Day 3 (May 29):
The day started out pretty grim but by the end things turned out alright.
We left the hotel by 7:30 am. Half way to the fairgrounds, we realized that we didn’t have the keys to the trailer locks; fortunately, we did have keys to the side door. We ended up stopping near our old hotel–which is now a travel lodge–to split up into two groups; one group to set up at the grounds and the other to get the trailer lock keys so we can get access to the tractor. Upon settling at the fairgrounds, it was apparent that a number of our members were sick. With the exception of Matt, we eventually deduced that the primary cause of the food poisoning was the ground beef some of us ate–Matt is immune. Some were so sick that they were sent back to the hotel to sleep. After things started to calm down, we proceeded to Design Judging.
At Design Judging we started off with Safety. It did not look good when no one was saying anything to each other. However, when the third group, Testing and Development came along things were looking brighter. By the end, we felt confident in presentations for Testing and Development, Serviceability, and Manufacturability.
After Design Judging, we proceeded to sound teching. We passed sound teching on the first try with a nominal loudness of 84 dB–FYI: 94 dB is the maximum for passing teching and below 91 dB gets us some more points. With sound teching complete, all we needed to pass teching was a final weigh in. So, we went over to the scales and passed teching. With this, we are able to participate in the upcoming performance events.
The first performance event we participated in was maneuverability. Overall, we did very well; we completed the course with a score of 25 (out of 100) points–a score many other teams did not achieve.
Another important performance event is durability. Today, we watched other teams and even made our own attempt at the durability course’s sand pit. Of the other teams (that passed teching) we saw, no one made it through the sand; everyone seemed to be spinning out. But for now, we must put the performance events on hold and focus on the presentation scheduled for tomorrow morning at 9 am.
For the past week, a number of us have been working into the wee hours of the night working on putting together and practicing presentations. Tomorrow is the big day (in terms of presenting). It will be a nerve racking experience that you won’t want to miss!