100 Years of Buggy History – 2016

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Reminder: Along with these 2010s posts, we’re also doing a Raceday Rewatch, so you can join us at this link on Friday at 5pm ET (or rewatch it on your own later): 2016 Rewatch

This week, the 100 Years of Buggy History series heads to 2016. Newly paved roads and good weather led to lots of practice rolls, which helped some teams on Raceday, but not others. Spring Carnival moved to the buggy course, a missed pushbar decided a winner, and can you guess how many buggies PiKA entered this year? Go Fish.

2016

Raceday: Prelims on Friday, April 15 at 8:00am; Finals on Saturday, April 16 at 8:00am

Sweepstakes Committee: Edward Cao (Chair); Guochen Shen (Ass. Chair); Griffin Harbach (Safety); Hannah Lyness (Design)

Men’s Results: (1) SDC A – Malice (2:03.10); (2) SDC B – Avarice (2:08.06); (3) CIA A – Equinox (2:08.88); (4) Fringe A – Bissa (2:13.75); (5) CIA B – Icarus (2:16.63); (6) SDC C – Bane (2:19.63)

Women’s Results: (1) CIA A – Equinox (2:31.06); (2) Fringe A – Bissa (2:35.94);(3) Spirit A – Inviscid (2:37.71); (4) SDC B – Avarice (2:39.69); (5) Fish A – Cleona (2:42.36); (6) SDC C – Bane (2:45.30)

Design Comp: (1) Fringe – Boson; (2) Spirit – Inviscid; (3) CIA – Equinox

Other Awards: (People’s Choice) Spirit – Seraph; (Chairman’s Choice) PhiDelt; (Spirit of Buggy) Fringe; (T-Shirt) CIA

Weather: Sunny, 46-63 Degrees on Friday; Sunny, 48-65 Degrees on Saturday

Raceday Video Playlist: 2016 Races (Full)

Prediction Score: 14/55 Men’s, 15/40 Women’s (Compubookie); 22/55 Men’s, 29/52 Women’s (Ben Matzke)

