Rolls Report: Sept 25 & 26

With clear skies and temperatures in the 50s and 60s, eight teams made it out and put on a good show for us spectators.  There were new drivers still meandering down the hill with a slew of bags, but also some vets putting down times that would be competitive in April.  Three buggies ended up in the bales, and some others got close enough they could smell the hay on the way by.
In Attendance (buggies listed newest to oldest)

Org Saturday Sunday
AEPi Kamikaze Kamikaze
CIA Freyja, Renaissance, Firebird, Quasar Freyja, Renaissance, Firebird
Fringe Borealis, Bedlam, Blizzard Borealis, Bedlam, Banyan
PiKA Chimera, Knightfall, Zeus Chimera, Knightfall
Pioneers Chaos
SDC Avarice, Malice, Addiction, Rage Avarice, Malice, Addiction, Rage
SigEp Peregrine, Barracuda, Pandora Peregrine, Barracuda, Pandora
Spirit Seraph, Fuko, Haraka Fuko, Haraka

Observations (Saturday gallery | Sunday gallery)

  • Great to see Pioneers out on Sunday to bring the count of rolling orgs up to 8.  If sweepstakes keeps to the traditional threshold of 6 orgs being the minimum to roll, there’s not much room for anyone slacking off this year.  Everyone coordinate now on which night to have the Halloween parties.
  • There have been a couple of reports already of barricade-manners being polite and informative to passers-by (such as ourselves since alumni are tough to distinguish from the general public at first glance).  Definitely good for buggy PR and a welcome improvement from the pre-2009 standard, “GET OFF THE COURSE!!”
  • Peregrine’s steering seemed to fail early during its first roll Saturday putting the buggy into the curb just after hill 2.  The driver was fine, and Peregrine was back out on Sunday, so it must not have been a tough fix.
  • Avarice spun 90 degrees towards the inside bales after the chute apex before driver Laura Gurwitz pulled off an impressive save and continued rolling.  Somehow, those lateral forces on the rear wheels resulted in some crazy negative camber that didn’t look intentional.  From the sounds it was making on the way by, I think the front wheel might have been off kilter as well.  Still made it up the hill and back out for 5 more rolls on Sunday though.
  • Spirit’s Haraka (in red this semester) ended up in the outside bales on Saturday after a gentle spin.  A new driver was behind the wheel and it made me think that a spin like that is probably good experience for new drivers.  Now she knows what it feels like to lose control and there was no impact to make it unpleasant for her or the mechanics.  Spirit also seemed to have a rear wheel camber problem on a different buggy on a later roll.  A bump in the chute left the outside wheel positively cambered enough that it caught my eye immediately.  Are these kids using stainless steel or something?
  • Zeus also made use of the bales although the impact was more surprising and less gentle than Spirit’s.  I’m guessing a visibility problem of some sort was to blame, as Zeus made it cleanly through the chute and then abruptly steered into the bales just before they ended.  Knightfall slammed on the brakes at the chute flag and spun 360 degrees to a stop in the middle of the road.  Both drivers seemed fine.
  • SDC’s Addiction got its own bullet point in today’s report by going nose-first into the bales early in the chute on the last roll of the weekend.  I didn’t see this one first hand, so I don’t have any analysis to offer.
  • Fringe had both Blizzard and Borealis back on the course this weekend after a pair of incidents last weekend required repairs and re-caping of both buggies.  Good to have these early-fall mechanic drills to train the new guys.
  • Chimera, Banyan, and Avarice all put up fast times in that order.  Chimera’s fastest was actually pretty darn fast while Fringe and SDC seemed to be going fast enough to satisfy their veteran drivers without prepping the buggies for anything serious.  SigEp was also in the respectable speed category with Barracuda.  Spirit, CIA, Pioneers, and AEPi are just getting warmed up.  I just missed SN for the first time this year, as I could always count on them to dispute any mention I made of freeroll times.

Thanks to BAA treasurer Chris Stengel this week for helping out with observations and pictures.  Feel free to jump in with corrections, additions, or aggressive rants in the comments!

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