USA with Daniel Lee Hawk

So, it was with great excitement the Captain Various Miscellaneous BitsandpiecesDaniel and I finally got to skype Daniel Lee Hawk from Chesapeake, Virginia.     The population is estimated to be 232,977 making it the third-most populous city in Virginia, so it’s a bit bigger than Wellington City and a bit smaller than Christchurch City area and it looks nice and green like the Nelson area. We are thinking that there is room for potential and great growth. So there we were, 10pm for us and 4am for Daniel – grown adults talking about international teapot racing….Added bonus, Daniel didn’t even think our accents were too bad….what accents….?

Daniel with some wonderful others has started a Splendid Teapot Racing Chapter in the USA – our first international affiliated group. (OMG – right? Awesome) Daniel, met Lois Wallace, co owner of Victorian Magpie, Virginia Beach,  who was the one to find the NZ videos and was inspired. She thought it was a great idea and Lois made the first teapot racer in the USA, the one titled Pretty Bird. Thanks Lois, ou get the big thumbs up! We also know the Steampunk Convivial in Surrey is also running an event but we haven’t seen a UK Chapter emerge – this position is vacant if any hardy  Brits want to take up the challenge.

How did you find us?

DLH:  Through Dave Lee, and Lois Wallace they come from around this area – (Big thanks Dave and Lois !) I was looking for something to get involved in. I am so excited I have been getting up at 3am to do stuff!

We also have Jamestown very close to us- the first English settlement in the USA (settled in 1606) – so that must be the link to tea!


What do you like about Splendid Teapot Racing?

DLH: It gets a lot of people together that might not get together. I was working on a submarine for 20 years and when I retired I didn’t want to be around people much or travel. I have travelled to nearly every country in the world except NZ and Hawaii.

Oh – was that because it was a nuclear sub? yellow

DLH: Yes

Us: oh wow!

DHK: so I have hung out in my garage with my business and making stuff and this has got me out and about again. (Daniel showed us some cool stuff he had made)

How many people are involved in your area?

DLH:  About 20 people including assorted small children. My son can control the teapot way better than I can!!! We have a weekly Sunday afternoon tea and I make crumpets.

Us: Yum……. P.S. We have  the recipe.


What’s in the future?

DLH: we are looking for a historical venue in over in Gloucester for the last Friday in July 2016 to run a Splendid Teapot Racing event.

Us:  Yay!!!! Much excitement!!!!

What do the locals think?

DLH: People come over and look and think it’s curling, they don’t realise they are motorized. Then they laugh!

Thanks Daniel Lee Hawk 🙂

Dispatch: Splendid Teapot Racing 2015

A most splendid event was held in conjunction with the Steampunk NZ Mess Dinner at Oamaru on the Saturday 30th in the year of our glorious Queen 2015 at the wondrous Loan and Merc venue, with approximately 250 people in attendance.

It was a night of OOOO’s and ahhha’s, of hysterics, spectacular derailments, notable disqualifications and suspense.

The nights master of ceremonies was Montague Jacques Fromage, the  guest judge was  Dave Lee and of course your very own Countess. Captain Various did his magic with the course and Agent Darling introduced the nights sport.

The Judges and the MC from the left:Dave Lee, my self and Montague
The Judges and the MC
from the left:Dave Lee, my self and Montague

24 valiant and courageous individuals and teams, ranging from 6-ish to Gold Card status, provided the evenings entertainment.  The rigs were all fantastic, original and a lot of work had gone in to their making.

Unfortunately 14 rigs were either just too exuberant for the course and many ‘burst the banks’- of course this means instant disqualification. A couple of rigs were also over the time limit and this means a non-complete.

racing -T Baskerville
Tobias Baskerville-Crowe with the Tetley Tai-Pan

The banked corner – the Corner of Doom is aptly named!!!!

Eight hardy rigs completed the course, ranging in time from a new world sub- atomic speed record of just 0.43 seconds and right to the nail biting wire of 2 mins and 59 seconds!!!!

Of Note:

Ol’ Smokey: chocking out the room with an abundance of smoke

Eye Spy: with its unique point of view

Tea Mouse: who did do an up-skirt and spent the shortest time in the ring

Lordy Mucks real remote controlled steam engine powered teapot

Stanley who broke the sub atomic speeds record

It was a great night!

 the pits- M Webb

Salty Sea Dog

Salty Sea DogThis is the Captain Various Miscellaneous Bitsandpieces and my first rig made for the inaugural event at the Steampunknz Festival 2014.