  • Midway Meets Buggy.  Following Spring Carnival 2015, construction officially got underway on the new Tepper Quad.  This meant that the Carnival Midway, housed on the Morewood Gardens parking lot for a significant period of time, needed a new home.  After much discussion and debate, that location was found in the CFA Parking Lot (part of the buggy course in the early 1920s).  This had pros and cons.  On the positive side, it brought the main Carnival events – Booth and Buggy – together in one location.  Now, as soon as Raceday is over, you can immediately wander over to Midway to check out the booths.  On the downside, the new addition of Midway to the edge of the Buggy course caused significant displacement of team trucks at the starting line.
  • PiKA Goes Fishing.  PiKA had come off of their disappointingly close 2015 campaign with a renewed vigor for Buggy.  They only missed one weekend of rolls in the Fall, and in the Spring they debuted a new buggy, Cleona, to pair with their holdovers, Banshee and Raptor.  With 3 buggies, 2016 would have been the first year since 2011 that PiKA raced more than 2 Men’s teams.  That all changed about 2 weeks before Raceday.  At some point between rolls on March 26 and rolls on April 2, PiKA found themselves in front of the All Greek Community Standards Board for an incident reportedly involving alcohol.  We don’t have the details of the incident or the Board’s finding (it apparently did not reach the level of “news” found in The Tartan), but the end result was that PiKA was prohibited from participating in Buggy for Carnival 2016.  PiKA asked Sweepstakes for permission to race anyway, but Sweepstakes opted not to get involved in a greek life matter.  However, PiKA said “we don’t give a carp” and came up with a workaround.  A number of their brothers, including some of the buggy team, had been members of the CMU Fishing Club.  So on April 2, just 2 weeks before Raceday, Fishing Club made its debut in buggy, with loaner buggies from PiKA.  However, there were conditions put on Fishing Club’s addition to the Buggy roster at the late hour and as a workaround to the AGCSB’s ruling.  Fishing Club was not allowed to have more than half of its team members be brothers of PiKA (so 3 pushers could be PiKA brothers, with 2 pushers and the driver as non-brothers).  In addition, the drivers and buggies were required to qualify as if they had not previously rolled this year, though the punishment was deemed to have taken effect for the weekend of March 26, so Sweepstakes counted the rolls obtained on March 26-27 as rolls for Fishing Club.  When it came to Heat Selection, Fishing Club was treated as a new organization, meaning that they found themselves at the bottom of the selection list.  Lastly, although the rules prohibit organizations from entering more than 1 new team per division in a year (which would have limited Fishing Club to just 1 Men’s and 1 Women’s team), the chairmen voted to allow Fishing Club to race 2 teams. Unfortunately, they could only get their new buggy, Cleona, qualified, leaving Banshee and Raptor to flounder on the sidelines for a year.
  • The Loss of Fire Marshall Bob.  Sadly, on August 16, 2015, the Buggy community lost a legend.  Fire Marshall Bob Anderegg, who had been at CMU for 50 years and had conducted fire safety training and fire inspections for all teams since the fire rules were put in place in 1987, passed away at the age of 77.
  • More Roads Paved.  In late 2014, Carnegie Mellon and the City of Pittsburgh had reached a cost-sharing agreement to repave Frew Street, with CMU picking up 1/3 of the cost (a portion coming from Sweepstakes).  However, by the time the arrangement had been completed, the asphalt factories had already been shut down for the year, and thanks to the bad weather to start 2015, by the time the factories reopened it was too close to Raceday.  All that meant was a delay in the paving, and that paving finally took place on May 13-14, 2015.  This meant that road conditions were about as optimal as could be hoped for during Raceday 2016, with Frew Street having been paved that year, Schenley Drive from the stop sign to the Chute the year before, and the front hills within the past 10 years.  So there was a lot of hope for a course record (or, at the very least, faster times that 2015’s record slow year).
  • Getting Burned on Hill 3.  Of course, the freshly paved back hills meant that the Chute turn was cleaner and that buggies would have smooth roadways on their way up to Hill 3 (no more braking wheels on potholes).  But even though teams had a full year to practice those Hill 3 pickups, on Day 1 of Raceday, the Women’s teams seemed to forget what they learned over the year.  Nearly every Women’s team got absolutely destroyed by the Hill 3 rollout (from my notes, those botched pickups visible on the TV footage included SDC C, CIA B, Spirit A, SigEp A, SDC B, CIA A, Fringe A, and PhiDelt A).  In fact, the only team who seemed to realize that buggies were rolling out well was SDC A, who overcompensated in the last Women’s heat of the day and overshot where the buggy would need to be picked up, having to come back down the hill a bit to pick up the buggy.
