Sorry, I’m a slacker, this is way late.  Here’s the silver lining though.  This is your last rolls report until the spring so now the drought you have to endure is two days shorter!  Plus, scroll down and check it out, this report is meaty.  Good weather, a fair number of teams (include one new one!), enthusiasm, and some speed made for a top notch finale to the semester.  SDC successfully defended their mini-raceday men’s title, but Fringe took the women’s case of beer.  More details on that below.

In Attendance (buggies listed newest to oldest)

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

Observations (Saturday gallery | Sunday gallery | Bonus gallery c/o AEPi)

  • By far, my favorite news item of the weekend is that KapSig showed up on the course, and did it in style with their own new buggy, Apache.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it’s been 10 years since a new team joined the ranks with a new buggy that they built themselves.  That was SigEp in 2000, and they are a pretty solid success story at this point.  Apache looks to be a pretty respectable first build … a reverse tryke on xootr’s with a flashy silver paint job and unabashed weave texture.  Their driver, Amy Revak, is a junior who drove all three of PhiKap’s buggies last year so they’ve got that experience working for them.
  • Things started off a bit slowly when Apache ran out of gas near the transition flag on its first roll Saturday.  The new mechanics in the follow car didn’t know what the procedure was, so they picked her up and put her on the sidewalk.  When sweepstakes arrived and heard nothing was wrong, they got her back on the course to finish the roll and start tallying qualifying rolls.  The rest of the weekend seemed to go pretty smooth, so good work KapSig!
  • It was great to see the roll order up to 9 orgs for the first time this semester, and everyone even made it out both days (although there were 12 this time last year).  It was interesting how the manpower was allocated with PiKA, SDC, and CIA rolling a total of 14 buggies on Saturday while the other 6 orgs had only 12.  The big teams were regularly collecting their buggies on hill 5 while they continued to send more down over hill 2.  Nothing wrong with this of course, just an interesting trend.  The counts evened out a bit on Sunday.
  • SAE apparently came out on Saturday but never got to roll because they didn’t have a follow car.  That confuses me on a lot of levels.
  • PiKA had the most dramatic chute incident of the weekend on Saturday, but I’m happy to report it was pretty mild. Nemesis spun fully around mid-chute but never touched a thing and came to a stop.  Chimera was following and got the brake flag, but then she spun too when she hit the brakes.  Both drivers were extracted and neither buggy made it back out for Sunday, but the drivers weren’t too bummed out.
  • Spirit had a clean weekend and had Fuko going fast enough to match their best times of the semester.  I think this debate was offline, but for the record, Spirit is rolling on 3 xootr-diameter wheels on each of their buggies these days.  For a while they kept the pneumatic in the front, but for the record, they’re all modernized now.
  • SigEp’s Barracuda had a really crisp spin on Sunday.  Usually spins of the oversteer variety look like they happen in slow motion (I’m sure the driver’s perspective is different).  You can normally tell that the driver is barely hanging on and then the back starts to slide out and then it’s lost.  Unless you’re driving a Spirit buggy, in which case you can still save it.  Anyhow, Barracuda’s spin was different.  She looked totally fine, cruising along and then she spun a perfect 180 degrees instantly and started rolling in reverse pretty smoothly.  It looked like she hit the e-brake button in a old video game before they had the physics worked out very well.
  • CIA’s Renaissance  had an awesome “pimp my buggy” end-of-semester set up with battery-powered speakers mounted outside the buggy near the pushbar.  The playlist was pretty varied, but always blasting.  Some of my favorites were “Move bitch, get out the way” when they were trying to come down the sidewalk past SDC, and the selection of motivational sports soundtrack classics like the the Rocky theme and Flight of the Valkaries.
  • Man, this is already super long and I haven’t even talked about Mini-Raceday.  The general approach was a bit less serious than in some recent years.  Sweepstakes’ timing was on the approximate side for starters.  Picture a single cell phone with a stopwatch function being used with gloves at a distance from the timing points.  They also never released all of the times as far as I know.  I think the winners were announced and each team’s times were sent to them privately.  I don’t get the privacy about times since anyone could be out there collecting them, but maybe I’m missing something.
  • SDC won the men’s contest with a crosswalk –> finish line time in the neighborhood of 1:46.5, or about a second slower than mini raceday last year.  I thought that they had figured out a clever mini raceday strategy on sunday when they were starting their rolls from straight up Schenley Dr. instead of rolling over from Tech St.  Starting from up there on the left gives you extra altitude and a straight shot for the shove so I could see it working.  It turns out that SDC didn’t have Sweepstakes time their Sunday rolls though, so I don’t know what they were up to.  Theories?  It’s good to see that SDC has plenty of their mojo after their bummer of a raceday last year.
  • Fringe won the women’s races with a time also about a second off of last year’s winning time, but I’m not sure how many orgs had women’s teams.  Probably more impressive is that they were less than a second behind SDC in the men’s race.  Last year the margin was more like 4 seconds.  It’s tough to say how predictive the push teams are for the independents this time of year, but so far things are looking more competitive between those two.
  • I don’t have mini-raceday times on PiKA, but my guess is they didn’t quite have their act together enough to be a factor.  They did look to be trying, but their freeroll times were 4-5 seconds behind SDC and Fringe, and the scene at the top of the hill was pretty chaotic every time they were up.  They were rolling 5 buggies which is enough to put any tent into chaos, but it will be interesting to see whether they pull it together in the spring to make it a three way race.  History would say they can put down a competitive time in their sleep, and they’ve definitely put down plenty of speed this semester.

We’ll have a couple of more wrap-up posts for the semester before we head out for the holidays, but I want to thank everyone who helped me produce the rolls reports this semester.  Looking back at posts from fall ’08 and even last year show how far we’ve come as an organization.  I’m a fan.  See you all out there as soon as the snow melts!

4 thoughts on “Rolls Report: Mini-Raceday and the end of the semester”

  • Thanks for the support. Speaking from all of the guys at KapSig (and personally,having an org to drive for again this year!), we’re stoked to be and active rolling organization!

  • I saw a SigNu (active?) out there on Saturday. He was standing in the Chute for about an hour. Could they be planning a spring comeback, or was it just someone who misses buggy?

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