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Punkin Chunkin Pictures

You may have noticed this already: we've uploaded some pictures from the 2011 World Championships of Punkin Chunkin. There will be more to follow. Don't forget to watch us on TV Thanksgiving night (this Thursday 11-24) at 8PM EST/PST!

Team Urban Siege Narrowly Edged for First

Day 3 of the 26th World Championships of Punkin Chunkin was a wild one. The winds were non-existent all day long, leading to some super shots. The trebuchets led off again, with Yankee Siege II firing it's second official misfire of the chunk, leaving them with the 2326' from Day 2. Merlin also repeated their Day 1 shot, although not with as much hang time. Suffice to say that their 1985' from Day 2 was their best, and a personal best by a long shot. Great Gourd Experiment finally joined the 1000 foot club. Congratulations to Terry and the gang!

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.

Team Urban Siege Joins the 2000-foot Club!

You heard it here! Team Urban Siege's new mystery trebuchet shot a nearly 9-pound pumpkin a whopping 2017 feet today! With a trebuchet field littered with misfires and pies, that placed us in second place after day 1. American Chucker edged us out with a 2032' shot, 2 feet shy of Yankee Siege's "World Record" mark of 2034'. Congratulations to those guys indeed. Our shot was somewhat high in trajectory, but nevertheless we became only the 3rd trebuchet IN THE WORLD to clear 2000 feet in competition. We have more in the tank, and we are gunning for a bigger mark tomorrow!

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.

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).

Team Urban Siege Ready for Chunkin!

That's right folks. Chunkin time is here! Team Urban Siege finally finished work on our new trebuchet to the point where we could fire it. Last Sunday, October 23, 2011, at 2PM we pulled the trigger for the first time on this new machine. And it fired perfectly! We broke a strap on our old and very worn pouch that we'd been using for 3 years (and in hindsight it did get hung up pretty bad on the last chunk of 2010), but the punkin flew out beautifully. We then moved the machine (mostly assembled) to a more suitable location for hurling (that first shot was taken right next to the shop we were working out of) at Wendel's Poultry Farm. The second shot came roughly an hour later than the first, and with the backup pouch, we got a near carbon-copy of the first shot. Tuning was beautiful for both shots! And best of all, the machine was operating smoothly and nothing major was broken. Only one small feature was found to be a bit weak, and by the time of this post, the issue has long been rebuilt in a much more sturdy way.

2010 WCPC Recap

What a great showing for Team Urban Siege at the 2010 World Championships of Punkin Chunkin. Owing to the team being scattered around New York and Massachusetts this fall, we didn't even get Medieval Postal Service out of storage until the day before we headed to Delaware. But the machine went right back up without a hitch, and fired beautifully right out of the gate. Test shots on Wednesday were around what later was found to be the 1150-1200 mark, and then heavy winds came for the weekend.

WCPC 2010 - Day 3

The final day of the 2010 World Championships of Punkin Chunkin saw major winds kill the distances of many teams, but there were still some nice shots. In the trebuchet division, none of the top 3 machines from Day 2 shot any further, although First in Fright shot a solid 1815' into a stiff headwind. Tired Iron also shot less, so 1443' was his top shot. Shenangians recovered from a disasterous free fire shot Saturday morning that resulted in missing the day 2 shot and popped a 1391' shot into the wind, the machine is certainly capable of more. Hokie Hurler shot less again, so 850 was it's final top distance of 2010, they are not sure why it shot so much less this year.

WCPC 2010 - Day 2

Another day gone at the 2010 World Championships of Punkin Chunkin. Some interesting results. The Day 1 leaders, Pumpkin Hammer, added counterweight and didn't change their sling, resulting in a late release netting them a much shorter shot than Friday's 1979. They have added more weight for Sunday, allegedly 2000 pounds total, and tweaked pin/sling. Time will tell if that gets them over the hump. American Chucker chucked their throwing arm 100 feet downrange and the pumpkin maybe 1300 or so, so they retain their day 1 shot as well which was just under 1800 feet. First in Fright added 300 pounds to his counterweight, tweaked his tuning, and blasted a TREMENDOUS 1920 shot, moving it into a close second place. Rumor has it that they are adding more weight 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!!!