  • You Win Some, You Lose Some.  The other consequence of paved roads of course, especially when you combine it with sunny and warmer weather, is that buggies go faster.  And that was the case in 2016 as well, particularly for SDC.  After a down year in 2015, they were back in full force in 2016.  Even with the bobble on the Hill 3 pickup for SDC Women’s A on Friday, they still managed to put up a 2:26.57 in the Prelims, the fastest race since 2010 and 8 seconds ahead of 2nd place CIA.  On the Men’s side, they were even better.  With a pusher roster consisting of CMU football’s all-time leading rusher, Sam Benger, on Hill 1 and all-time leader in sacks (and future-XFLer) Brian Khoury on Hill 4, and a top tier driver in sophomore Annie Black, SDC Men’s A obliterated the course record they set in 2009, stopping the clock in 2:02.50, 7.5 seconds ahead of second place CIA A.  Of course, Saturday was a bit more of a mixed bag.  The Men’s A team wasn’t quite as fast but still easily won their 5th straight title, with a 2:03.10.  On top of that, SDC was able to make it a 1-2 finish, as their B team paired up with their A team in the final heat of the day and improved by 7.5 seconds, clocking in at 2:08.06 and just edging out CIA A for 2nd.  However, the Women’s races didn’t go quite as well. With a push team comprised of several members of the CMU Women’s basketball team, including CMU’s all-time leading scorer, rebounder, and shot blocker Lisa Murphy on Hill 2, Malice was on a course record pace early and crossed the finish line in 2:25.80, just 0.2 seconds off the 2009 record.  Unfortunately, just as the buggy crossed the line, the Hill 5 pusher seemed to get a little unstable and briefly lost her grip of the pushbar.  That slight slip-up was all it took for the team to be DQ’d for a pushbar violation, a heartbreaking end to SDC’s 2016 Raceday and gifting CIA their second consecutive Women’s title.
  • New Buggies.  As noted above, PiKA built their first new buggy in a few years named Cleona (though since the buggy debuted for Fishing Club, maybe it’s technically a Fishing Club buggy?).  SDC did something a little unusual for the 2015-2016 year – they debuted a new buggy in the Fall!  Completed after Raceday 2015, the new (very) dark green buggy, Havoc, never made it out to the course prior to Raceday 2015, but it showed up on the first day of rolls for the 2015-2016 school year and continued through to Raceday.  Fringe would keep their streak going with another new buggy named Boson.  CIA also built yet another year in a row, but after a few straight years of standard trikes, they decided to go back to the reverse trike style with Tempest.  Lastly, SigEp also rolled out a new buggy, Hydra, though it had its share of issues.
This VERY green buggy, Cleona, doesn’t look much like a PiKA buggy, so it’s fitting that in 2016, it actually belonged to the CMU Fishing Club (from the BAA Gallery; uploaded by Natalie McGuier)
  • Hail Hydra.  From the outside, SigEp was having a bit of an odd year.  After finishing 2nd in Men’s for 3 straight years, they didn’t seem to have much enthusiasm during 2016.  For rolls, they only brought out Kraken and Pandora, neither of which rolled all that fast.  And it seemed that they would go into Raceday with just those two buggies.  But on Truck Weekend, they debuted their new build, Hydra.  Doing everything that they could to get enough rolls in, Hydra was one of the few buggies to roll on cold, wet roads on Saturday of Truck Weekend, and managed to get just enough rolls in on Sunday to qualify.  But getting all of your rolls in on 1 weekend isn’t great from a safety perspective, and it showed on Raceday.  After advancing to the Finals on the Men’s side, SigEp B’s Hydra suffered a catastrophic steering failure in the Chute.  The buggy was narrowly ahead of CIA B’s Icarus going into the Chute and everything looked fine at first.  But after the Chute turn had been completed and the buggy started heading towards Hill 3, the wheels on Hydra seemed to lock in a right turn.  As CIA B passed on the outside, Hydra suddenly turned right, well past the haybales, hitting and going over the small curb and flipping on its side.  The buggy slid up the grass on Flagstaff Hill and came dangerously close to hitting a tree.  The buggy thankfully avoided the tree and the driver was extracted, and she returned to the team’s truck.  But following the next heat, the driver reported not feeling well, and she was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons.  The good news is that she was fine, and would come back to be not only SigEp’s A team driver the following 3 years, but also the first female buggy chair of a fraternity (which we’ll cover more in 2019).  The crash was attributed, in part, to a lack of testing of the buggy, and it prompted a new rule from Sweepstakes the following year, limiting the number of rolls on Truck Weekend that can count towards a buggy’s qualification for Raceday to 5 (thereby requiring a buggy to come out to practice at least 1 additional week prior to Truck Weekend).
2016 – A scary moment during the 2016 Men’s Finals, as the steering mechanism on SigEp B’s Hydra suffered a catastrophic failure, causing the buggy to swerve right and hop the curve onto Flagstaff Hill, flipping the buggy on its side and sliding up the grass (from the BAA Gallery; uploaded by Lou Conley)
