Carey Competes in 2011 RACV Energy Breakthrough
09 Dec 2011
A small group of Carey students took part in this year's RACV Energy Breakthrough, a program designed to provide opportunities for students, teachers, parents and local industry to work together to design and construct a vehicle,a machine or innovation in technology that will represent an 'energy breakthrough'. This is their account of the race.
The Carey Energy Breakthrough team arrived in Maryborough on Thursday 24 November in great spirits. The day was spent settling in to our surroundings that we would call home for the next three days. The serious business began on Friday. Our team went through vehicle scrutineering. The race officials ensured that our HPV (Human Powered Vehicle) met the minimum safety and race standards. We were also asked questions based on road safety, and the design and construction of our HPV, which gives us extra points if we know what we’re talking about. After fixing a few little things, our HPV was officially certified to race. Our team of Year 7 and 8 students rounded out the day with a qualifying session, determining our grid start positions for the 24-hour trial the next day. We managed to place a respectable 74th in a field of 91 vehicles that included drivers racing in all categories from Year 7 and 8 through to Year 12.
Come race day, Mother Nature turned her back on us, forcing a one-hour delay of the race start. At 2:30 pm, the race officially commenced. Because of the rain, most teams – including us – had trouble seeing out of the windscreen so we had to cut a hole in it. After that we had a flat tyre and then a major crash put us in the pits for another 45 minutes during which we reattached and aligned the outer casing of our HPV; however, proceedings ran smoothly for us afterwards. The riders and pit crew executed their moves to perfection, so our lap times remained pretty consistent putting us up in the mid-50s in placings. Riding at night, however, was the biggest challenge as our tiring bodies fought against the pedals. To share the workload, we split into two groups. One raced, one slept and then we would swap over.
As morning drew, the adrenaline was pumping in our bodies, so we finished very strongly with some impressive lap times. At 1:30 pm, the Race Director waved the checkered flag and Carey placed a commendable 70th place. We all felt very triumphant at the end. We all thought that it was an achievement just to finish the race. A big thanks to Mr Paul Charlwood of Charlwood Design who helped us enormously with modifications and preparation of our HPV for the race. We would also like to thank Jordan Rizio (Year 12) who worked incredibly hard to fine tune ourvehicle before the race and made additional modifications to help us meet the requirements of the scrutineering process. He and Didier Malcolm (Year 12) stayed with us for the weekend to help keep the bike on the track. Josie Wetherbee (Year 12) managed the catering and Nic Robson was also there for much of the weekend to lend support wherever it was needed. We would also like to thank Dr Wetherbee for making this weekend possible and Mr Robson for all the work he did behind the scenes. Mr Cornell also helped out with training and transport. Last but not least, our team of riders and pit crew put the icing on the cake.
Congratulations to: Ananda Chu (Team Captain), Adam Corrie, Bella Charlwood, Jen Ramsay, Laura Solly, Matt Bullock, Patrick Quay, Aaron di Genova, Bailey Dunleavy, Ethan Lee, Lachlan McVicar.