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Team Urban Siege On Field and Firing

Team Urban Siege's new machine made it down to the field in Delaware for the 26th World Championships of Punkin Chunkin this morning around 9AM. Unlike Medieval Postal Service, this new machine only took us a couple hours to set up, and this was the first time we did a full set up on it straight through. It promises to get even easier in the years to come. We were inspected and ready to fire by early afternoon, but a hold on firing kept us from firing until late in the afternoon. We only had 2 shots all-time with this machine at this point, though both were terrific 1600-1700 foot shots (we didn't find one, the other was slightly downhill so getting a realistic distance is hard).

Once we eventually got to fire, we broke the first pumpkin into 3 pieces, the largest chunk went a mere 1100-1200 feet, which was good for Medieval Postal Service, not for this machine. The second shot completely redeemed the first however, blowing a shot nearly out of sight. We estimate it went somewhere near the WCPC Trebuchet World Record of 2034 set by Yankee Siege in 2009. We will know more once they start measuring on Friday.

Due to a change in how they are routing traffic, the air cannons are firing LAST this year. Trebuchets are first. We are pit 15, so get here EARLY to see us fire and root us on. The gates open at 8 AM each day this weekend.

Quite a few of our fellow trebuchet teams are on field and either set up or well underway. Tired Iron and Yankee Siege II, the new behemoth from Steve Siegers of Yankee Siege, arrived late yesterday and set up today. Great Gourd Experiment was ready to fire late this afternoon, though they did not yet. First in Fright was setting up when we left, and Bayesian Experiment was working on set up as well. Their new machine that they could not bring last year is massive, with close to 30 feet of drop. Launch-Ness Monster is ready to go (aside from maybe a safety inspection) and they also brought a machine to compete in the Open Catapult Division this year. Other teams on field today were Hurling Chunks, Cinderella's Revenge, and American Chucker was getting there as well.

Tomorrow we look forward to seeing Pumpkin Hammer, Shenanigans III (or is it IV now?), Merlin, and the other teams not here yet. The trebuchet division this year promises to be amazing. The weather is looking good, the machines are stepping up big time, and the formula is right for not only Yankee Siege's 2034 foot shot to be broken, but Excalibur's (Belgium's champion whipper trebuchet) 2266 as well. The question this year, at least on paper, is how many teams are going to break 2000 this year? It could be quite a few from the looks of things, but who knows once things start flying.

Stay tuned for more! Tomorrow we add some more counterweight and see how it looks!

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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!!!