  • Brake Flag Policy.  The rule requiring a buggy to attend multiple weekends of practices wasn’t the only new rule to come out of Sweepstakes 2016. After a number of recent blown stop flags, including one on Sunday, 9/27, Sweepstakes instituted a new policy regarding brake flags.  Final discretion was up to the safety chair, but the punishment was pretty severe – if a driver failed to stop more than once when given a stop flag could be banned from Raceday for unsafe driving and inability to follow safety procedure. 
  • Not-So-Great Race. For the first time, Sweepstakes was actually granted a permit for the same day as the Great Race, September 27. It wasn’t immediately clear why the permit was granted this year when it had never been granted before, but Sweepstakes went along with it and got rolls underway. Unfortunately, it quickly became clear why the permits had not been granted in the past. The first problem came when all of the tow trucks were otherwise occupied in the morning, leaving one car left parked on Hill 5. Sweepstakes added some bales and warning signs around it, and it did not prove to be an issue. The bigger problem came from road detours. Due to closures on Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh city buses were rerouted, and the new route took them on Schenley Drive. As a logistical nightmare, Sweepstakes worked together with the barricaders and some willing alumni to help coordinate, so that the buses could be let through between rolls. But it was enough of a headache for Sweepstakes to decide never to do that again.
  • Mini-Raceday.  Mini-Raceday took place on Sunday, November 15.  Sweepstakes agreed to time the freeroll (crosswalk to Hill 3) and back hills for both Men’s and Women’s teams.  The overall fastest time went to SDC, who also took the fastest Men’s back hills.  Fastest women’s back hills went to CIA, while the fastest freeroll belonged to PiKA.  According to BAA data, the fastest buggy of the day was PiKA’s Banshee, clocked in at 35.9 mph in its first roll of the day (only Banshee and Malice cracked 35 mph on the day).
  • More Invisible Barricades?  As we pointed out last week, sometimes the outer barricades are apparently invisible to drivers of cars.  I don’t understand how, but on February 20, an Uber driver plowed through the outer barricades leading into the Chute.  Thankfully, he was stopped before he could plow through the inner barricades as well.  Of course, even when you plan properly, the barricades don’t always do the trick.  On the Sunday of Truck Weekend, a car came through the barricades claiming to be going to Phipps.  But instead of turning right immediately into Phipps, the driver apparently lied and the car started driving up Schenley Drive, just as a Spirit buggy was coming down the freeroll.  Thankfully, the car was stopped before a disaster could have occurred.
2016 – A very impatient Uber driver managed to make his way through the outer barricades, but was stopped before he could get through the inner ones (from the BAA Gallery; uploaded by Ben Matzke)
  • Predictions.  Compubookie’s 2016 predictions were posted so late that they would be useless as a betting tool.  But that’s probably for the better, as Compubookie wasn’t exactly accurate in 2016.  His predictions on the Men’s side were a bit of a shock, as Compubookie pegged Spirit A to win their first race since 1998.  On the Men’s side, he went with (1) Spirit A, (2) SDC A, (3) Fish A, (4) CIA A, (5) SDC B, (6) Fringe A, (7) Spirit B, (8) SigEp A, (9) CIA B, and (10) Apex A.  On the Women’s side, he expected SDC to get back on top, with a Top 5 of (1) SDC A, (2) CIA A, (3) Spirit A, (4) Fish A, and (5) Fringe A.  The more accurate predictions came from the BAA’s Ben Matzke, who published his predictions in the annual Raceday Preview (he actually gave these dating back to 2013, but we forgot to include them here – if you go back to those years in this series, you’ll see his predictions have been added).  Ben was able to correctly predict both winners. For the Men’s races, Ben picked (1) SDC A, (2) CIA A, (3) Spirit A, (4) SigEp A, (5) Fringe A, (6) Fish A, (7) SDC B, (8) Apex A, (9) CIA B, and (10) SigEp B.  On the Women’s side, he went with (1) CIA A, (2) SDC A, (3) Fringe A, (4) SDC B, (5) Fish A, (6) SigEp A, (7) Apex A, and (8) Spirit A.
  • Heat Concerns.  Initially, Men’s Prelims Heat 1 was supposed to have SDC C in Lane 1, Spirit B in Lane 2, and Fringe D in Lane 3.  However, after Heat Selection, Sweepstakes took another look at this heat.  They were concerned about how close SDC C and Spirit B could be (and Spirit had been having trouble throughout the year making it through the Chute cleanly), so under Rule 10.4.4, Sweepstakes made the determination to split the heat in 2.  SDC C was therefore set up to race alone in the first heat of the day out of Lane 1, with Spirit B and Fringe D running in Heat 2 from lanes 2 and 3.
  • Women’s Notable Heats. Below are some of the notable Women’s heats from 2016 (not including all the missed Hill 3 pickups):
    • Prelims Heat 1 – SDC C’s Bane in Lane 1 went up against CIA B’s Icarus in Lane 2 to kick off Raceday 2016.  Contrary to their lane position, CIA went into the freeroll first and had the advantage early in the freeroll, with SDC catching up later in the freeroll.  CIA stayed ahead until late in the back hills, and although CIA won the heat, it got very close at the finish line.
