Thursday, December 3, 2009
Punkin Chunkin -- Zach Selwyn and Mike Senese host the 2009 Punkin' Chunkin' World Championships from Bridgeville, Delaware. 110 teams of backyard engineers will attempt to launch a pumpkin as far as possible and take home the title of the world's furthest chunk.
2009 Punkin Chunkin Results -- Get the official results here, down to the foot!
Science.Discovery.com has posted over 24 video chips about the event: Punkin Chunkin 2009 Videos
In an interesting footnote, you'll hear Steve Seigars, owner of the Yankee Siege Trebuchet, current world champion and record holder in that class, say he's probably got the most inefficient hurling machine in the competition. They're only winning and able to go over 2000' because they are big in height and counterweight.
TheHurl.org discussed the Science Channel's coverage and also has a discussion regarding how the cost to enter the WCPC is going up.
Remember, there are only 303 days or 10 months until our next Vermont Punkin Chunkin' Festival on October 3, 2010. It's design time for next year's pumpkin hurling masterpiece.
Check out these Youtube videos for a look at an innovative "F2K" trebuchet design.
Monday, November 23, 2009
In Steve Seigars' words:
Another Punkin Chunkin season has come and gone. I can't believe it's been 6 years of competition for Yankee Siege. I can't believe we pulled off another 1st place! Six straight years of wins, with no losses, its like a dream come true. And to top it off, to break the 2000 foot barrier. I am so proud of all the team members who worked so hard this year so that we could be the first treb in history to break the 2000 foot mark in competition. I would especially like to thank my wife Kathleen for putting up with me and this weird sport. We are the only members of the 2000 foot club, quite an exclusive club! This is one time that its nice to be lonely at the top!Again, congratulations Yankee Siege. This is a inspiration for all pumpkin hurlers.
The treb division this year was very impressive with nine machines throwing in excess of a thousand feet. The 2000 foot club will soon be crowded. I was particularly impressed with "new comer" American Chucker with their 1895 foot shot on Sunday 11/7/2009. With only 2200 pounds of counterweight and a ten foot drop that is 35% efficient! Very nice! This is a great machine and a great bunch of guys. Not bad for their first year in competition. They mentioned that they only tested 6 shots before the competition. Image what it will shoot with a little more tuning!!! Good luck! ...
Maybe we should retire. It's been a great run for the past 6 years with many fantastic memories. It will be hard to "top" this year with all the media attention and the 2000 foot throw. It might be best to leave while you are at the top of your game. To be continued...
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Yankee Siege Blog:
Yankee Siege Tune-Up Report October 24, 2009 --
We are making a concentrated effort to tune and tweak Yankee Siege with the new throwing arm. We have decided to leave the counterweight alone with a fixed amount of weight (12,000 pounds).
The pumpkin will also remain a fixed weight of ten pounds...
Two Thousand Foot Holy Grail!!!
Can 2000 ' be broken for a trebuchet? Can 2500 ' be broken? Will the weather cooperate? Could all 3 of the "big three trebs" (Yankee Siege, Pumpkin Hammer & Merlin) break 2000 '? A throw of 2000 ' may only garner 3rd place! Will an unknown machine come and beat us all? That's the excitement of Punkin Chunkin. To get a good throw everything "has to go right"! To have a bad throw only one thing has to go wrong! How does one "make it happen"? How does a team make everything go right? How does a team prevent a mistake or breakage of the machine? What part does luck play? Do you make your own luck through practice, vigilance, hard work and experience?
We only have a little bit more than a week left. Yankee Siege sincerely wishes all the other trebs in the division the best of luck in the 24th Annual Punkin Chunkin competition. Hope the weather cooperates and the 2000 foot mark is blown away!
Steve Seigars, YS
Sunday, October 4, 2009
We raised over $1600 for the Lamoille Family Center! Great job guys!
Second Annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin Festival: Oct. 3rd, 2010 at Boyden Farm.
The weather, the pumpkin hurlers, and the music were all fantastic at our First Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival.
Many thanks to all the spectators and participants who came out to our First VTPC. Throwing this event together (pun intended) in 30 days without great people, like everyone of you who came out on short notice, would have been impossible.
