Having travelled almost the length and breadth of the UK between two events (Aberdeen to Cornwall) we somehow managed to not only replicate our event format – Goblins and F24 over two days, we also managed to take almost identical weather with us. Somehow the Goblins always manage to dodge the worst of the weather, leaving the F24 teams facing a real endurance challenge!
Our local ambassadors, Vaughan Curnow and Rachel Penhaligon have made real inroads into Cornish schools building this event up to be one of the biggest events in the Greenpower calendar. Supported by Cornwall College, the event not only sees this exceptional headline number of races during the day, it is also supported by a hands on science fair, and this year we were treated to some exceptional catering from the College’s catering students and some amazing live music from their music department – great to see such inter-departmental support for Greenpower. Other attractions/distractions included the Devon & Cornwall Police sniffer dogs and an unexpected visit from the local RAF base’s Apache helicopter.
Out on the tracks some highly experienced Cornwall College volunteers got the cars through this exceptional number of challenges (six slaloms and six drag races per car) in fantastic fashion keeping the whole day’s programme ahead of schedule despite a very short but furious downpour. Lunchtime saw a quick re-set of the track for the afternoon’s sprint while two schools that had been hampered with technical problems all morning were whizzed through their slaloms.
Organising 16 heats to get 61 cars down to 4 finalists is no easy task. Fortunately, Hannah, Greenpower’s “Queen of the Goblins” had all this brilliantly prepared, and with some frantic corralling of teams to the start line, including much use of the new megaphone, things were quickly back underway. There were some excellent races and very tight competition but in the end it was the guest school, Bursley, who had travelled down from Staffordshire and endured a couple of horrific night camping in very bad conditions, who took 1st and second place.
Other winners on the day were Trewirgie in the slalom, College Rd Primary in the drag and Alverton who won the Spirit of Greenpower award. The overall winner of the event was St Josephs.
The next day the rain came, and despite all the promises, would not go away again. A new and very difficult course plus the appalling weather conditions did not stop teams from putting in some great driving. Richard Lander Racing put on a very promising display to start and was leading for much of the race. Their beautifully engineered car was making the course look easy while others were coming off or breaking down around them. Meanwhile, the new Raptor Fusion was making steady progress and certainly looks like a car that could perform exceptionally well in better conditions. Unfortunately for RLR, what looked like a fairly innocuous bump led to some serious damage to the car and their lead was lost with the team bravely limping on to the end and finishing 6th. With RLR out of the race Raptor Fusion took a strong lead and stayed there until taking the chequered flag at the four hour mark. The big battle was between Hummingbird from Plymouth High School for Girls and Hot Ice. Hummingbird, with their very vocal support and exceptional steady driving saw out the challenge to take a much deserved second place.
Our stalwart team and volunteers then had the joy of a very soggy packing up, with the Sussex based Greenpower team managing to salvage some dry clothes for what would have been a very damp journey home!
Thanks again to Vaughan, Rachel, Steve Hancock from Cornwall College and all their magnificent volunteers for making such a great event. See you all next year!