Tasmanian Model Solar Challenge

Important Dates in 2017

Tasmanian Model Solar Challenge

Date: December, TBC
Venue: TBC

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Australian-International Model Solar Challenge

Date: 25th & 26th November
Venue: Hamilton College, SA

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2002 Australian-International Model Solar Challenge

UNSW, Sydney

Report on National Titles held in Sydney on November 23-24 by John Jeffery who accompanied the Tasmanian Team.

When we arrived in Sydney there was Andrew Lyne from Queechy waiting for us. We got to the Y but couldn't go to our rooms as they weren't ready so we dropped our luggage and took off.

Saturday morning, breakfast then off to the Uni of NSW. Oh, I forgot to say that the track was still in |Melbourne!!!!!! Well the track did arrive about 10.30 and Box Hill students set to assembling it. In the meantime scrutineering got under way, somewhat confusingly initially but it soon got sorted out. Woodbridge turned up about 10ish and all Tassie cars got scrutineered OK.

Initial testing found that the track was SO BAD that very few cars actually got around but lots and lots of bolts and bits of packing and it didn't turn out too bad in the long run.

After the "time trials" they had a paper plane contest. You got a sheet of A4 paper and got to throw from the first floor veranda. Longest throw $100.00, 2nd $50.00 and 3rd $20.00. Guess which tinny kid from Clarence High won? Ewen Jeffery won $100.

Then we had presentations by Box Hill and another school Lots of people then went to Coogee Beach for a BBQ but my tribe and the Queechy mob went back to the Y and then had tea at a Subway. Interesting place, Sydney.

Sunday was nice and sunny and we got to the Uni early for re-scrutineering and a bit of quick testing. The track still needed a bit more work at this stage but the rest of the competitors started to take notice of our cars.

The list came out for the round robin and the first thing everyone noticed was that the only state not required to race against itself, as it were, was WA. Funny about that! I forgot to add that Hampton College from WA who have had two cars each year for as long as I can remember this year had NO cars. Seems that the teacher has retired. But wait, his son goes to Morley college and guess which school came 1st and 2nd in WA this year.

Any way, one of the Woodbridge cars got knocked out in the first round but the other car went through. Queechy won all three races as did Ewen. Kent won his first 2 races and was leading the 3rd when a rubber band used in the suspension fell off and his car spun out. Before he could get to it it got T-boned by the other car. Quite spectacular and was a contender for the entertainment award for a long time. Anyhow, Kent did quick repairs and the car seemed OK. 3 cars in his section had 2 wins so a race off was needed and he easily won his 2 races so Tassie had 4 cars into the final knockout. This must be our best performance ever. By now we were really being noticed.

Queechy and Ewen romped through the next round. Queechy should get a prize for being the last of the late finishers as they came from behind to win several of their races in the last few metres and must have had the smallest winning margin of anyone. Woodbridge actually won their next 2 races (with a bit of luck) but the car they knocked out was one of the favoured WA entries so the 2nd race was re-run (amid lots of moaning and groaning) and Woodbridge were out. No-one else got to get re-runs but, hey, no-one noticed, did they? Kent's car seemed to run slow and lost 2 races so he was out. When we got home we checked the car out and found that the damage was worse than it seemed and at speed the car was dragging its guides along the track throwing yellow paint everywhere. However, Kent did get the second fastest car of the day with a 19.02 second lap. The only car to go faster was Ewen who got the 3 fastest laps with a best of 18.46.

Queechy got knocked out in the round of 8 but should be well pleased with their effort. Ewen kept winning and found his car in the final, yet to loose a race, against one of the Flying Eskis from WA. One of the Flying Eskis? Well, you see, four cars came from WA. From last years winners Christ Church Grammar came Red Photon and Blue Photon, easily told apart as Red was red and Blue was blue, but that was the only difference. From Morley, (remember the teacher mentioned above?) came The Flying Eski 3 and The Flying Eski 3B, easily distinquished by the extra 'B' on B. See, I told you it was easy.

Anyway, it looked like the organisers were going to race Red against Eski 3 and Blue against Eski 3B (or the other way around, no-one could tell) to ensure that one of each got through but the howls of protest were so loud that they had to race Red against Blue and 3 against 3B as written in the regulations. So that was how Ewen got to race Blue Photon in the final round. I also forgot. Guess which car Woodbridge had eliminated fair and square earlier on before the suspicious re-run? Yep, Blue Photon.

Back to the story. In the first race, just after the start, a cloud crossed the sun. Blue stopped dead while Ewen's car drove around the track. Second race, same thing, Ewen won by half a lap. The entire crowd (except the WAs) were screaming for Ewen to win. Then he had to fiddle with the Maximiser, didn't he. He lost the 3rd race by less than a foot and the next 2 by about a metre to end up in second place. If he'd only left it alone, never mind.

At the presentation, Paul Wellington, the Chairman of the AIMSCC, made special mention of the high standard of the Tasmanian entries and singled out Clarence High as one of the longest running and most consistent entries. Kent Jeffery (Rosny College) received the award for The Best Designed Car. Ewen Jeffery (Clarence High) received the award for Second Place Overall.

I think thats everything. I hope Andrew and Graham can write their recollections of the weekend for comparison. One thing is certain. When I first went to the Nationals the QLDs and WAs used to laugh about the Tassie cars. If you had seen the crowd of people around our cars in Sydney one thing was obvious. They certainly weren't laughing.