It’s All Downhill From Here: The First Annual Oakley Downhill Derby of Doom

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When you work at Oakley headquarters, you come to expect the unexpected. One day a Ferrari will be hauling ass around the traffic circle out front and the next an Olympic gold medalist will be signing autographs in the lobby. Like the brand itself, life at One Icon is far from ordinary.

That fact has never been clearer than it was on the bright fall Friday afternoon when Oakley employees competed in the 1st Annual Oakley Downhill Derby of Doom. Twenty-three teams, each representing a different department at Oakley, built and street-tested their unpowered derby vehicles, starting under the Red Bull arch from an All Access Staging and Production (AASP) launch ramp in the main parking lot and ending some 500 feet below at the base of the long driveway. Red Bull was a main sponsor of the event, providing cases of Red Bull for drivers and attendees and bringing their podium for the winner’s stage.

I’m On a Boat
The names of the competing teams were as varied and comical as the contraptions they raced. Among them were Fire In The Hole, The Donkey Show, Sin O’Rella, and the ever-popular Flying Past Uranus. One vehicle looked like a pirate ship. Another like the Oakley tank.

While loading up on Archie’s Ice Cream and Pabst Blue Ribbon, the gathered crowd watched their fellow Oakley employees make utter fools of themselves—in a good way. One dude streaked down the course wearing nothing but tighty whities, a la Will Ferrell in Talladega Nights, pretending to be engulfed in invisible flames until his teammate doused him with a fire extinguisher. Another was dressed head to toe in a green full-body unitard. There were hats, pig noses, funny helmets, and every type of Oakley sunglasses imaginable.

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner
The Donkey Show, the HR team, claimed Carnage Kings for not one crash, but three gnarly crashes before conquering the first turn and one last roll after going off the 16-inch jump mid-course. Fire in the Hole, a team comprised of Oakley designers, was the event’s big winner, having claimed the top prize in all three categories: Speed Demon, Best In Show, and Most Entertaining Run. And having reached the finish line in an astounding 25.31 seconds, timed by USAC Racing. Fire in the Hole has earned a spot in the 2012 Red Bull Soapbox Derby.