Steampunkers race their teapots in 'sleepy town'
Steampunkers converged on the sleepy town of Opunake sporting embellished Victorian fashions from top hats to lacey corset dresses.
The small group of about 20 turned out for the Steampunk Taranaki Teapot Racing Championships with their fantastical remote controlled teapot machines.
"It's kind of like living a second childhood you can indulge all your fantasies," said the Taranaki group's co-founder Alec Fuller.
A radio-controlled car or truck minus the body with a decorated teapot attached sounds like a bizarre mix - it was. But when you see the drivers behind the whacky machines it somehow makes sense.
Half the fun was watching the decorated crazy inventions zap around the make shift obstacle tracks, the rest of the enjoyment came from sitting back and taking in the visual overload.
"They're the best things, the gadgets and the accessories. I can use a variety of skills from wood to metal work to soldering to electrical to make ray guns and accessories and decorate teapots," Alec said.
The races took place outside the library on a quiet street in the middle of the small country town which made the entire event somewhat surreal.
A highlight of the competition was sheep trailing of a different kind; drivers were challenged with maneuvering three stuffed Kiwi toys with their remote racers into mini- pens.
Every Steampunker has a Victorian alter ego, Jo Fuller aka Lady Watsonia Victorious said the day was a chance to dress up like a lady and revel in the family fun atmosphere with like minded people.
Relative newbies to the group, the Beale family, enjoyed hanging out together and trying out their copper teapot car.
"We're so new we haven't come up with our other names yet," Trevor Beale said.
For those who attended, the race day lineup also included a makers workshop run by Andy Butturini on how to make Steampunk goggles and hats, followed by a not so high tea at the Arty Tarts cafe.
While it may not be punk as you know it, the Steampunk 'movement' is anti-establishment of a different nature, for those wanting to join your best bet is to check the groups Facebook page out.
"We don't exist as a group with a whole set of rules, we have a Facebook page and that's about the extent of our organisation," Alec said.