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Team Urban Siege Drops to Third

This year has been a bad year for pumpkins. Today we destroyed one on our competition shot. The pumpkin was turned into a fine mist of bits similar to only how torsion machines and air cannons do to them. We are pulling massive g-forces with this new machine and the weak pumpkins this year are having trouble keeping together. We did take two test shots this evening and the first one bombed out there very nicely, albeit at a high trajectory. The second one was a weak-looking pumpkin and we blew that one to smithereens as well. The "good news" is that we are simply blowing up weak pumpkins. We have some 300 fps video of our shots clearly showing the pumpkin leaving the sling intact and then blowing up shortly thereafter, suggesting the pumpkins are failing due to a rebounding effect of the rind. More investigation is in order this off-season. We are looking for the best possible pumpkin for tomorrow's round 3 shot.

Day 2 saw a number of trebuchets improve from day 1. Nearly half the field of 19 machines had a zero for day 1 so this was not unforseen. First up, Yankee Siege II finally got off a shot that didn't go to their backstop and was a whopping 2322 or thereabouts! This breaks the "unofficial" World Record from Excalibur in Belgium of 2266'. Several other machines erased their zeros including Launch-Ness Monster at a little over 1100 feet. Ours pied. Tired Iron shot in the 1500s. American Chucker shot well under their round 1 shot as well. Pumpkin Hammer, with their machine patched back together had a solid though disappointing shot. It was over 1000 feet, but well short of the leaders. So after 2 rounds we are in third, American Chucker in second and Yankee Siege II in first. Merlin had a terrific shot of 1985', easily their personal best, congratulations guys! American Chucker looks about maxed out though not completely. So it might be up to Team Urban Siege and our new machine, NASAW, to take home the first place this year from Yankee Siege II! We are certainly hoping so.

This was not mentioned so far, but the new machine is named NASAW for North American Sliding Axle Whipper. This trebuchet is the first in the WORLD of this design at anywhere near a full-scale machine. And ours is competitive. We are absolutely out to win this year, and our goal is to hit a half-mile, or 2640'. That might be a bit of a stretch this year, but not by much. We easily could have added a couple hundred more feet on Friday with the right trajectory, and we have since added a fair bit of weight. The machine is holding up great too, there are a few small things to look at modifying for next year but nothing major. Here's hoping for that half-mile tomorrow!

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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!!!