Speaking of short notice, we've got the Boyden Farm reserved for next year, First Sunday in Oct., Oct 3rd, 2010 for the second Annual Pumpkin Chuckin Festival. So no excuses, you've got a year to get your trebuchet together. We are adding two divisions, Middleweight Open for adults that want to build a 100 pound trebuchet. The Middleweight Junior Division will be the same as before, limited to ages 17 and under. And also an Unlimited Division, no height or weight limiits, although it has to be a gravity-powered trebuchet, throwing at least a 10 pound pumpkin. We are also considering a theatrical division and an accuracy division, if people are interested.
We'd also like to thank the Boyden Family for being fantastic hosts, and another big thanks to all of our sponsors and bands.
Sponsors: Boyden Farm, Cambridge Area Rotary, Robot Optimizers, John Duffy, Stowe Soaring, Trattoria LaFesta, Miller Country Outfitters, Bee's Knees, Hanley's General Store, Cold Hollow Cider.
Bands: Wilbur's Dog, The Hubcats.
Here are the results of the First Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival:
Division: Heavyweight, Winner
Name of Trebuchet: The Thing
Representing: Morrisville/Montpelier, VT
Team members: Dave Barrows, Eric Griffin, & Chris Fish
distance: 139' 2" (scaled, same, 139')
Division: Heavyweight, 2nd Place
Name of Trebuchet: Moofasa
Representing: Enosburg Falls High School Physics
Adult advisor: Ryan Bushey
distance: 29' 9" (scaled, same 29')
Division: Middleweight, Winner**
Name of Trebuchet: T-Rex
Representing: Cambridge Vermont Boy Scout Troop 39
Adult advisor: Roger Allen
distance: 62' 6" (scaled distance 106')
Division: Middleweight, 2nd place**
Name of Trebuchet: Pumpkin Chuckin' Airlines
Representing/team members: The Wallace Family (Connecticut)
distance: 43' 6" (scaled distance 74')
**A clerical error first awarded the middleweight award to Pumpkin Chuckin' Airlines, however upon review T-Rex was determined to be the winner. Our apologies to both teams.
Division: Lightweight, Winner
Name of Trebuchet: unknown
Representing: Cambridge Vermont Cub Scout Pack 839
Adult advisor: Wayne Powell
distance: 42' 1" (scaled distance 123')
Division: Lightweight, 2nd place
Name of Trebuchet: The Rompenator
Representing: Cambridge Vermont Cub Scout Pack 839
Adult advisor: Mike Romp
distance: 26' 3" (scaled distance 76.65')
Division: Lightweight, Honorable Mention (crowd favorite)
Name of Trebuchet: Un-named
Representing / team members: Steve & Nancy Harmon
The Thing (Dave Barrows, Eric Griffin, & Chris Fish)
Band name: Stonecutters (Rock) - Great show guys!
Notice that the lightweight trebuchet almost won the Grand Prize for Best Overall Trebuchet. Next year I expect that a small kid or team of kids will win the Grand Prize!
Channel 5 / WPTZ. com:
Vermont 'Pumpkin Chuckin' Event Rings In Fall -- Families, Boy Scout Troops Build Trebuchets To Compete ....
Vermonters welcomed the fall season Sunday with a brand-new contest...
J.J. Spanier made the biggest launcher in just a week with parts in his garage. His trebuchet was actually over the competition limit, so he just threw for fun, which was exactly why organizers put together the event....
One thing NewsChannel 5 heard frequently Sunday was people planning to start work on their own trebuchet since there was only a month's notice this time. Organizers said they already expect big things for next year's event.
Pumpkin Chuckers Compete in Cambridge --
.... Some trebuchets worked better than others. A few misfires sent fruit flying backwards. And then, the real crowd pleaser. The monster of all trebuchets rolled in. Kids could hardly wait. Adults -- anxious too. And the launch did not disappoint -- a whopping 220 feet.WCAX News also had a TV video of the event. Here are a couple of stills:
But the real winner here is the Lamoille Family Center. The Pumpkin Chucking Contest -- put on the by local rotary club -- was a benefit. Good fun for a good cause. Just keep your eye on the sky during this fundraiser -- and consider a helmet.
smkvt has posted some great videos of the event:
And he also wrote this very positive review of VTPC (with more pictures) for Blurt, The Seven Days staff blog: Smashing Pumpkins the Vermont Way.
We hope to see you all again next year at an even bigger and better 2nd Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival to be held the first Sunday in October 2010 (on October 3rd, 2010).
Happy Hurling... until then
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Updates: It's here. Happy hurling at the VTPC.
