It was a beautiful weekend at the Aurora, CO contest. We won with the longest shot in a WCPCA licensed event with a chunk of 4787 feet. A shout out to the City of Aurora, event volunteers, our fellow CO competitors, friends and family, and our fans! Thank you! (Teams pre-selected which three of their shots would be official WCPCA championship rounds. Ours went 4440 feet.)
WCPC ran out of time to complete arrangements for the 2014 Chunk. We used our championship rounds (pumpkins) to good effect. On 11/9 we set up and fired off a 7 pack. It was a great day on our practice range as we launched one 4573 feet. Next year competition resumes among the big guns.
The contest was decided on the first day. Winds out of the southwest led to field records in four adult categories. We had a personal best of 4421 feet (1.34 km) on the field. With pumpkin patches in three microclimates, we had good ammo. And our improvements worked. But second place is still first loser.
This year we turned in a respectable 5th place out of 23 adult air cannons. It’s otherwise mediocre and far below our standard performance. We had great pumpkins this year. So did everyone else. LaEstrella pumpkins have become the standard. The continual headwind and cold temperatures knocked all cannons’ shots down. So what else is new?
A strong wind Friday and Saturday blew into the muzzles of the air cannons but helped set world records for adult torsion and adult trebuchet. Way to go “Chucky III” and “Yankee Siege II”. We were in 1st place Friday but had slipped to 4th by Saturday. Sunday saw a front move in with a warm, mild breeze to our backs. Six guns shot over 4000 feet. For us it was like the driver of a dragster in the finals who misses 5th gear. We’ve been here before, but 8th place really sucks.
Hats off to the ladies of “Hormone Blaster” for being this year’s overall distance winner. “Emancipator” had the second longest shot and “The Big 10 Inch” came in third (second in our division). With 10 competitive machines, it’s down to luck, the vagaries of vegetables and the weather. We’ll see what next year brings.
Big 10 Inch breaks a mile:
On 9/9/10 in Moab, UT, “The Big 10 Inch” launched a 9 lb 12 oz LaEstrella pumpkin 5545.42 ft, thats 1.05 mile (1.690 km). Thin air (a mile high), a perfect pumpkin, favorable conditions and “The Big 10 Inch” did the rest. Actually we shot 2 pumpkins more than a mile that day. We’re the first Pumpkin Chunker in history to break a mile. View the Guinness World RecordTM for “farthest distance to fire a pumpkin” here.
2009: The Big 10 Inch wins WCPC for third time.
Friday’s wind knocked all shots down but at day’s end we were in third. Saturday, with a slight tail-wind we moved up a notch, just 10 feet behind the leader “Old Glory”. A warm final day with a slight crosswind saw our 4162.65′ shot sail to victory. The wet growing season meant all teams had some bad pumpkins. Sunday’s results included half dozen pies. Our win can be attributed to good luck, firing over 30 practice shots and a beer bath of Victory Hop Devil.
Big 10 Inch breaks world record:
On Nov 1, 2009 in Moab , UT, “The Big 10 Inch” broke the Guinness World RecordTM for “farthest distance to fire a pumpkin”. We heaved a La Estrella pumpkin 4623.5 feet (1409.22 m).
Three teams joined the 4000 foot club this year. We however, consistently shot poorly. We equalled our ’99 shot but the world has moved on. The vagaries of vegetables plays with you each year. There are so many variables that it becomes a crap shoot. That said, 8th place really sucks.
2007: The Big 10 Inch has risen again.
On Friday, the first day of the 2007 competition, we were ahead with a shot of 3490 feet. The current champ, “2nd Amendment”, gets to shoot last each day. Theirs went 63 feet farther. The winds from offshore hurricane Noel shifted from NE on Fri, to right into everyones barrels out of the N on Sat. We had the best shot that day at 3416 feet, beating the champ by 178 feet. Sunday, the winds died down somewhat and came out of their prevailing NW. We fired the best pumpkin we’ve ever had for a 4211 footer. This bested all others by 631 feet that day and matched our best shot in 2005.
