Meet Full Stream Ahead

Red Bull Soapbox craft unveiled day before race

Ta-da! The Stream Team did it.

In just a few short months, our assorted group of soapbox enthusiasts (at least they are now) took their purely conceptual idea and turned it into a real live check valve on wheels.

(Top) driver Alex Skiba and rear hype man/passenger Joel Pelletier pose in the craft. (Bottom) Full Stream Ahead sits in front of its check valve inspiration during the craft’s unveiling ceremony in Edmonton on Friday, Jun. 21. 

The impressive feat, required some burning of the midnight oil to get the job done.  

“This last week was pretty crunch,” said Alex Skiba, project lead for The Stream Team whose customary role sees him executing the function of design engineer for Stream-Flo Industries.

Functional and fully formed

When we last left off with the group, The Stream Team was set to tackle the cosmetic portion of the build process after being on the cusp of making it a functional craft.

Fast forward a couple weeks, and that cosmetic work is done. Albeit not without a few challenges, and some tricky work, along the way, says Sean Heatherington.

“It was pretty hard to get the nice round pieces all together, especially where it connects with the top to the side with the full bore,” said Heatherington. “I wasn’t there when we did that part but I’m not really sure how they pulled it off.”

“Interesting contouring” is how John Guo describes that challenge they overcame.

“We got a couple templates together and looked at each side to make sure it kind of looked the same and it worked out in the end,” recalled Guo.

“It was easy, we got it first try,” said Skiba, who wasn’t joking it turns out. “The big saving grace was the corrugated plastic sheets that we found. Sean had a really good idea with how we mount that.”

That idea was some criss cross shoelace action underneath to secure it across some foam ribs that support the curvature along the length of the car on the inside.

“It’s basically a super lightweight mounting solution,” Skiba explained.

Alex Skiba addresses the crowd during Full Stream Ahead’s reveal ceremony in Edmonton on Jun. 21, 2024.

Foam-eating paint and Stanley Cup sacrifices

After running into some paint that enjoyed eating the foam they were using, the decision to go with acrylic was made and Joel Pelletier sourced some out after extensive research.

Then, sacrifices had to be made.

Jeff Castor, Nick Deleff, and Heatherington gave up their Oilers game viewing Tuesday night to paint the car.

All in the name of a greater good, of course. Soapbox immortality, in this case.

When the final coat of acrylic paint was applied, the finished Full Stream Ahead even surprised those who know it most intimately.

“We just didn’t know how good it would look until it was in front of us, and it just blew us away,” said Skiba about them seeing the fully formed craft for the first time.

The rear wing, something Guo put together, and the front grill, with Castor and Deleff teaming up on that part, especially happy surprises. That teamwork aspect, throughout the entirety of the project, something Guo is very proud of.

“It seems like everyone has a little piece of the car that they either created or dreamed up,” said Guo. “Each of the components probably has someone’s name on it and it’s just nice to see everyone’s ideas come to life.”

‘A different feeling’

While every phase of the project was special in its own right, for Heatherington, it was the middle portion where things started to take shape that really stuck out for him.

“The first time we saw the actual frame welded all together — sitting in it, standing in it, seeing it was an actual piece — was pretty cool,” he said. “Then once we got the wheels on there and actually start rolling, and you see it’s a car, that’s a different feeling for sure.”

As things got toward the end, Skiba most enjoyed the energy that accompanied the cosmetic push.

“That really gave the car personality and showed the love that we put into the car, that really kind of shines through,” said Skiba. “We were laughing, having fun, so I really enjoyed the last stretch here, as hectic as it was, it was the best part.”

The Stream Team poses for a group photo following the Full Stream Ahead reveal ceremony.

On the edge of greatness

With race day only a sleep away, and a skit entitled “Grease Lightning” set to steal the show before Full Stream Ahead plunges into uncharted territory down Queen Elizabeth Park Road, the whole experience is already being fondly looked at as a huge success.

“I know racecars are typically not our wheelhouse here,” joked Guo. “But it’s really awesome to be able to do the soapbox race and to be part of a big Red Bull event. Hopefully that brings our name out there a little bit more and we do more stuff like this in the future.”

Full send and Full Stream Ahead

Want to cheer on The Stream Team Saturday at Queen Elizabeth Park Road? See all the important event day details on Red Bull’s site here: Red Bull Soapbox Race 2024, Queen Elizabeth Park Road, Edmonton

Have questions? Contact us today to get in touch.

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