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2008 Punkin' Chunkin' Preview

Matt went down to Delaware for the World Championships of Punkin Chunkin this year. Our future plans for entering in this big event have been accelerated. utilized. Plans are now being worked on for the machine we will enter. We have no realistic shot at winning probably even third place, due to limited resources, space, and transportation considerations (unless someone wants to help us out there :D). To win next year in the trebuchet division will need a 2000-plus foot shot, as in all likelihood anywhere from 1-3 trebuchets will break this mark. The top contenders at the moment are:

1. Yankee Siege, the current 4-time reigning World Champion of the Trebuchet Division, and rumored to have broken the 2000-foot mark this fall in practice before Delaware,
2. Pumpkin Hammer, the newly-rebuilt all-steel whipper that isn't quite ready to fire as such, but with a several-thousand pound counterweight, big distances are on the horizon, and
3. The Magic of Merlin, Chris Gerow's latest and greatest, which finally debuted this fall at the World Championships, and threw 828 feet with no counterweight and only a fraction of its total drop height utilized.

Of course, there is always the possibility of the unknown new arrival, but all three of the above could conceivably break that 2000-foot barrier next year. For us to build something large enough to even threaten 2000 feet is not doable right now, but we still want to compete, and as of right now, 4th place is very achievable. We shall see what our plans amount to, the hope is to be ready for the 2008 Chunk, but 2009 is more realistic at the moment. We shall see. Stay tuned for pictures and more information about this year's event.

In other news, those Jeckyl and Hyde plans promised several months ago are almost set. They needed to be redrawn, and this has been done, but some other work is needed to package them up into a coherent group that could be used to design or build from. Depending on time, they could be ready in a month, but as we are concentrating on the plans for getting a trebuchet ready for Delaware next fall, it may be a bit longer.

Also, information on making a solid pouch, complete with dimensioning information, is now available at the pouches page.

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Use "common sense" when operating trebuchets and catapults. Even little ones can be dangerous. Do not place anything you are not willing to lose in the plane of the arm rotation (this includes yourself, body parts, car windshields, cameras, etc). These catapults and trebuchets are capable of throwing just as far backwards as forwards, and the use of a backstop of some sort is recommended, though the use of one does not make the region behind it safe.

Also, just because the throw got away safely downrange does not mean the end of the danger. The arm is likely still swinging wildly along with the counterweight, and there is a sling whipping around. One thing many people fail to take into account is this sling; some people put a metal ring on the slip end of the sling and this ring can HURT when whipping around!

Have fun hurling, but please KEEP IT SAFE!!!