34 degrees at sunrise; now we’re talking real hardcore rolls weather, and it seems it was too real for 4 of our teams, but DeltaForce wasn’t scared and joined the roster of rolling orgs. Warm sun made it seem warmer than it was and a lack of wind kept the leaves off the course. Saturday was cancelled in advance to allow some mid-semester break relaxation, and Sunday was only 80 minutes long (as the sun rises later and later) but managed to fit in plenty of excitement.
|CIA||Ascension, Freyja, Renaissance, Firebird, Quasar|
|Fringe||Borealis, Banyan, Blizzard|
|SDC||Bane, Avarice, Malice, Rage|
|SigEp||Mamba, Barracuda, Pandora|
|No-Shows||AEPi, KapSig, SigNu, Spirit|
Observations (Sunday Gallery)
- Buggy welcomed DeltaForce onto the course as the newest new team to try their luck at buggy. In case you missed the foreshadowing last week, DeltaForce is a DDD / DTD co-ed greek partnership. DTD made a run at buggy in the 2009-2010 season with a Pioneers buggy they re-named Bethany. I had expected to see them out with Bethany again, but it makes sense they moved on since they couldn’t keep it rolling well enough to make it to raceday that year. DeltaForce has arranged a long-term loan of KDR’s 2007 buggy, Perun which should serve them much more reliably and really raises the prospects of the org’s success this year. As far as I know, they are planning on rolling it under a new name, but that name has not yet been selected. With a reliable buggy, they can focus on learning their way around the sport. It was really cool to see how supportive the rest of the buggy community was of DeltaForce. From drops to their first roll to how to get the driver in and out, other orgs were nearby with helpful advice. They’re off to a good start, making it through their first day of rolls without incident — which is more than most of the other orgs can say this weekend.
- SDC’s Bane had an up and down day. SDC seems committed to speed this early in the season, floating Bane off the road before its rolls. Early in the day, it put down what I would guess was the fastest roll of the day, just streaking down past the chute flag, cleanly through the chute, and then striking fear into the hill 3s with a roll out that left the pusher playing catch-up until well past the plug. At the end of the day, Bane came down quickly again, but this time fate revealed how close to the edge it is rolling. What started as a pretty simple spin (granted at high speed), got dramatic when the polyurethane broke free of the rims on both the front and outside wheel. It should be noted that the spin came first and the tires broke free only after they were sliding sideways on the pavement. Bane ended up hitting the bales nose-first and then again tail first before stopping while the tires bounced around on the road. Bane’s driver has among the most rolls on the course this semester and her line looked fine, but it couldn’t quite hold on. It seemed like she was a little shaken up by the incident but thankfully not injured.
- SigEp’s Pandora was rolling without the copious squeaks and screeches it had become known for in the last couple of weeks, but got back into the headlines when it lost its front hatch in the chute. The driver hit the brakes as the cold wind hit her in the face and ended up in a spin. She got out cheerfully joking about insurance rates on the buggy and the mechanics committed to the use of even more duct tape in the future. Mamba and Barracuda continue to roll well in a rotation with Pandora getting each of their 7 drivers some time on the course.
- CIA’s headline achievement for the weekend was adding a male driver to the roster. He got a couple of rolls in Renaissance complete with the speakers mounted on the shell blasting CIA’s now-familiar motivational playlist. I would never judge a female driver for going slow on her first rolls, but in a bout of reverse-sexism I can’t seem to suppress I’ll note that he sure didn’t set any speed records with a full set of 5 bags that looked like a proper drag-chute. Ok, I’m just jealous he got to drive and I never will.
- Fringe wasn’t pushing the speed quite as much this weekend without Bonsai on the course, but Borealis and Banyan were getting full speed hill 2s each time. Blizzard and her new driver continue to have trouble getting around in one piece without stops. After taking last weekend off, Blizzard was out with a pieced together faux paint job but stopped twice, both times before the monument.