Ready? Set. Race! Slot car raceway opens in Seychelles

The owners of the nation's first slot car raceway hope it will encourage people of all ages, especially children, to develop a hobby that will help keep them from bad influences.

Eddie and Anna Westergreen, the husband-wife owners of the newly launched business called the 'Riverside Raceway,' said that kids in Seychelles have to develop a hobby, as leisure activities are important in one's life.

In America, slot car racing is popular among all age group, and it is a serious hobby. There are teams. They travel from state to state to race on different slot car tracks. They build their own motors and cars, said Anna.

According to Pendle Slot Racing, Slot car racing is a miniature racing game with powered vehicles operated by the user with hand held controllers. The cars are guided by grooves or slots around a designed track layout. Slot car racing has something for everyone - from casual home users, competitive club racing, model builders or collectors.

The eight-track raceway at Riverside Point, on the outskirt of Victoria, is 3.5 metres long by 5.5 metres wide and basic rental cars can reach a speed of up to 50 kilometres per hour. The cars used are 24 times smaller than their real counterparts.

Having a passion for slot car racing himself, Eddie has always wanted to open a raceway here in Seychelles, a 115-island archipelago in the western Indian Ocean. His dream came true 15 years later.

We bought it in Seattle, Washington and I drove a thousand miles to bring it to San Francisco, where we loaded it on a container, said Eddie.

Three months later, it arrived in Seychelles and after about eight months in the warehouse, it took Eddie two weeks to assemble the 14-piece raceway back together. The couple explained that they had to lift it into its current standing place by crane, as it is big. All this was done while one of the walls of its current location was still not up.

A 10-minute race costs $1.85 [SCR25]. One can enjoy several laps around the track, either using the provided rental car and controller or by using private-owned and/or customised motor vehicles and controller.

In America, to race a rental car costs between $3 and $4.50 for a 10 to 15 minutes race, depending on the state you are in. For us, it is not about the money - we just want to have kids come in, keep busy and do something with their lives, said Eddie.

As the venture is new in Seychelles, the owners are advising people to start off racing the rental cars to better understand how it works, as these cars are sturdier.

After the third time of practising, you most probably will have gotten used to controlling it. You can then buy your own car, which you will have to clean and maintain, and you can change the motor and customise it, just like the real thing, said Eddie.

Cars can be bought at the raceway at a starting price of $118 [SCR1600] or online. The raceway opens at 10.00 a.m. and closes at 6.00 p.m. The business also caters for children's birthday parties that can last up to three hours, where children can race for up to 1hour and a half.

Source: Seychelles News Agency

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