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Field is Ready for the Chunk

The field is mostly filled now for the 2011 World Championships of Punkin Chunkin. We fired a total of 4 times today. All went forward, though the first two broke small chunks off of the punkin. We discovered a small issue with our sling, fixed that, and the last 2 shots went out cleanly. Unfortunately, on the second shot of the day we slightly bent our counterweight axle (we had added more counterweight), but we solved that with the addition of a couple of strips of wood for the boxes to land on instead of bending the axle so bad. Things looked no worse on the last 2 shots. Those shots were a bit high in trajectory, but not terribly, and we shall see what tomorrow brings.

Pumpkin Hammer arrived today and fired in the afternoon. American Chucker fired a few nice shots. First in Fright also had some nice shots. Yankee Siege II had several shots misfire when the sling came off of the release pin too early. We shall see what they do for tomorrow. Bayesian Experiment fired at the end of the day today as a part of their safety inspection. Unfortunately they had a catastrophic misfire where their throwing arm hit one of their towers and caused a lot of damage. It sounds like they are not likely going to have it running this weekend, but who knows. Overall, the field looks very solid this year and there is likely to be numerous 2000-foot shots this year. We will know more tomorrow.

Just a reminder, the mechanical teams are firing first this year. Get here EARLY, Yankee Siege II is on the clock at 8AM and we are probably no more than about 30-45 minutes after that. We intend to be competitive this year, but you never know until you fire!

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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!!!