Good news! We now have a real battle in the Battle of the Bands, "Stonecutters", a local rock band out of the Morrisville area has just joined the battle. So far, it is "Honeybee" (soft rock) against "Stonecutters" (rock) squaring off around 11:30am. We've love to have more bands enter. Only $5 gets you into the battle and all the Pumpkin Chuckin events! Walkons welcome!
The featured bands, "Wilbur's Dog" and the "Hubcats" will be playing in the afternoon.
Also we just got another entry in the heavyweight division bringing out total to three heavyweight trebuchets!
Exciting news! We have a local genius James Spanier who built a huge trebuchet for the "Throw for Show" category and also a local 2 family contingent building a slingshot for the same division. I can hardly wait to see them in action!
Timing: I've moved the schedule up a little (check schedule below) to accomodate people who might want to get home early on a Sunday night. Battle of the Bands starts at 11:30 and first round of competition starts at 12:30, with the last round and free-for-all around 3:00pm.
Vision: We want to hold a fun trebuchet (rhymes with yesterday) hurling contest to raise money for the Lamoille Family Center in Morrisville, VT. The competitive hurling is limited to 4 main divisions. Each division will compete on distance.
Other trebuchets, or catapults, or air cannons are encouraged to come and "throw for show" along with the other contestants, but if they do not meet the division specs., they will not be part of the official competition.
- Bantamweight Division: Age 10 and below
Max. total weight of trebuchet is 4 lbs.
Max height = 24"
Projectile = 3/5 ounce (or 16.8 grams)
- Lightweight Division: Age 10 and below
Max. total weight of trebuchet is 20 lbs.
Max height = 41"
projectile = 3 ounce tomato
- Middleweight Division: Age 17 and below
Max. total weight of trebuchet is 100 lbs.
Max. height = 70"
projectile = 1 pound pumpkin
- Heavyweight Division: Open to all ages
Max. total weight of trebuchet is 500 lbs.
Max. height is 10 feet
projectile = 5 pound pumpkin
To enter send a check or cash to:
Dave JordanPlease include:
161 Henway Road
Morrisville, VT 05661
Name of captain
Team members (up to 8)
Representing (school, cub scouts, boy scouts, girl scouts, university, etc) (Optional)
Division (bantamweight, lightweight, middleweight, heavyweight)
Name of your Trebuchet (optional)
Phone number (optional)
Also associated with the contest will be music provided by three local bands and a separate, earlier Battle of the Bands contest. Winner of the Battle of the Bands will be selected by the two judges from the "Hubcats". This Battle is sponsored by the Bee's Knees in Morrisville so the first prize will be a $45 gift certificate to the Bee's Knees. Limited to first 10 bands that sign up. Time slots will be awarded in reverse order to when entry is received. The first band gets the latest time slot (12:10 to 12:30pm) and so on.
To sign up for battle of the bands: Contact Dave Jordan via email or phone below. Cost is $5. The entry allows one person in the band in for free. All others pay $5 or $3 if they are 18 or under.
Bands must bring their own drums. An eight channel PA will be provided with a sound man (Mike Dunn, of Wilbur's Dog). If you have any questions regarding sound equipment, please contact Mike directly at TragicallyMike@gmail.com
To enter send check or cash to:
Dave JordanPlease Include:
161 Henway Road
Morrisville, VT 05661
Type of music (optional)
phone number (optional)
- Wilbur's Dog (progressive rock) - 3:00pm to dark
- Hubcats (bluegrass/folk) - 2:00pm
Hurling goes on rain or shine. Music will be under a pavillion.
- Play against Boomer the amazing tennis robot (see tennisrobot.com)
- Vegetable slinging: Slingers provided! Just for fun, distance and hitting targets, if enough interest we may add another category for slinging.
- Corn maze: Small fee ($5 for adults, $3 for kids, free for under 2)
- Croquet (if we can find someone with a set)
- Bocce ball (if we can find someone with a set)
- Food provided by local vendors
- Picnic: People are welcome to bring their own picnic
- $5 for adults
- $3 for ages 18 and under
44 Vermont Route 104
Cambridge, VT 05444
Sunday, Oct. 4th, 2009, 11:30am to dark
Open to anyone to compete. One person or a team of up to 8 people. We are hoping to get kids of all ages, cub scouts, boy scouts, brownies, girl scouts, universities, companies, etc.
