Thursday, October 29, 2009

Good Luck Yankee Siege!

The Yankee Siege trebuchet from Greenfield, New Hampshire is preparing for the 24th annual Punkin Chunkin World Championships in Bridgeville, Delaware. Good luck guys, hope you find the perfect pumpkin and nail that 2000 foot hurl!

Yankee Siege TrebuchetYankee 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

First Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival was a Smashing Success

Updated :

We raised over $1600 for the Lamoille Family Center! Great job guys!

Second Annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin Festival: Oct. 3rd, 2010 at Boyden Farm.

photo by ShayTotten: The big trebuchet lets one flyphoto by ShayTotten: "The big trebuchet lets one fly"

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')

All Middleweight distances were scaled up by 1.71 representing the distance they would have thrown if their trebuchet were 10 feet tall.

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.

All lightweight distances were scaled up by 2.92 to represent the distance they would have thrown if their trebuchet were 10 feet tall.

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
distance: 145" 1' (throwing a golf ball for show)
Overall Winner Best Trebuchet, The Golden Pumpkin, based on scaled distance:
The Thing (Dave Barrows, Eric Griffin, & Chris Fish)

Winner of Battle of the Bands:
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!

News coverage of the event:

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.
WPTZ. com (Channel 5) also showed a TV news report about the VTPC. Here is a still photo from the start of that report:

wptz video report: Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin rings in the fall-----
WCAX -TV had this news report.

Darren Perron / WCAX News:
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.

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.
WCAX News also had a TV video of the event. Here are a couple of stills:

WCAX: Pumpkin Chuckers Compete in CambridgeWCAX: Pumpkin Chuckers Compete in Cambridge----
smkvt has posted some great videos of the event:
And he took this picture:

Sudden Infant Treb DeathSudden Treb Death
ShayTotten took this picture at 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.

A big thank-you again to everyone.

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