13 times through the order in one weekend is enough to wear out fresh, energetic teams in September. For the teams running a little lower than they’d like on manpower (almost all of them) here in mid-November, this weekend was a real endurance test. But the drivers got huge amounts of practice and for the most part everyone had their act together. We also had some fun producing content this weekend with black and white photography on Saturday and a live streaming broadcast from the chute on Sunday.
|CIA||Ascension, Freyja, Firebird, Quasar||Ascension, Firebird, Freyja, Renaissance|
|Fringe||Bonsai, Borealis, Banyan, Bedlam||Bonsai, Borealis, Banyan, Bedlam|
|SDC||Bane, Avarice, Malice, Rage||Avarice, Malice, Rage|
|SigEp||Mamba, Pandora||Mamba, Barracuda, Pandora|
|Spirit||Zuke, Seraph||Zuke, Seraph, Haraka|
- Lots of rolls to be had with two clear long days and minimal incidents. Buggies made it around the course 94 times on Sunday in a little less than 2 hours. Compare that to 34 rolls on Oct 23rd when there were 80 minutes of daylight to work with.
- Bane got caught up in the outside bales on Saturday and sheared off the axle at the shell. Nobody caught a picture of it I don’t think, but when they carried it back up to the tent under a blanket, only one side had a protrusion where the rear wheels would be. SDC usually swaps parts out pretty quickly, but Bane wasn’t back out on Sunday. Bane had been going pretty fast and their buggies were drifting wide on a number of rolls, but they still usually have the balance worked out just right.
- Spirit only spun once this weekend with Seraph on Saturday; it was of the vanilla no-contact variety and they pushed her back up the hill after conferring with the safety chair. Haraka was sliding all over and coming very close to the outside bales almost every time on Sunday but managed to keep it inches away time after time. I can’t keep track of their tire experiments, but Haraka was rolling on a wide flat matte black compound that may have been new or at least not their default.
- DeltaForce is out every day and looking very reliable. They’ve got 22 rolls on the books and successful roll rate of 100% (not to jinx them). They were selling donuts to folks at the top of the hill to raise money for the team. I gotta love the spirit and it really makes me wish some of the other teams that started but didn’t make it in recent years (DTD, Kappa) had started with a buggy as solid and reliable as Perun. DeltaForce has been able to accumulate the keys skills and experience without endless frustrating set backs.
- SigNu made it out on Sunday, and although they scratched the first 3 rolls of the day, they made it out and around the course cleanly. Earlier in the year they rolled Skua with a female driver and didn’t complete any rolls after a couple of days on the course. This weekend they rolled Krait and joined the male driver club (with CIA). The U-Haul van follow car was just icing on the cake. Glad to see them back out.
- I just have to call attention to the fact that I caught not one, but two buggies making it through the chute two-wheelin’.
- On Sunday we experimented for the first time with doing a live streaming webcast of freerolls from a camera in the chute. The idea came up in the project zone this past week and since we had most of the necessary technological pieces already, we decided to just do it. Aside from a few glitches we’ve now figured out it worked pretty well and a number of people (including teams in their tents) tuned in live with many more watching at least a chunk of the recorded versionsometime later in the day.
- Fringe had 4 buggies in circulation each day, but only rolled 2 or 3 at a time. They weren’t the only ones low on manpower; most orgs scratched a roll or two, or kept one in the tent each roll. Nobody was out timing as far as I could tell, so we’re left to very rough estimates on speed.
- Four members of The Rez (aspiring buggy team based in a new dorm on 5th) were out on Saturday soaking up the experience as much as they could without having a buggy. I walked a lap around the course with them and was very impressed with the depth of their knowledge and detailed plans. They acknowledge that time is getting a little tight to start and finish their first build in time to learn the ropes and get to raceday, but they haven’t ruled it out. If they can pull that off, or find a buggy to buy or rent I don’t doubt they’ll be a good team to have around in the spring.