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WCPC 2013 Day 2 Overview

Today was an incredible day for the trebuchet division. The winds were calm, and the weather was incredible all day with a mixture of clouds and ample sunshine coupled with mild mid-60s temperatures ruling the day, probably the best weather day we have ever had in our years at the chunk. Many machines shot personal bests, and another team, Launch-Ness Monster, joined the 2000-foot club! American Chucker also had a tremendous shot, and are currently in second with a shot of over 2200 feet. But perhaps the talk of the day was Yankee Siege's massive 2800+' shot that obliterated the standing World Record (and the European Record of 2504' from 2012, which was in reality the World Record coming in to this weekend).

We added some counterweight to NASAW Friday evening and took a test shot, which looked pretty good. The pumpkin we wanted to use for this second competition shot wasn't the most solid-looking pumpkin we've ever shot, but with us having some good luck shooting such pumpkins in testing this fall, we felt it would be fine. Well, we blew it apart on launch, and so we are now sitting in seventh place, roughly 1000 feet out of first place after several teams bumped ahead of us. Needless to say we have some work to do. However, we have a few tricks left up our sleeve for our final shot. We know we can get onto that podium yet and make things interesting!

In other division news, Onager remains in first place in torsion after a 2900-foot shot (they shot over 3100 feet yesterday), and Ethos, Roman Revenge, and Chucky all pied and none of those 3 yet have a distance in the books. Inertia II in centrifugal shot a personal best of over 2700 feet, possibly over the old World Record, except that Bad to the Bone is still sitting in first after their colossal 3200+' shot on Friday. In catapult, both Sir Chunks-a-Lot and Chunk Norris had what appeared to be tremendous shots, but Sir Chunks-a-Lot's Friday shot of over 2600 feet is still in the lead. And in human-powered centrifugal, our teammate Nick cranked his machine super fast and while he shot rather high, it was far, and only a few feet short of 1500 feet! He is currently ahead of Smokin' Lamas! In the regualar human-powered catapults, the hamster-wheel powered Shooda Noed Better leads at over 2000 feet! The Youth 11-17 trebuchet World Record is now over 1600 feet (and perhaps further?). Lots of World Records this year, and we are only 2 rounds in!

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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!!!