Friday, October 4, 2013

Official Results & Report - 5th Annual Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival

Quadcopter photo of Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin' Festival
Quadcopter photo of VT Pumpkin Chuckin' Trebuchet firing line
This past Sunday, September 29th, over 1500 paid attendees turned out to watch pumpkins being thrown more than 500 feet using state-of-the-art versions of the medieval “trebuchet” siege engine. The weather was warm and sunny for the fifth annual VT Pumpkin Chuckin’ Festival, which was held, for the first time, on the grounds of the Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa in Stowe. The event raised over $9,000 for the Lamoille Family Center in Morrisville VT.

Food and beverage was served to the festive crowd, while House of Dunn served up tasty live music throughout the event. For the kids, there was a “bounce house”, mini-Olympics, face-painting, pumpkin carving and pumpkin bowling. And in spite of warm weather, the Chili Cook-off was popular enough to run out of chili by 3pm.

19 teams (10 youth and 9 adult, from five states) set up small, medium, and large trebuchets in 4 divisions: Lightweight (for chuckers 10 and under), Middleweight Junior (17 and under), Middleweight Open, and Heavyweight. Each competitor had 3 opportunities to fling their proportionately-sized pumpkin (or tomato for Lightweight), while tweaking various settings on their machines to optimize the throw.

The crowd was thrilled to watch records being shattered in all divisions (as they were last year, as well). The longest throw was a 5 pound pumpkin, which flew 521 ft , after being chucked by Chris McGrody's (from NH) trebuchet, “Hammer of the Gourds”, in the Heavyweight division. However it was a Middleweight trebuchet, “Angry Pumpkins” from CT, that took the overall Best Design prize (after mathematical compensation for the weight and size differences), with a 349 ft. chuck of a one pound pumpkin. If Angry Pumpkins were scaled up to Heavyweight size, it would throw a 5 pound pumpkin a whopping 598 ft; almost two football fields!

The event organizer, Dave Jordan, is looking forward to an even more successful event next Fall, and the Stoweflake Resort has already offered their facility for next season. Dave would like to thank the many volunteers who contributed their time and equipment, the Lamoille Family Center and specifically the event sponsors: Stoweflake Resort, Stowe UPS store, Aubuchon Hardware, PP +D Brochure Distribution, Boyden Farm, Button Land Surveyors, Umiak Outfitters, Trattoria LaFesta, Bee's Knees, Stowe Soaring, and Innsbruck Inn.

Grand Prize results:

All trebuchets compete in their own division and the top three in each division get a trophy. The winner of each division gets a prize and a chance at the Grand Prize. The four winners are mathematically scaled-up to “Heavyweight size” to see which trebuchet threw the farthest for their size.

For the second year in a row, the Grand Prize was won by Dwight Snowberger from CT, whose floating arm trebuchet, “Angry Pumpkins”, improved by over 80 feet from last year to narrowly beat Team Jordan (Don Jordan from NY and his brother Chris Jordan from FL) with their King Arthur design trebuchet. The Jordan brothers also improved by about 80 feet from last year, and like last year, still got nipped by Snowberger.

Official Division results:

Lightweight Division (20 pounds max, 41” max, 3 ounce tomato, age 10 and under)
  1. Kinetic Pumpkins, Captain Alex Jaddus from VT, threw 80.3 ft.
  2. Tomato Crushers, Captain Nathan McGrody from NH, threw 76.5 ft.
  3. Dante's Little Spark, Captain Kenneth Damon from MA, threw 55.2 ft.
  4. Tomato Flinger, Captain Zeke Churchill from VT, threw 35.5 ft.
  5. Tomato Spitter, Captain Isaac Churchill from VT, threw 22.3 ft.
Middleweight Junior Division (100 pounds max, 70” max, 1 lb. Pumpkin, age 17 and under)
  1. Dante's Flame, Captain Ryan Brown from MA, threw 137 ft.
  2. Learning Together, Captain Lyndsay Gilcris from VT, threw 126.3 ft.
  3. Born to Fly, Captain Olivia Doty from VT, threw 64.2 ft.
  4. Life of Pumpkin Pie, Captain Connor Decker from VT, threw 54 ft.
  5. Evans Brothers, Captain Patrick Evans from VT, threw 34.9 ft.
Middleweight Open Division (100 pounds max, 70” max, 1 lb. Pumpkin, open to all ages)
  1. Angry Pumpkins, Captain Dwight Snowberger from CT, threw 349 ft.
  2. Team Jordan, Captain Don Jordan from NY, threw 331 ft.
  3. Queen Christine I, Captain Ray Chamberlain from VT, threw 310 ft.
  4. Pumpkin Launchinator, Captain Scott Fenton from VT, threw 206.5 ft.
  5. SUNY Plattsburgh Engineering, Captain Liam Harrison from NY, threw 185.5 ft.
  6. SUNY Plattsburgh Physics, Captain Dan Stowe from NY, threw 107 ft.
Heavyweight Division ( 500 pounds max, 120” max, 5 lb. Pumpkin, open to all ages)
  1. Hammer of the Gourds, Captain Chris McGrody from NH, threw 521 ft.
  2. Weapons of Medieval Destructions, Captain Nick Helms from VT, threw 397 ft.
  3. Dante's Inferno II, Captain Tim Brown from MA, threw 200 ft.
Grand Prize awarded to trebuchet with Best Design
  • Angry Pumpkins, Captain Dwight Snowberger from Connecticut, threw scaled-up distance of 598 ft.
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stitched quadcopter photo of VTPC Festival