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Happy Holidays from Team Urban Siege!

We at Team Urban Siege would like to wish all of our fans a happy holiday season. 2014 was a rough year with the cancellation of the World Championships of Punkin Chunkin, but we have faith that in 2015 the event will be back and better than ever! In the meantime, we are relaxing, enjoying spending time with family, and plotting for the future.

World Championships of Punkin Chunkin 2014 - Cancelled

Sadly, the title of this post is not a joke, a play on words, or anything like that. This morning the teams were notified that the event for 2014 has been cancelled, with less than 3 weeks' notice. With the trouble with finding a new field, the association was behind all year, and they felt that there was no way that the event could be held this year. Some more information is available at this link. While we wish there had been more notice, this is what it is. We are looking to see what we will do for the rest of this year, we would like to perform for the public at least one more time before the snow flies. Stay tuned here and on our Facebook Page!

Punkin Chunkin 2014 Has Moved - Both Time and Place

Important information follows, please read the whole post! Those who follow our Facebook Page know that the World Championships of Punkin Chunkin are at a new location for 2014. The reasons for the move are somewhat complicated, but stem largely from a lawsuit resulting from an accident in 2011 by one of the spotters in the field. The full details have not been disclosed to the public as the case is on-going, but the long and short of it is that the landowner of the field that we have been using since 2007 (and a chunker himself) has requested that the chunk be held off of his property (he is one of the parties named in the lawsuit). This news hit in March, and the Association only recently secured approval to move forward with holding the chunk at Dover International Speedway in Dover, DE and the surrounding grounds for 2014. What this means is big changes in the format and layout of the event, but those details are also still being finalized. Still, the chunk is slated to be held at a field bordering the speedway, so plan accordingly if you wish to come. The event will have a different feel this year, but it looks like there at least will be an event, which was very much in doubt a month ago.

Announcing the First Scheduled Demo of 2014

While we will be firing NASAW from time to time during the summer and fall, most of those times are not scheduled and happen as the team has availability to do so. But September 27, 2014 is a scheduled event. Wickham Farms is one of our sponsors (they grow pumpkins for us every year), and last year we actually brought out NASAW to fire near their farm for an afternoon. We will do so again this year, hopefully without breaking our release pin this time! Wickham Farms is located at 1821 Fairport Nine Mile Point Rd, Penfield, New York 14526, a short distance SouthEast of Rochester, NY. We will likely be firing from roughly 10AM until 3PM or so on Saturday, September 27, with a rain date of the following day of Sunday the 28th. This is the same weekend that Wickham Farms holds a pumpkin festival, and is a family-friendly event, so come on down, say hi, and watch us launch some pumpkins into orbit!

New Hurling Forums

Around the end of November 2013, was shut down by it's owner for a variety of reasons. We of TeamUrbanSiege would like to thank Ron Toms for all he did in providing those forums to us for as long as he did out of his own pocket. A new forum has started up to fill the void left by the closing. Head on over to The Hurling Forums to discuss anything hurling-related! Catapults, torsion, trebuchets, competition, it will all be discussed there. Need help? Stop on by there and get help from some of the top hurlers in the world! A few of us from Team Urban Siege are on there as well.

Punkin Chunkin on the Discovery/Science Channels!

A quick reminder to all that tomorrow night (U.S. Thanksgiving, November 28) from 8-10PM Eastern Standard Time (EST), there will be the annual airing of "Punkin Chunkin" on both the Science Channel and the Discovery Channel. Tune in and enjoy!

NASAW Set up For the 2013 Chunk

Today we all arrived and got both machines (NASAW and The Buffalo Wing Slinger - Nick's Human-Powered Centrifugal Catapult that he built last year) set up. Tomorrow morning we do a few final things and then get our safety inspections before hopefully taking a few test shots before the chunk begins on Friday. The field is in fantastic shape this year, far better than last year of course since Sandy hit less than a week before the chunk, and we are looking forward to a great weekend with all of our chunking friends!

NASAW's First Public Demo

On September 28, 2013, we demonstrated NASAW for the public at Wickham Farms. Many people stopped by during the day to watch us fire the machine, and to explore the machine and ask questions. While we had several pied shots, we also had one superb shot that the crowd loved (well, they loved the pie too, haha!) Unfortunately we had to stop early due to a part failure that we could not easily field-repair (and the spare was missing in action). For that we are sorry, but safety first! We hope to do more of these events in the future.

Team Urban Siege Takes 1st at WCPC!

Those who checked in here daily hoping to get updates from the 27th World Championships of Punkin Chunkin were likely disappointed to see nothing posted here during the week. Unfortunately the internet at the hotel we used essentially did not work. If you followed our Facebook page though, you saw a few posts that we made via phone regarding progress. It was a strange year for the chunk, with Friday's event being cancelled due to needing to do more work on the field due to Hurricane Sandy. Couple that with high winds and no testing time, and shots were all over the place for mechanical divisions. Ultimately NASAW prevailed over the giant Yankee Siege II and the rest of the field, once again firing 2 shots over the 2000' mark. In fact, we were the only ones to clear 2000 feet in the division. More details will be posted soon along with pictures and videos, but for now, WE ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS!!! The winning shot was merely 2123' though, far from what was anticipated to be the winning shot this year. Stay tuned for more!

Ready for the Chunk

In less than 48 hours we hope to be down at the 2012 World Championships of Punkin Chunkin in Bridgeville, DE. This year, mother nature is trying to throw a massive wrench in the works in the form of Hurricane Sandy, which is at this moment battering the mid-Atlantic. Delaware took a near-direct hit, and much of Sussex County, location of the chunk, was evacuated. While the wind and rain is expected to end sometime late tomorrow, what is unknown is exactly what the impact this storm will have on the chunk. We hope we can get on the field late Wednesday, but things are bound to be extremely muddy, with nearly 8 inches of rain having fallen there since Sunday. The good news: starting Wednesday, there is a nice pattern of weather forecast, extending beyond the chunk weekend into next week. Hopefully the field will dry out some in the days before the chunk (which starts on Friday).

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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!!!