudder. Ethan said he and his father Robert Gould of Chestertown built the crazy sled out of salvaged materials.

“We found the stuff in a dump next door to our house,” Ethan said.

Also in the race was a Viking ship created by Adam Hall of Chestertown. His son Alex, 3, painted the colorful, fanciful dragon design on the ship’s sail.

Several adults did in fact make it downhill without scaring spectators.

A.C. Emerson of Albany, sporting a top hat, rode a fanciful purple unicorn downhill in a straight track, although it seemingly had no steering apparatus.

All the competitors, including Ellie, Mick and Reagan Barry of Glens Falls who piloted a candy-themed craft, won medals passed out by Lynn Engelmann. Kit Isachsen narrated the sled race with a dose of levity. SonRise Lutheran church provided complimentary hot chocolate for the crowd.

On duty for the North Warren Emergency Squad were Paul Frasco, Terry Perkins and Ben Bahr. Although three competitors were injured in last year’s race, the 2013 edition had no serious crashes.

They were poised for action, however, when Norm Brown and Cole Stewart, 10, rode a rocket that looked like a bundle of red firecrackers down the course. The two were pitched off the craft despite hugging the tubular creation, proving that its navigation panel, which featured circuit boards, resistors and complex wiring – was indeed non-functional.

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