How did we do? Not well. Actually, we sucked. Well actually, no one did well – the cold temps and wind knocked down all shots, but we were hit harder than many. Our poor showing (6th) relative to the other cannons could be attributed to our competition growing every year. There were 22 cannons this year. If you have 10 fully competitive foes your odds of finishing “in the money” fall off, just due to the “vagaries of vegetables”.
The competition got even tighter this year with 20 air cannons participating, including the 2003 and 2004 world champions, “Second Amendment” and “Old Glory”. We were very pleased to establish a personal best shot of 4211 feet (1.28 km) (That’s 8/10 mile)! This gave us a third place finish — hats off to “Second Amendment” and “Y ask Y” who edged us by 121 and 56 feet, respectively.
The competition got tight this year. Now a half-dozen machines have achieved mechanical parity. Since this leaves one at the mercy of the “vagaries of vegetables”, it becomes an odds game. All competitors had the same wind, though, and “The Big 10 Inch” rose to the occasion — at the end of the first day we were in first place with a hurl of 3770 feet. It was not to hold and by the end of the second day we dropped to fifth. We will NOT, in the coming year, be like the football coach who plays for the “long bomb” and loses games because he didn’t drill the less glamorous basics. We may have spent too much time, as seasoned competitors, worrying about refinements at the expense of basics.
Distance shooting needs good ammo. After two years of drought we had one of drenching rains. Every year it seems is the year of the pumpkin, and other stuff. After having been awarded the second-place trophy for Adult Air Cannon, web-posted results gave us third in the new Championship Air category. In ’04 the growing season and new changes may yield exceptional results.
2002 Team Photo
Back in Delaware for the World Championships we lead thru all three of our shots. On their final launch, “2nd Amendment” beat our 3816 foot toss by 65 feet. Competition is keen with these big guns. Just wait ’till next year.
We took the show on the road in 2001, traveling to Morton, IL, for their Punkin Chunkin contest. “The Big 10 Inch” finished “in the money”, placing 3rd behind the “Aludium Q36 Punkin Modulator” and “2nd Amendment”. These teams hail from Illinois and Michigan respectively. Finishing third was a disappointment versus our expectations but a tribute to improvements by our competition. 2001 taught us it’s dangerous to rest on your laurels, and spurred us on to make improvements for 2002.
“The Big 10 Inch” launched several pumpkins over 4000 feet during 2000. Our best shot: “The Big 10 Inch” hurled a 10 lb. pumpkin a distance of 4111 feet (1.25 km), or about 4/5 of a mile, as accurately measured by a professional surveyor. This record shot exceeded our best performance of the previous year by 11%. It was the longest shot of any event held during the year, including the original World Championship Punkin Chunkin contest, which has been held every November in southern Delaware for the last 16 years. This event draws over 80 entrants from as far away as Illinois, Michigan, and Florida. The 2000 champion, “Old Glory”, won with a shot of 4086 feet, rivaling our record shot. “Old Glory”, along with “Q36” and “2nd Amendment” are the other members of the “4000 Foot Club”.
1999: The Big 10 Inch wins for the first time.
In our second year of competition, The Big 10 Inch was crowned 1999 Punkin Chunkin World Champions after hurling a 9.2 lb. pumpkin a distance of 3,695 feet, besting the second-place finisher, “Q36”, by 150 feet. Our winning toss exceeded our best rookie year mark by over 30%. We attribute our dramatic improvement from our 1998 rookie year to two things:
* A 150% increase in the energy released by The Big 10 Inch as it propels a pumpkin down its 100-foot barrel, upping the output to roughly 1000 horsepower!
* A pre-launch beer bath for the pumpkin. As with any sporting contest, it’s the little things that count. Now that we have a streak going, we don’t dare change this practice. (Of course, the team members consume a considerably larger amount than they use for bathing the pumpkins. This practice contributes to soaring spirits if not to soaring gourds.)
We came in as cocky engineers with our brand new chunker. We left with 7th place. Turns out, pumpkins can take 500 g’s before they turn to “pie”. Who knew?