May 30, 2009

Day 4 - Endurance

The endurance event marks one of the pinnacles of the competition, and stays true to its namesake. Today tested the endurance of both Hydra and the crew, with over 4 hours on the water in the grueling sun. We started off by setting up Robbie Wedler for the first heat:

Over the next 2 hours we completed circuits around a circular course along with all other teams. We completed around 11.5 laps over the two hour period.
(Image courtesy of Scott Miller
Fortunately the team from Monterrey finally got on the water and did one exhibition lap to show off their boat.
(Image courtesy of Scott Miller
Another cool boat was the rookie team from Southampton, UK seen below.
(Image courtesy of Scott Miller

After the first heat, we quickly scrambled to use our charge controller to charge up one of our batteries to be used in the 2nd heat.

At 1:30 we got into the water for the second heat, with Riddhi as pilot.
We competed again for 2 hours, and finished with a similar length of 10.75 laps.
Both heats gave us times that were better than last year, so the new hull offered some potential improvements in endurance. Preliminary team analysis after the event indicated that the primary limiters on performance were the 4-year old batteries and the selected propeller.

After the race, we set up the boat for the Sprint event tomorrow, then headed back to the hotel to refresh after a long day in and around the water. The team is looking forward to tomorrow, where we will go through some elimination sprint rounds before our final heats. The end of tomorrow will be the awards ceremony, where our final standing will be revealed, along with any other awards we may get. Unfortunately, immediately after the competition we will be hopping in the van to head back to Pittsburgh, so I may not get the chance to update this until midday Monday, but I promise to get you the results of the competition (along with some new pictures) as soon as they become available.
- Mark

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