    • Prelims Heat 2 – This heat was supposed to contain 3 teams, but SigNu A never came out to the starting line, leaving just Fringe B’s Boson in Lane 1 and Spirit B’s Seraph in Lane 2.  Spirit won the up-and-over and went into the freeroll first, causing Fringe to tuck behind.  But Spirit’s year of spinning caught up to them on Raceday, and the buggy spun in the Chute, hitting the inner haybales.  Boson, close behind, managed to avoid incident.  Seraph actually bounced off of the haybales and the Hill 3 pusher ran down and began to push before the crowd in the Chute and the follow truck could get her to stop so that EMS could check on the driver.  Spirit earned a DNF.
    • Prelims Heat 4 – Apex B was the second women’s team of the day to fail to make it to the starting line.  Meanwhile, the race wasn’t close between SigEp A’s Kraken and CIA D’s Impulse, but at least CIA was styling in their formalwear in defeat.  But this was a terrible heat for buggies stopping.  Both SigEp and CIA failed drops after this heat.
    • Finals Heat 3 – This would end up being the winning heat, as CIA A’s Equinox got through the course cleanly.  Fish A’s Cleona also earned the Fishing Club their only official finish, a 5th place time.  Plus…fish puns.
    • Finals Heat 4 – SDC A’s Malice went up against SDC B’s Avarice, and as you would expect, SDC A blew out the rest of the field.  But, as noted above, the Hill 5 pusher missed the pushbar, resulting in a DQ.
    • Other DNFs and DQs.  Spirit C was the 3rd team who never made it to the starting line, though it’s unclear if they actually intended on doing so (no pusher was ever at the starting line).  They were scheduled to line up against SDC B’s Avarice and Fringe C’s Beacon in Prelims Heat 5.  SigEp A’s Kraken suffered the SigEp curse and failed drops.  Fringe D’s Balius was DQ’d for a loss of mass in Prelims Heat 3, as the rear hatch was not taped down and therefore flew off during the freeroll.  Lastly, CIA C also suffered the SigEp curse and failed drops after Prelims Heat 8.
  • Men’s Notable Heats. Below are some of the notable Men’s heats from 2016.
    • Prelims Heat 2.  Once again, Spirit had trouble making it through the Chute.  This time it was Spirit B’s Mapambazuko, coming out of Lane 2 against Fringe D’s Bolt in Lane 3 (there was no buggy in Lane 1 due to Sweepstakes’ decision to split SDC C and Spirit B into separate heats).  Spirit led into the Chute, but the driver was slightly too wide and ended up hitting the outer haybales.  Fringe was too close behind to get a stop flag but made it through the Chute cleanly.
    • Prelims Heat 3 – SAE A Hill 1 pusher Bryant Backus, pushing Lucy in Lane 2, gave SAE a big lead over Apex A’s Ember (Lane 1) and CIA D’s suit-clad pushers and matching buggy Orca (Lane 3) early, but Ember continued to gain on Lucy throughout the freeroll.  Apex pulled close to SAE on Hill 3 and caught up on Hill 4, with Apex getting the better of the Hill 4-5 transitions and going on to win the heat.
    • Prelims Heat 4 – SigEp B’s Hydra started its eventful Raceday on the Men’s side from Lane 1, going up against SDC D’s Havoc in Lane 2 and Fringe B’s Boson in Lane 3.  SigEp and Fringe were close going into the freeroll with SigEp slightly ahead, but the Fringe driver felt that she could pass.  She made multiple attempts to pass in the freeroll but each time couldn’t quite get there and had to adjust.  She made her third and final pass attempt in the Chute, but this time didn’t go well either.  Boson made contact with Hydra as they turned into the Chute, and the two buggies came together again as they rolled up to Hill 3.  The contacts cost SigEp more than Fringe, and it was enough to give Fringe the edge in the race.  However, Fringe B was deemed to be at fault for the contact and was DQ’d.  SigEp would have been granted a reroll, but their time of 2:19.79 was sufficient to make it to Saturday anyway, so no reroll was needed.
    • Prelims Heat 6 –  A particularly tough race for its participants came from Heat 6, where SDC B’s Avarice in Lane 1 went up against Spirit C’s Seraph in Lane 2 and Fish A’s Cleona in Lane 3.  The battle was up front, as both SDC and Fish were close together up the front hills, but Fish had a narrow edge and went into the freeroll just in front.  Cleona pulled away in the freeroll and made it around the course cleanly.  Unfortunately, it was a little too clean.  Right before the buggy reached the finish line, the Hill 5 pusher pulled his hamstring and as a result was unable to catch the buggy, resulting in a Pushbar DQ (the second consecutive Pushbar DQ for organizations involving pikes).  Behind them, SDC had trouble in the Chute, as Avarice began to spin.  Somehow, the driver made a good save, preventing the buggy from hitting the inner haybales and giving her team a chance to earn a trophy.  The near-spin did result in a pretty significant decline in speed, but it also allowed for SDC to put its two buggies against each other in the Finals and gave room for a significant Day 2 improvement.
