Saturday was again too soggy for Rolls, and practice was again called off early by Sweepstakes. Sunday, although a bit chilly, was sunny, dry, and finally buggies were making their way around the course. We had 7 of the 9 teams out (SigNu and PhiDelt still need capes), and it was a relatively smooth first day of Rolls. The local fauna seem to have forgotten about the morning traditions on Flagstaff and a few deer were meandering around the Freeroll before eventually scampering off. More pressing, there were no barricaders by the Scaife parking lot with the explanation being that the team didn’t show up for Rolls and was just going to eat the fine. There was also no outer barricade at Panther, just a small sign requesting motorists not run over the buggies. The barricaders themselves took a while to find their groove when it came to yelling at cyclists, leading to several bikes on the course throughout Rolls.
Flaggers seemed to either be quite out of practice getting to the hills on time or just too new to know what they should be doing and when. Getting some of the flaggers to their positions required driving them down the Freeroll after buggies had started rolling (resulting in only a brief on-hold period at the beginning of rolls). The PiKA flaggers had even greater issues and had to ask an alum in the Chute where they were supposed to go (no, that alum was not former PiKA). The boys then proceeded to fight American Gladiator style with the flags in the Chute turn and then climbed on the statue in front of Phipps before eventually finding their way to flagging positions.
Sweepstakes had some additional issues at top of the hill thanks to a water main break to Park Mansions which has forced them to repave their main driveway. Because of the closure, residents had to use the cobblestone road (sometimes called Hill 6) and be let through the barricade to leave via Schenley. Without a barricader to direct traffic, many annoyed motorists found themselves waiting for a an organization or two before someone found their way to open the barricade for them. The main driveway has been under repairs for the last several weeks and has no known completion date at this point.
|CIA||Icarus, Impulse, Equinox, Tempest, Orca|
|Fringe||Beacon, Bissa, Bolt, Boson|
|SDC||Malice, Havoc, Bane, Avarice, Vice|
|Spirit||Inviscid, King Pin, Seraph, Zuke|
Observations (Sunday Gallery)
- RoboBuggy – Transistor, with its various bits of circuitry and silicone, took the very first roll of the year! While the team isn’t attempting autonomous rolls yet, the members of Robobuggy seemed excited to be out.
- Apex – Apex came out this morning with only one buggy and three drivers. Two of the drivers are new as of this year, but everyone was rolling on bags for the morning. Going first meant that Apex was able to snag 4 rolls and send everyone around the course. After a small hiccup during an overzealous first push-off where the rear hatch popped off, their rolls were without incident. One observer was disappointed about the lack of Ember appearing at rolls, given that the team had some summer meetings and 2 months of prep time plus a week of rolls delay to get both buggies rolling. Also call your alumni, Apex, they miss you.
- CIA -Lots of fresh names and faces around CIA: 3 of the folks rolling Sunday were freshman. After starting the day with a run comprised of just their two experienced drivers, CIA rolled 5 buggies for the rest of the day. Their rolls were without incident and the whole team appeared to be running with the characteristic efficiency, and organization needed to function when you’re as large as CIA has become.
- Fringe – Fringe had the only real incident on the course today. During their 3rd and last roll the driver in the newly unpainted Bissa grazed the curb close to the Panther Hollow Bridge transition at a low speed. Many unconfirmed reports state an issue with the mechanics of the buggy and that the driver was unable to turn right. The driver extracted on site, and the buggy was carried away. Otherwise it was smooth and fast rolling. Some of their more experienced drivers were racking up window rolls.
- PiKA – PiKA makes a return to the course! After a year of absence we’re glad to see them back from their fishing trip. They came out raring to go. Both of their experienced drivers were off bags by roll 2 and blazing around the course. Their impressive speeds might have been a bit unexpected by the mechanical staff otherwise they would have done a better job securing Raptor’s hatch which blew off and landed in the street as they made the Chute turn during the second roll. The follow car recovered the hatch and rolls were not stopped. The brothers also had some issues getting all the pushers they needed out, and the team had to rely on the kind-heartedness of another org to complete at least one set of back hills.
- SDC –SDC in classic ‘SDC style’ rolled efficiently, smoothly, quickly, and quietly. All the drivers were off of bags by the end of the day. They had some of the most impressive roll outs of the day, but it’s a bit early to be commenting on the number of windows. Despite having all veteran drivers out, SDC did seem to have some new pushers learning the ins and outs of the bump and run.
- SigEp –SigEp came out charging, literally. The team set up at the bottom of hill one and ran flat out for their very first roll of the year. Unfortunately due to a miscommunication over zello between the chairmen and sweepstakes they were not yet cleared to roll. They were stopped at the top of hill one where a mechanic noticed their hatch was missing some hardware and the team was forced to scratch roll 1. The rest of their day was uneventful aside from a second miscommunication which they were able to catch early enough to reset and properly roll.
- Spirit –Spirit raced a smooth and mostly uneventful day. They rolled all 3 buggies all 3 times. During their last roll they had an incident where the second buggy in the lineup rolled very slowly and as they approached the Panther Hollow transition it was caught by the last buggy. The second driver gradually braked to maintain a safe distance between each buggy. No contact was made but both slowly drifted to a stop in the chute, lacking the momentum needed to get to Hill 3. Rolls were not stopped.
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