Information on this blog is raw and sometimes unverified reporting straight from the road by teams. The event will issue a media release for any events requiring an official notification.

Note that links in blog entries are not maintained, so while a link may be verified to work on the day of publishing, this is not guaranteed beyond that day.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Leeming Team and Hammerhead make it to Darwin.

Mid Morning on Saturday 17 Oct Keith, the bus and Hammerhead rolled safely into Darwin. After 4000km on the road, a broken door handle on the trailer, a couple of brushes with kangaroos in the night and a bit of dirt, the "A" team arrives relatively unscathed.

Keith made his way out to Hidden Valley race way and after a couple of phone calls parked Hammerhead securely in pit number 19. He meets a couple of the teams already at the track and hears rumours of Nuna's road testing and reconnaissance trip to Adelaide. He then headed into Darwin for a well earned rest in air conditioned comfort.

On Sunday the 18th I arrive at Perth airport at 7:00AM. To my surprise I am almost the last to arrive, we check in pretty easily and make it through security up to the departure lounge. I have some issue with one of the boxes I am carrying, it contains a Lithium Battery that failed to make the bus before it headed to Darwin. It's a fairly heavy object (3kg) and would like quite suspicious when passing through an X-ray machine I would imagine. I had some concerns about wether I could take it on the flight with us and on Friday afternoon I had made a call to Qantas and very helpful assistant organised a dangerous goods approval number after contacting a Qantas official based at Sydney airport. Not bad considering it was 8:45 pm in Sydney at the time. After a brief look at the package, a phone call and a chat to the security supervisor I am allowed through with the battery.

While we sit in the departure lounge Leonie twitters on her iphone and reads of Nuna's crash during road testing and that replacement solar panels have arrived in Darwin, For those who are only following the Blog for the first time the Nuon team and Nuna 1,2,3 and 4, have won the last 4 world solar challenges and for them to have crashed before the challenge is big news.

The team says last goodbyes to family and board the plane for a relatively smooth flight to Darwin.

As we get off the plane and make our way into the airport terminal I feel a blast of hot air and I am instantly reminded of the heat and humidity of Darwin, we'll have some time to acclimatise. We meet Keith in the airport, he looks remarkably refreshed considering the distance he has travelled in the last 5 days. We exchange keys and brief stories of his trip before he boards the plane that we got off and heads home.

We find our bus and support vehicles then load up and head into town. We get to the Alatai and decide to have a quiet afternoon. A few of us head off to the shop and get some supplies for tonight and tomorrow's breakfast. The rest have a swim and relax before dinner, BBQ. We discover that the Nuna team are staying here and we share the BBQ with them. I talk to the cook who was also driving their car at 110km when the rear tyre blew out causing him to lose control and spin out. He said that there was a lot of dust and when it settled he was facing the wrong way with the array on the ground some meters away. They damaged 4 or 5 panels on their array which are now repaired and they spent all day yesterday road testing. They seem pleased.

Today we will head to Hidden Valley and start work on getting Hammerhead ready to go to Adelaide. Some will go and get our support trailer, others will stay with the car while the rest go for some shopping and prepare tonight's dinner Spaghetti Bolognaise.

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