    • Prelims Heat 9.  SigEp’s bad Raceday continued to get worse, as SigEp A’s Kraken went up against Apex B’s Phoenix and CIA C’s Impulse.  Kraken was well out in front and made it through the Chute cleanly.  But about halfway through the Chute, the front left wheel suffered a bearing failure and came loose, leaning leaning out from the buggy.  As the buggy turned up towards Hill 3, the front left wheel of Kraken suddenly flew off and the buggy ground to a halt.  Both CIA and Apex were able to pass the now-stopped Kraken, but the drama for CIA was only just beginning.  CIA was in front of Apex, but at the Hill 3-4 transition, the CIA Hill 3 pusher gave his shove and then fell towards the Apex buggy’s line.  He jumped at the last second, just barely avoiding Phoenix, and landed hard on the curb.  Apex then passed CIA on Hill 4.  And as the CIA Hill 5 pusher headed for the finish line, he appeared to injure himself.  About 50 yards before the finish line, the pusher tripped and fell, causing the buggy to roll across the finish line by itself and resulting in a pushbar DQ.
    • Prelims Heat 10 – The final heat of the day is notable not because of a close race or a spin.  Instead, it’s notable because SDC A’s Malice, going up against SigNu A’s Bungarus Krait and AEPi A’s Kamikaze, broke the course record by almost a full second.
    • Finals Heat 1 – As noted above, SigEp’s Raceday went from bad to worse.  Just as CIA B’s Icarus made a move in the Chute to pass SigEp B’s (with A team pushers) Hydra on the inside, Hydra’s steering malfunctioned, causing the buggy to hit the curb past the haybales, flip over, and slide up Flagstaff Hill, nearly hitting a tree.
    • Finals Heat 3 – Spirit A’s Inviscid went up against Apex A’s Ember, but unfortunately for them, neither would qualify for a trophy spot.  Spirit was ahead the entire race, but at the Hill 3-4 transition, the Hill 3 pusher decided he wanted to give an extra-large shove.  To do that, he held on to the buggy for a little too long, and crossed the transition line, resulting in a 3/4 Transition DQ.  Apex, meanwhile, was cruising along behind Spirit as they reached Hill 5.  The Hill 5 pusher gave slightly too large of a shove, however, and went all out to catch up to the buggy at the finish line.  The pusher made a full dive to get the pushbar as the buggy crossed the finish line, attempting a faceplant to save his team like SDC had in 2015.  The good news is that he did manage to get his hand on the pushbar.  The bad news is that the buggy’s nose had already crossed the finish line before his hand could get on the buggy.  Therefore, Apex A was DQ’d for a pushbar violation.
    • Finals Heat 5 – Again, not a particularly notable heat, but it did contain both the first and second place teams, with SDC A’s Malice going up against SDC B’s Avarice.
  • The Exhibition Roundup – 2016.  There was some excitement in the Exhibitions in 2016, though not necessarily in the way that people would want to see in an exhibition.
    • Exhibition Heat 1 – SigNu’s Bungarus Krait (Lane 1) vs. PiKA’s Cleona (Lane 2) – Grudge Match.  This Grudge Match took place on Friday, between the Women’s and Men’s heats.  PiKA’s Hill 1 pusher gave it his all on the transition, going down after passing off the buggy.  SigNu got close at the end, but couldn’t pass.
      • PiKA – 2:44.94
      • SigNu – 2:46.23
    • Exhibition Heat 2 – Spirit’s Seraph (Lane 1) vs. Spirit’s Zulu Machafuko (Lane 2).  You’d think that Spirit would have planned an intra-organization race better, but that wasn’t the case.  Fuko led early and went into the freeroll first, but Seraph was the faster buggy and passed as the buggies made the Chute turn.  The driver of Fuko did swerve slightly after seeing Seraph suddenly appear to her inside, but overall it was a clean pass.
      • Spirit (Seraph) – 2:24.94
      • Spirit (Fuko) – 2:33
    • Exhibition Heat 3 – PiKA’s Cleona (Lane 1), CIA’s Orca (Lane 2), Spirit’s Mapambazuko (Lane 3).  PiKA used this exhibition heat on Saturday to race their A team, minus the Hill 5 pusher, who pulled his hamstring the prior day.  Meanwhile, behind them, Spirit beat CIA up Hill 1, but CIA Hill 2 pusher Ben Matzke gave the better shove and CIA went into the freeroll in the lead.  It was a good thing too, because Zuke spun out in the Chute, taking much too wide of a line and ending up spinning 180 degrees, coming to rest against the outer haybales.
      • PiKA – 2:11.86
      • CIA – 2:36.17
      • Spirit – DNF
    • Exhibition Heat 4 – SDC’s Havoc (Lane 1) vs. Fringe’s Balius (Lane 2).  Fringe’s push team included Faith Clayton, who Connor Hayes on the broadcast called one of the best Women’s pushers of all time.
      • SDC – 2:27.37
      • Fringe – 2:48.45
    • Exhibition Heat 5 – SigEp’s Kraken (Lane 1), Apex’s Phoenix (Lane 2), PhiDelt’s Perun (Lane 3).  SigEp was being pushed by their B team, who had been replaced by their A team in the Finals as a result of Kraken’s bearing failure on Friday.
      • SigEp – 2:18.35
      • PhiDelt – 2:40.92
      • Apex – 2:47.93
  • 2016 Photos. Below are a few non-gallery photos, as well as a select couple from the gallery.
2016 – CIA alumnus Jerry Carlson pushes Orca up Hill 5 in the CIA Exhibition Heat (from the 04-18-2016 Tartan)
2016 – Spirit A’s Inviscid gets pushed up the back hills on Raceday with Shaleena Jeeawoody driving (from the 04-18-2016 Tartan)
2016 – CIA B’s Icarus gets pushed up the back hills on Raceday with Ariana Daly driving (from the 04-18-2016 Tartan)
2016 – A squirrel decides that it’s found a fancy new nut in Spirit’s Mapambazuko during practice rolls on October 17 (from the BAA Gallery; uploaded by Lou Conley)