In the bantamweight, lightweight and middleweight divisions, older people may suggest ideas but the trebuchet must be built by the team or individual.
Similar to the Soap Box Derby; moms and dads can help with suggestions, but not actually work on the trebuchet.
(These are approximate times. This is contingent upon the number of entries in the trebuchet contest and Battle of the Bands. If there are a small number of competitors, times will be moved up)
9am to 12:30pm: Assembly, safety inspection, weighing, measuring, testing and tweaking of trebuchets
11:30am to 12:30pm: Battle of the Bands (only 2 bands so far, this time could change)
12:30pm: Round one: First shot of trebuchets
1:30pm: Round two: Second shot of trebuchets
2:00pm: Hubcats (bluegrass/folk)
2:30: Round three: Third shot of trebuchets
3pm to dusk: Awards followed by free-for-all hurling, cleanup and music by Wilbur's Dog (progressive rock)
SAFETY: All trebuchets must have a safety device (like a C-clamp) to stop the throwing arm from firing prematurely during loading of the projectile. Another excellent safety device is a support which can be placed directly under the counterweight, preventing it from falling.
Once the counterweight is lifted, the trebuchet is dangerous (even the small ones). Be careful not to put hands, feet or any body part in the potential path of the throwing arm or counterweight. Put the safety on immediately after the counterweight is lifted (before loading the sling, etc)!
All trebuchets will be inspected before firing and must pass the inspection to fire.
Total weight of trebuchet including counterweight (not including projectile) may not exceed limit. See table above for weight limits for 4 divisions.
Height of trebuchet including throwing arm fully extended (the un-cocked height, straight up in the air) may not exceed limit. The sling is not included in the height limit, so the sling may exceed the limit.
No digging into the ground is allowed (like a pit for the counterweight to fall further). You may use the ground to stake the trebuchet to prevent rocking.
Projectile must weigh at least the limit or more. Bantamweight = 3/5 ounces, Lightweight = 3 ounces, Middleweight = 1 pound, Heavyweight = 5 pounds.
Judges will weigh trebuchet and projectile and measure height before firing. Total weight of the trebuchet (including counterweight) must be UNDER the limit. Weight of projectile must be OVER the limit. Height must be UNDER the limit. No part of the trebuchet may go over the limit during firing, except the sling.
Competition: The competition is similar to a shotput where all the contestants fire their weapon, one at a time, each is spotted for distance from the center of the front of the trebuchet. The bantamweight competitors will be scaled up by 5, lightweight competitors will be scaled up by 2.93 to reflect the distance they would throw if they were 10 feet tall. The middleweight competitors will be scaled up by 1.71. We plan to announce the name, weight, height of each trebuchet and team members before asking them, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please fire your weapon!"
Just to be clear, the distance is measured from the center of the front of the trebuchet.
There will be 3 rounds with a pause (roughly 30 minutes) between rounds for tweaking, etc. At the end of the third shot, we will announce the awards, then start the free-for-all hurling for fun.
Reason for limits: The weight and size of the trebuchet is limited (given the short time to the festival) to allow teams to more easily assemble and transport their trebuchets to the contest.
With this in mind, each division is 5 times heavier than the division below it. Doing the math, this scales to 1.71 taller (cube root of 5). So each division is 1.71 times taller than the division below it so they can be compared against each other to award an overall "Best Design" prize. The bantamweight division will be multiplied by 5.000. The lightweight division distance will be multiplied by 2.924 and the middleweight division will be multiplied by 1.71 to accurately compare against the heavyweight division. For example, if a lightweight trebuchet throws 50 feet and a heavyweight trebuchet throws 145 feet, the lightweight trebuchet is scaled up to 146 (50*2.924) feet which beats the heavyweight trebuchet. This scaling will be used to award the overall "Best Design" prize. Each division will also have a best distance prize.
This gives a young kid a real chance to walk off with the most prestigious prize, no fancy metal working or wood working shop required, just brains and persistence.
Loading must be done totally with human power, no electrical or other assistance.
All trebuchets must be only gravity powered. No springs or pneumatics or other power sources.
- $5 for entry. Spectators and contestants and Battle of the Bands contestants all pay the same.
