Saturday, November 6, 2010

World Championship Punkin Chunkin Roundup

World Championship Pumpkin Chunkin (WCPC) 2010

After two days of competition at the 25th Annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin (WCPC) 2010 in Delaware the trebuchet Pumpkin Hammer is leading in that category with a hurl of 1979 feet. 

Team Urban Siege from Rochester, New York, has been posting day-by-day accounts of the event. They are competing in the trebuchet class with a machine named Medieval Postal Service.

WCPC 2010 - Day 2 -- Posted 2010-11-6. Category: news
Another day gone at the 2010 World Championships of Punkin Chunkin. Some interesting results. The Day 1 leaders, Pumpkin Hammer, added counterweight and didn't change their sling, resulting in a late release netting them a much shorter shot than Friday's 1979. They have added more weight for Sunday, allegedly 2000 pounds total, and tweaked pin/sling. Time will tell if that gets them over the hump. American Chucker chucked their throwing arm 100 feet downrange and the pumpkin maybe 1300 or so, so they retain their day 1 shot as well which was just under 1800 feet. First in Fright added 300 pounds to his counterweight, tweaked his tuning, and blasted a TREMENDOUS 1920 shot, moving it into a close second place. Rumor has it that they are adding more weight tomorrow...
WCPC 2010 - Day 1
Testing Day
A Twitter report has American Chunker from New Hampshire in 2nd place after the first day (in the Air Cannon category):
Hey everyone, American Chunker is sitting in 2nd place after the first day of punkin! First shot was 3539', AMAZING!
Also, American Chunker posted this news item about the event:

According to the WCPCA President John Huber and another reliable source at Discovery the Mythbusters will be the 2010 Punkin Chunkin hosts! What a great match for the event. You can expect to see Jamie and Adam all weekend in Delaware - who knows you may even get to meet them. They will certainly boost the events fan base by a substantial margin. We can't wait to work with these guys, what an outstanding selection for this years hosts, the WCPCA has gone all out for the 25th anniversery!
Delaware On Line adds some more details regarding the Myth Busters hosting WCPC:

Boom goes the punkin  -- For the third year in a row, Discovery Networks will produce a special at this weekend’s event to be simulcasted Thanksgiving night on both the Discovery and Science channels with Savage and Hyneman serving as hosts. A one-hour “Road to Punkin Chunkin” documentary will air the night before, Nov. 24, on the Science Channel.

“Next to football games, turkey and pumpkin pie, Punkin Chunkin is a national Thanksgiving tradition,” Clark Bunting, Discovery Channel president and general manager said in a statement announcing this year’s programming, which will be filmed at the event site near Bridgeville at the Wheatley Farm.

It’s hard to underestimate the power of the Discovery Channel exposure for Delaware’s quirkiest event, which officially kicks off Friday at 7:30 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. Sunday with the naming of this year’s champion. Before 2008, the event drew about 30,000 to 50,000 spectators. Last year’s record crowd of 80,000 is expected to be surpassed this year....
 Punkin Chunk sounds like it's becoming one big party.

Delaware Online:
Punkin' Chunkin' draws a roarin' crowd -- Mostly clear skies and crisp fall weather welcomed tens of thousands of people to the cornfields outside Bridgeville today for the second day of the event, which has grown from a handful of friends figuring out ways to toss pumpkins around to a national tourist-heavy event with cable TV coverage, corporate sponsorships, live entertainment galore, kids’ carnival rides and food vendors of all types.

It would also not be surprising to learn that the area has the highest short-term per capita rate of alcohol consumption in the United States, as countless visitors hauled in cases of beer, set up camping chairs and portable shelters, and settled in to party and watch slingshots, trebuchets and air cannons effortlessly toss pumpkins far across a farm field. Total attendance is expected to surpass last year's record of 80,000.

Erik Heilman of Washington, D.C., was in Ocean City, Md., for a bachelor party, and he and his buddies decided to spend the day at the chunk.

“It’s pretty cool – I’m impressed,” said Heilman. “It’s always fun to get a bunch of people in a big field with beer, and when you add flying vegetables – there’s no way that’s not going to be a party!”...
Here is a very interesting story about an innovative new steel trebuchet from New Hampshire named the Launch-Ness Monster that is competing in Delaware. They have used a new design feature: a curved track for the counter weight. How cool is that? We'll have to find some better pictures of their design.

Nashua Telegraph:
Team heads to Punkin Chunkin championship -- [Jay] Goodell and [Michael] Powers’ computer-aided methods may draw some heat in Delaware. There is something of a divide between the more traditional hobbyists who design their machines by hand and the younger engineers, many of whom use computer programs for their designs, Goodell and Powers said.

But the machine itself, which features a number of state-of-the-art advancements, will draw nothing but admiration from across the pumpkin chunkin community, the team members said. The two designed the machine to include a rolling arm and a curved weight track that have never before been used in pumpkin chunkin competition, they said.

The arm, designed to slide along a slanted base while it propels the pumpkin, is able to build momentum and transfer energy more quickly to the pumpkin without knocking it off, said Goodell, who designed his first trebuchet five years ago for the Milford Pumpkin Festival. And the curved track allows the counter weight to drop straight down then curve slowly to a stop rather than crashing to the ground, like other machines, he said.

“It’s been talked about, but I don’t think it’s ever been done,” Powers said. “No one’s taken it this far anyway.” ....

Work being done on the Launch-Ness Monster

WGMD 92.7 FM: Schedule of Events at WCPC 2010