Teapot name and description: One highly modified common aluminium char pot has taken the Incredibly handsome and virile Captain who has travelled the aeather and the seven seas, fought dragons, wrestled krakens into submission with his bare hands, survived the Medusa and reluctantly left the sexy sirens of the sea behind to conquer the perils of doom and to defend the Countess’s’ honour.
His first outing in 2014 was very good and he had a very fast time. His second outing ended in disgrace because someone took of the rubber bands for traction of his wheels and he was ‘outacontrol’. Did you notice that wee hint…..

He is made on the body of a NIKKO $30.00 (on sale) remote control car from the Warehouse. 

And has enough power to get up the ramp and just enough height to get over the jump.

Salty is very light weight being an aluminium pot.

Salty sea dog crop - Photo -P Flury

Summary of hints:

  • Make sure RC unit has several bands ( this will become important in the Drag of Mayhem Race)
  • That the rig has enough clearance not to bottom out on jump –an ability to have at least 3 cm
  • Think light weight – not top heavy. The ramp has a significant banking on it.
  • Have fun, the object is not to get to caught up in the competitiveness it is much more fun for the spectators when you knock stuff over, get stuck or fall off an obstacle. This is a spectator sport!

Cuba Dupa Shenanigans

On Saturday 28th March over 100 keen splendid punters hustled and bustled up to Thistle Hall on Cuba St, with a simply splendid array of finery, frippery, decorated teapots and bribes for the Judges. (I will discuss the fine art of bribery in another post.) The range of ages was preschool to gold card recipients, all magnificently resplendent and from as far flung places  such as Weymouth, UK. Eleven Teapot rigs were present, correct  and cleared for take off.

Best overall and the Challenge Cup
Best overall and the Challenge Cup

It was indeed a splendid occasion with Colonel Hawthorn acting as master of events and myself and Julia Harris judging. We received 2 very fine bribes from Team ATC Mk1 and Team  Tricerateapots. The freshly baked shortbread and chocolate was tremendously appreciated and it would be fair to say the judges could have happily coped with more……

Featuring the Tea Cosy of Doom and the Winners medals. (Hand made by me)
Featuring the Tea Cosy of Doom and the Winners medals. (Hand made by me)

It was great to have Capital! Steampunk NZ organize this event – my grateful and heartfelt thanks to Mrs Hudson and the Colonel. Thank you every one for your supreme efforts, the elegant turn out, splendid rigs and not least all you fine splendid people who travelled from the ends of the earth to be in attendance to support this event. The laughter, ooo’s and ahhh’s, the looks of horror and suspense on the faces of the attendees  spoke more than my words can convey the delight and enjoyment of everyone present.


I just have to say that the Captain and I had so much fun and hilarity at the Wellington event I just can’t wait until Oamaru. In fact I was allegedly  laughing so much at one point that may be or maybe not, I can’t really say for sure, I missed some fine booting of the rigs and not recording a few out of bounds and knock over’s. It was also entirely possible that I nearly abducted a small child to join the circus that is presumed to reside under my spacious crinoline. Huzzah Huzzah Huzzah!!!!!!!!

My right hand man - very clever he is.
My right hand man – very clever he is.

The results: Splendid Tea Pot Racing CubaDupa March 2015

Name -Time -Penalties -Placing /Award /comments

Tricerateapots Wellington
1.53, 0, Fastest – excellent form and bribery was appreciated

Orion – Greytown
1.56, 1, Most entertaining -Barbie on Steroids excellent twirling

Trapped – Wellington
2.30, Too many Did not complete all obstacles – a lot of ladylike booting of the rig with a very fine foot.

Stanley – Wellington
2.46, 10, First Drag Race, Jumped to his doom on the ramp however

Leviathan – Waikanae
2.50, 3, Model Round – made funny because of the size of the rig

ATC Mk1- Lower Hutt
2.54, 8, Challenge Cup and Best overall. Bribery, style, agility, costumes and team spirit these guys had it all including spillages and a rearing teapot

ETS- Dunedin
3.06, 4, The cutest and smallest teapot with impressive aerodynamics

RosyLee-Weymouth UK
3.21, Too many. First time attempt. The chintz covered teapot
had a lot of assistance from the foot.

Kraken Kruiser- Whangarei
3.45, Too many  Not an exemplary round

Salty Sea Dog – Dunedin
N/C,Trouble with skiddy wheels – very embarrassing

Motor Morpheus – Dunedin
N/C, Tea Cosy of Doom Electrical connectivity issues – equally embarrassing, redeemed themselves in the drag race with a respectable second