By JoANN PILEGGI
Some were sleek and speedy. Others were boxy and a little slower.
In the end, the designers, builders and racers of the annual Cub Scouts' Pinewood Derby in Fair Haven were a proud bunch after this weekend's races.
"It's a great event for the kids and their parents, of course," said Ray Paolantonio, who helped organize the derby for the local cub scout troops.
It all starts with a seven-inch block of pine.
The grandstand takes in a close finish.
With a little help from a dad, a neighbor or friend with a serious saw, the blocks are transformed into miniature racers in all shapes and sizes. They're prepped, painted and decaled. On arrival at the track, they're weighed in to make sure they're the required five ounces or less.
This year's competition featured 80 different cars from 80 cubs. They raced in heats throughout the day, with dads and Boy Bcouts manning the three-lane wooden track.
"You gotta love the camaraderie among the kids they're really into it, and so are we," said Karl Pfeil Sr., whose two sons, one a bear, the other a tiger, competed in the races.
Seven year old cub Guy Mazzeo was in his second Pinewood Derby. In about six hours time, with help from his dad and grandfather, he built his race car and was ready to roll.
"It's a good thing for a father and son to do together, especially if the dad or granddad has done the derby as a scout," said Susan Mazzeo, as she watched her son hand over his car before the race.
Six-year-old Daniel Parsons and his dad, Daniel, brought along a boxful of tools and weights to deal with any last minute issues before Daniel's race car hit the wooden tracks. The elder Parsons raced a car in the fathers' category.
First place went to Michael Simone, a tiger cub who will head off to the next round of competition. Bear Cub Carl Pfeil took second and Sam Stoff, also a Bear Cub, was third.