- $3 for age 18 and under
All winners will also receive a "Golden Pumpkin"
- Overall Best Design = 1st pick of prizes donated by local sponsors
- Bantamweight division (distance) = 2nd pick of prizes donated by local sponsors
- Lightweight division (distance) = 3rd pick of prizes donated by local sponsors
- Middleweight division (distance) = 4th pick of prizes donated by local sponsors
- Heavyweight division (distance) = 5th pick of prizes donated by local sponsors
- Best Pumpkin Chuckin Band = $45 gift certificate to Bee's Knees
- Glider ride for 2 by Stowe Soaring
- Dinner for 2 by Trattoria La Festa in Stowe
- $45 gift certificate at Bee's Knees in Morrisville (for winner of Battle of Bands)
- Burton gear
- Miller's Country Outfitters gear
- Gift certificates from Hanley General Store in Jeffersonville
- 5 lb of Neptune Harvest from Charlie at Brookfield Ag in Northfield
Current Sponsors: Boyden Farm, Wilbur's Dog, Robot Optimizers, Hubcats, Trattoria La Festa, Foote Brook Farm, The Stowe UPS Store, Bee's Knees, Cold Hollow Cider Mill, Hanley General Store, Brookfield Agriculture.
We are also looking for other sponsors to offer prizes and rotten (or otherwise) vegetables for hurling.
Contact: Dave Jordan (802) 888-2910
Current list of entries.
Other states hold their own Pumpkin Chuckin' contests. Ludlow, Vermont holds a Zukapult contest to fling zuccinni. As far as we know, this would be the first (and long overdue) Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Contest.
see Wikipedia: Pumpkin Chunking
In modern times they are used to hurl pumpkins for distance and accuracy.
For example, here are plans for a tennis ball trebuchet. This is a 30 inch (axle height) Trebuchet and it is a working model suitable for learning the fundamentals of Hinged Counter Weight Trebuchet. The base is 34 inches long and 31 inches wide, making it suitable for many projects that are restricted to 1 meter dimensions.
Axles and Counter Weights (CW's)
Here is information about:
- FAT/F2K Trigger, the basic concept.
- Phssthpok's Rule, concerning how much CW to use.
- Parachutes to avoid head dings.
- Wheels and Trebuchets.
- Bracing an Axle.
- Pouch Roll, why sling anchor position is important.
- Taught Line Hitch
The trebuchet is a very simple, elegant device. It is just a lopsided teeter-totter with a fat kid (I'm not fat, I'm big boned!) on the short end and a pumpkin on the long end. The fat kid sits down and the pumpkin goes flying. Despite being a simple device, it is far from simple to perfect. There are at least 5 critical items that can be tweaked and many designs to be tried.
My hope is that good sportsmanship will be what this competition is all about. It isn't about who has the best trebuchet; it is about the beauty of the hurl itself, and the ability of design to let us surpass our physical limitations and make that pumpkin fly.
To throw is great, to hurl divine.
That would make a great t-shirt.
1. Captain: Dave Jordan
Team members: Melissa Jordan
Representing: Robot Optimizers Incorporated
Name of Trebuchet: Bad Boomer
2. Captain: Michael Wallace
Team members: Wallace family
Name of Trebuchet: Pumpkin Chuckin Airlines
Adult advisor(s): Bruce Wallace, Joyce Wallace
3. Captain: Rogers family
Team members: unknown
Representing: Jeffersonville, VT
Division: Throw for show
Name of Slingshot: Unknown
Adult advisor: Annie
4. Captain: Roger Allen
Team members: Troop 39 Boy Scouts
Representing: Troop 39 Boy Scouts
Name of trebuchet: T-Rex
Adult Advisor: Roger Allen
5. Representing: Enosburg Falls High School Physics
Name of Trebuchet: Moofasa
Adult advisor: Ryan Bushey
6. Captain: Unknown
Team members: Unknown
Representing: Cub Scout Troop #839 of Cambridge
Name of Trebuchet: Giantslayer
Adult Advisor: Tom Cook
7. Captain: Dave Barrows
Team members: Unknown
Name of Trebuchet: Unknown
8. Captain: James Spanier
Team members: Unknown
Name of Trebuchet: Unknown (May I suggest the Spanier Slinger?)
Current list of bands entered in battle-of-bands tournament: (Time slots are awarded in reverse order to when entry is received, the earlier the band enters, the later it plays)
1. Main contact: Dave Jordan
Band name: Honeybee
Type of music: soft rock
Time slot: 12:10 to 12:30
2. Main contact: Ian Robertson
Band name: Stonecutters
Type of music: Rock
Time slot: 11:30 to 12:10