2 thoughts on “100 Years of Buggy History – 2016”

  • Heh.

    A split screen of Women’s Finals 3 & 4 would be more exciting than one would expect from the final result. The lead goes back & forth until Hill 4, at which point it becomes no contest. At the time, those would’ve been the 3rd fastest crosswalk (CIA) and stop sign (SDC) for which there is video, behind only PiKA’s 2004 record team. Possibly the record Spirit or PiKA teams of the 90’s or Fringe ’01 could’ve been faster to the crosswalk.

    That SDC’s A teams would return to domination was no surprise, but many prognosticators, myself included, underestimated SDC B’s depth.

    CIA once again had a driver pulling double duty in finals, pushing the B hill 2 then jumping in the A buggy for the next heat. She was on 5 in prelims, but they had to shuffle the lineup to make the timing work, thus the B team got slower. Thankfully their truck crew was up to the challenge, as was SDC’s with their A vs B heats.

    With good roads and plenty of practice time, we see the pattern of freeroll performance that continues to this day for Xootr-sized wheels: Spirit is fast in a straight line, CIA is fast around the corner but a step behind in a straight line. SDC/Fringe/PiKA are fast at both but with more individual variation around the corner. It’s hard for a neutral analysis to say how much is down to the driver, buggy, or wheels, since there’s no case where just one variable is changing between teams. Everyone has a place to improve, so the sport hasn’t found its limits yet.

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